New Hope Notes

The Way Home

Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
April 17, 2011 - W1116

We live in a society where we want things that are quick, instant, and easy.However, in good relationships there are no shortcuts - especially when it comes to our relationship with God.We have a tendency to drift away from the path. Sometimes we lose the fire and we have the tendency to takeshort cuts in our marriages, relationships, and devotions.What seems to be quick and easy loses depth and meaning.So the question is, when you drift, how do you find your way back to the path?

Jesus said, "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent" (Luke 15:4-7 NIV).

God likens us to sheep. They stray away and get lost from the flock easily.What we share in common with sheep is that we have the propensity to get lost as well. The truth is that everyone at one point of his or her walk will drift away from the path.We may be occupied in the right activity and have all right intentions, but the heart may not be in it.The thing is that Satan canít take away your salvation. What he can take away is your joy of your salvation.He wonít steal your marriage, relationships and ministry.What the Devil will steal is the joy in these things, causing you to lose heart and give up. Everyone will find ourselves lost either financially, in our marriages, relationships and faith.We may be occupied with the activity of all these things, but the heart and depth is gone Losing your heart, depth, and meaning in activities will cause to you drift and stray away.So how do you get back on the right path? Here are some tips and reminders Ö

1. We don't get lost INTENTIONALLY.?

The Bible says, ďAll of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him" (Is. 53:6).?

So there is hope for the lost but we should remember that we donít get lost intentionally.Like sheep we drift little by little and we find ourselves lost. Sheep stray easily and get lost.They just follow the crowd. If one goes off, the others will follow.†† If one falls off the cliff, the rest of the flock will follow.They have no sense of direction.Sheep are also prey animals.A Shepherd gives sheep direction and protection.Without a Shepherd, sheep are susceptible to predators.Like sheep, we need direction from our Lord.

Getting lost is not the problem, it is finding our way back to the right path that is.Everyone will get lost at some point.For example, doing our daily devotions at one time might have been meaningful and intentional.We could still be going through the motions, but lose depth and heart. Even marriages may feel old.You may have care and concern for your spouse, but the relationship may lack depth.

You will drift but you need to find your way back to the right path immediately.When you drift, since God is your Shepard, He will speak to you and lead you. Jesus will speak to you and you will know.You must train your ears to Him and respond to him the first time.His voice will never be louder than the first time you hear it.If you ignore His voice, it will get softer and softer until you donít hear Him any more.It doesnít mean that He is not there and not speaking, it means we have stopped listening and our ears have become dull to His voice.

If you lose your way, look to the cross and head back to Calvary.In your relationships, marriages, and families, agree that if you lose your way, meet back at Calvary.†† Even if your spouse and family donít want to meet you there, go to Christ anyway.Renew your heart with Jesus at Calvary.The voice of God will always be speaking to you, but will you hear him?

2. But if it is A PATTERN, we need correcting.

In your walk, are you stumbling over the same things over and over again?

Are you still struggling with your issues, repeatedly that it becomes a pattern??Struggles can destroy your relationships.These patterns need an intervention from God.

A Shepherd will search for a lamb that has strayed from the flock.If the lamb is constantly straying, the Shepherd will search for that lamb, and break its foreleg.He will then carry the lamb over his shoulder and nurtureit until its leg heals. And when the lambís foreleg has healed it will be sure to stay close to the Shepherd.It may sound harsh, but the Shepherdís correction of the lamb is out of love and protection.In our own lives God allows things to break us in order for us to draw near to Him and correct ourselves to the right path.God wants you to draw close to Him. He loves and forgives us, but He wants us to correct ourselves and not continue to sin.He wants us on the right path.

As it is written, ďWhat shall we say? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!" (Rom. 6:1-2)

God loves you. When you realize how much He loves you, you will change your ways.Godís love and forgiveness is to help us get on the right path.His love and forgiveness is the power to change.If you want to show God how much you appreciate His love and forgiveness Ė make the change. When you are broken, donít stay mad at God, just look to the Shepherd and He will lead and give you the power to go back on the right path. Remember Ö

3. The ROAD I am on always determines where I end up.

It doesnít matter what your intentions are, itís the choices and actions that you make that determines where you will be. You can have great intentions, but how you live is the determining factor.†† We all have the propensity to choose paths that we donít want to go on.It is not what you are intending to do, but what you are doing. The Israelites intended and wanted to love and worship God, but their actions consisted of bowing down and worshiping foreign idols. The prophet Jeremiah scolded the Israelites for behaving contrary to what they said they wanted. He asked,"...What are you doing on the road to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates? Your own wickedness will correct you" (Jer. 2:18-19).

When you feel like you are drifting, look to the cross and return to Calvary.Be renewed and refreshed by looking to Jesus and hearing His voice.Keep your heart renewed in Him so the enemy wonít steal your joy.Press in to God and live out your intentions.Change your life by always returning to Jesus.

Discussion

  1. What does it mean to live a life of actions as opposed to a life of intentions?
  2. Why is it important to look to Calvary when you drift?
  3. How do you get back on the right path when you drift?
  4. How are we like sheep?
  5. Why do we sometimes need to be broken?
  6. What determines where you will end up? Why?