Tuesday, 23 January 2018

A train travels on average of 97 km/hour (depending on class).  It follows a set track.  An engineer directs the train and sends it on the path it should take.  There are turns and bends in the track and the engineer has to direct the tracks to change to lead the train to it's destination.  However, sometimes something happens.  We hear of train derailments all the time.  They can be caused as simply as something on the track, weather issues (ie. ice on tracks), or simply going too fast at a certain turn.  I know I am simplifying the whole train derailment issue but you get my drift.   

Life is like a train sometimes.  We are on a path directed to us by the Father.  It is track full of beauty and majesty.  It is also full of danger.  Some we are aware of and some we are not.  This Sunday as our church journey's through Luke we hit the Temptation of Christ (not to be compared with the movie).  In Luke 4: 1-13, Jesus is tempted by Satan.  Satan went to win a war, Jesus simply was living out the knowledge of the living God.   

Now you may ask what does the temptation of Christ have to do with train derailments...Good question.  As our Pastor was teaching, he preached that "by getting off track a little" believers can tempted from God's course of their lives.  See train derailment.  We always think of temptations as the big ones: addiction, pride, lust, envy, wrath, greed, gluttony.  Pretty much the seven deadly sins.  What we don't see is that temptation doesn't start off as big.  It starts simply.  Many times in the Bible, yeast is represented in terms of evil or sin.  Have you seen a grain of yeast.  It is pretty small, but once activated it does some pretty amazing things.   

This Christmas my daughter and I were watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I find that watching these movies always allows me great teaching opportunities with my teen.  The problem is that she doesn't always appreciate those great teaching moments.  I am always hit when watching the movies and subsequently reading the books, how much faith is contained in them.  In the movies the fellowship meets up with Galadriel.  They are all broken and torn after losing Gandalf.  Galadriel reminds them..."The quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains, while all the company is true." 

Did you see that.  STRAY BUT A LITTLE (sorry for yelling).  I need you to see that.  We don't always have to stray big.  Just a little will lead us down paths that we don't want to be on.  Have you ever been on your phone and started a rabbit trail you didn't know how you got there.  Same thing.  An addict in recovery will often tell you that they didn't start with the addiction.  It was one drink.  One hit.  Then they needed it a little more.  Then a little more.  Then.....until it consumed them.  The problem is once you are consumed how to get back. 

When a train derails, it needs a lot of equipment to get back on track.  I believe the same for believers.  When we realize we are off track we need to get down on our knees and pray.  We need to repent and ask for forgiveness.  We need to be in the Word regularly to help us keep on the path given to each of us.  Remember the sword is the hope.  It is the hope in the darkness that surrounds us.  We need to be in community with others believers to keep us accountable to each other and ourselves.  A single stick can be bent and broken but get a bunch together and see what happens.   

A simple stone can derail the biggest train.  A simple want or need can take us off the path that has been created for us.  Lucky for us we have a Saviour "who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet he did not sin." (Hebrews 4:15 NIV). Let us be guided by and focused on Him in the paths of life. 

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