Align with God
(Post 4 of 5)

Man walking in an art gallery while trying to align with the action of a wood sculpture of a man walking

 

What would happen if the pilots of the United States Navy Blue Angels fail to follow the command of their Flight Leader? I will not venture a guess, but the gaze from onlookers would shift form admiration to disillusionment. Falling short of the teamwork and professionalism we expect of each pilot, the United States Navy and MarineCorps could lose credibility. Their reputation of excellence could be replaced by irreverence.

Accidents do happen, but we don’t expect them from these ranking officers of the US Navy and Marine Corps who each tallied at least 1250 hours of flight experience. People across the globe have witnessed their competency as they blaze at speeds up to 700 mph during an air show and buzz as close as 18” between wings. The role of the Flight Leader is critical and it demands precision from each team member. The slightest error can be devastating.

Following the direction of God as our Flight Leader should also demand excellence. God gave us freedom, not to live comfortably, but to obey Him and sacrifice in order to accomplish what is important to Him. We should follow His flight plan with intention and focus.

 

Silhouette of a jet plane used in this post as an indication of a break in thought

 

This post offers a deeper look at Life Pursuit 3 in The Most Important Life Pursuits. Life Pursuit 3 is: Align with God.

 

For those of us who call ourselves Christians: Are God’s priorities our priorities? Do we correct and retract our opinions and preferences when we discover they don’t match God’s written truth? Do we step into each day with faith, humility, and sacrifice in order to carry out God’s plan for our lives?

God expects us to show up for Him:

·       To be present during the morning roll call

·       To pay attention to His daily objectives

·       To practice excellence

·       To carry out our responsibilities according to the roles He assigned to us as members of the body of believers

Some Christians don’t wake up for God’s roll call, yet they plead for His help when crisis hits. Some put their energy into meaningful endeavors that benefit others, including the outcast and oppressed, yet they overlook the eternal focus that is so clearly outlined in His Word. God asked us to further the reach of His gospel – to share the good news of eternal life, to teach His deeper truths, and to lead His followers into obedience to His Word. And He expects us to do all of this while giving honor and glory to Him (Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Corinthians 10:31-33, 1 Peter 3:15-18).

I often lose sight of God’s priorities. I fall out of alignment again and again.

How can we correct and maintain our alignment with God?

 

Silhouette of a jet plane used in this post as an indication of a break in thought

 

1.     Recognize how much God did and does for us

God engineered a grand plan to reconcile us to Himself even before our downfall in the Garden of Eden. He carried it out. He authored His holy Word by inspiring human writers. He developed the story of His Son throughout the pages of genealogies, generations, and nations. He sacrificed that very same Son, His only Son, to satisfy the penalty of our sins and sinfulness. Jesus took the fall for us and we look forward to endless pages into eternity with Him (1 Peter 1:20-21, Acts 3:12-26, Acts 7:2-38ff).

Jesus saved us. We couldn’t do it ourselves.

Take some time to reflect on this.

Since He did this for us, it behooves us to value and work on our relationship with Him so that we walk alongside Him, hand in hand, as He leads us into life.

 

2.     Follow the example of Jesus

Jesus was always right and righteous as a man on earth. Why? Not simply because He was God, but because He didn’t try to please Himself. He aligned with God, His Father, and He actively worked to please Him (John 5:30).

Is the same true for us?

Or are we like some who witnessed the miraculous “feeding of 5,000” (John 6) and found Jesus later, calling Him Rabbi and giving honor to Him as their master. Jesus knew they followed for the wrong reasons. They didn’t really consider Him their Rabbi, for when Jesus told them He was the Son of God and the bread of life, they criticized Him. Jesus wasn’t the Son of God they’d hoped for, or so they reasoned. They also didn’t like what it took to follow Him. They said, “What he says is hard to accept. Who wants to listen to him anymore?”

Just days later, some of the Jews marveled at how this uneducated Jesus knew so much. Jesus replied that what He teaches comes from God and not from Himself or for His own glory (John 7:15-18). The religious leaders alleged that Jesus was a blasphemer, but could never prove Him wrong, even as He hung on the cross. Some wondered if the religious leaders knew He was the Messiah (John7:26). The temple guards wondered, too, because no one ever spoke as Jesus spoke (John 7:45-46). Those who took notice knew Jesus spoke God’s truth.


Those who took notice
knew Jesus spoke God's truth
***

  

Train tracks next to a meadow of tall grasses and trees. Text reads: Parallel. When your goal is to please God instead of yourself, you will be aligned with God. Instruct yourself about God. John 5:30, Ephesians 2:10, and Colossians 3:16-17.

 

3.     Spend time in God’s Word

This goes without saying but we still need to ask ourselves: Do we read God’s Word regularly and often? Do we meditate on it? Do we dig in and study it? Do we search our hearts in prayer for how it relates to our life experiences?

Do we long for God’s Word?
 

1 Peter 2:2-3

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk,
so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Consider this from The Most Important Life Pursuits:

If we have not been studying God’s Word to understand more about Him and what He cares about, we are not aligned with Him. For we are naturally sinful and self-absorbed. Jesus said our flesh is weak, despite how earnest we may feel in our hearts (Matthew 26:41). And Paul explained that without Jesus and God’s Word, he would not have chosen to do what is right. His sinful nature was just too overwhelming. (See Romans 7:18-25.)

 

We need God’s Word to permeate our heads and our hearts, and we need to ruminate over it in prayer and in song. This is how we put off our own desires and become the people God planned for us to become. (See Colossians 3:1-17 and Ephesians 2:1-10.)

Here’s another important question: Do we allow God’s truth to shape our values, our opinions, and our practices? We do if we seek to align ourselves with God. Think through all the activities and conversations we have each day – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, …, even Sunday. How confidently do our choices, words, and actions align with what we’ve learned from God’s Word? How often do we sacrifice in order to walk parallel with God – hand in hand with Him?


Do we allow God's truth to shape our
values, our opinions, and our practices?

***

 

4.     Commit to God’s truth, no matter what

Truth is truth, even when it doesn’t seem to matter. God’s truth doesn’t change with the trends or situations in this world. And we certainly should not tweak it to make our experiences easier to bear or more palatable in our social circles. (See Psalm 119:89-961 Corinthians 4:1-7, and Hebrews 13:5-9.)


God's truth doesn't change with
the trends or situations in this world.
We don't need to tweak it to make
our experiences easier to bear.

***

God’s priorities should always top our to-do lists, even when they’re unpopular. Do we sometimes try to justify our opinions and decisions with Bible verses or religious anecdotes? This is backwards. We need to make our decisions based on truths we’ve come to understand from studying God’s Word. Purpose to please and obey God. His ways are right, no matter what.

 

Silhouette of a jet plane used in this post as an indication of a break in thought

 

Sometimes when I write, I hit a wall because I struggle with the topic on hand. I’m not really that great at pleasing or aligning with God. While writing this post, I faced direct attacks from the enemy. The spiritual battle is real, and it’s both subtle and direct (1 Peter 5:8-9, Ephesians 6:10-11).

The past several weeks have been challenging. This organized world, directed by Satan and his army, knows my self-destruct buttons. It targets my weak spots. Bandages are not good enough to live as a conqueror (Romans 8:37-39). I need to align with God who is both my defense and my offense.

Sometimes we don’t want to repent, but aligning with God involves repentance. We need to understand that our affection with sin is a deception of the enemy specially targeted to bring our downfall (Colossians 3). Let’s keep our eyes on the gospel, God’s kingdom, and Heaven. God’s priorities are eternal and the eternal destination of those around us are at stake.


Align with God. He is our Flight Leader.

 

 

Read the other 3 life pursuits and the intro:
Intro: The Most Important Life Pursuits
1. 
Do We Value Others?
2. Am I Always Right?
4. Trust Jesus. It's Time.

If you have questions about Jesus, how He aligned with God, and how we can align with Him, please email me at authordlv@att.net. He sacrificed for us.

Read more blog posts here.

 

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Comments

  1. Excellent message. Thank you for this encouragement and inspiration.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting, Melissa, and for your encouragement as well.

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  2. Such an important and timely message. Thank you, Stephen!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jessica. I pray many can take this message to heart and we can do our part to further the gospel. Thank you for reading.

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  3. Thank you for the reminder in this wonderful message. I want to stay in alignment with God every day

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    Replies
    1. Amen, as do I, Yvonne. It is hard but God can help us remain consistent and accomplish great things through us.

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  4. Too many of us are waiting for God to align with our plans, not the other way around!

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    Replies
    1. This is unfortunate and it is not a reflection of the true gospel. The true gospel transforms us and moves us to respond with humble sacrifice. Thank you for visiting.

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  5. This is such a good message, Stephen! Aligning with God is a daily, moment by moment challenge. In times of distress and overwhelm, of sickness and fatigue, we can step out of alignment and crash the jet, bumping into others, and going up in flames. Lord, enable us to align with you.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Melinda, aligning with God is certainly a moment by moment challenge. Emphasis on challenge. If we're not sideswiped by the world, we are run astray even by our own selves! Oh, how we need God in His mercy and grace to protect us and gift us with the faith we need to align with Him. And I love how you maintained the jet flight illustration.

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