There were stretches on our back roads adventure that were smooth sailing. Easy roads without elevation changes or blind curves. Other than watching the speed limit, we could coast along enjoying the scenery.

Thankfully we have times in our lives like that as well. Days where all our plans come together. Months where no one gets sick. But I’ve found we don’t stay in coasting mode long.

David, (as in the greatest King Israel ever had), met many obstacles on his path towards ruling the nation of Israel. But then came the time of coasting. Life is good: wealth, popularity, heirs. What more could he want? So, when he neglected to lead his army on an expedition and decided instead to stay home, coasting up to the roof for some nighttime fresh air made for a whole lot of trouble. (See 2Samuel 11-12)

We tend to enjoy life when all seems well, we tend also to forget/neglect/ignore God. We get a little too comfortable. We begin to think we deserve the break, the financial security, the lack of conflict, the good health, the esteem.

I’m not saying God allows troubles to come our way just when things are going well. God is always about our good and His glory. Honestly, it really comes down to our priorities getting off track – forgetting how much we need to stay connected to our Savior – that leads to many of our issues. “I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other!” (Revelation 3:15 BSB – see 3:14-22 for how the Lord feels about our apathy)

Then again, God does often get our attention in a way that will grow us. And there’s the fact that we live in a fallen world, and we can’t escape those effects. As I drove the easy stretches of road, taking in all the scenery, I would sometimes hear the bump bump bump of having gone over the double yellow line; or the rerouting of the gps because I missed a turn. Both got my attention, both helped me pay attention to what was important.

The church at Laodicea mentioned above in Revelation 3 looked like they followed Jesus. But the Holy Spirit knows our hearts. Outward appearances aren’t enough. God wants our hearts. Not because it benefits Him, but because He knows it’s what we need to truly live the life He has routed out for us. “The Lord does not look at things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1Samuel 16:7b NIV)

Our enemy is sly (satan) and deception is his specialty. We can’t let him, or the world distract us. Keeping focused on the journey towards eternity, whether we’re in coasting mode or survival mode, will get us to where we’re going. “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b NLT)

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