Slippery Slopes and Dangerous Ditches

imageNew York City got sacked with snow for the first blizzard of 2016. I know many other areas got hit bad as well. We suffer, especially in our neighborhood because the plow takes longer to pass through our streets. In our part of town it is also primarily hills. This makes for some serious hazardous conditions when the weather takes its toll. Blizzards, icy conditions or rain storms bring havoc to our small town. It is horrible. The streets are covered with the remains of snow, deeply impacting everyone’s commute. Driving in to work, I have to consider the best roads to take. There is a lot of planning to pass through the best detours to avoid further delays.

Sure enough, as I took the first detour to bypass a huge downward hill—clearly you can see a huge truck, flashing lights and another car that took out the top of the hill. It was certainly a bad slippery slope and a dangerous ditch that drivers must avoid. We have to ensure at all costs that we always avoid the most dangerous things, as it impacts our health, mental state and even our souls.

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Hebrews 12:1-3 (The Message)

We need to blaze the way. No matter how much is on that ground–We will get through it the best way. As long as we handle our business before God we are sure to succeed at what we do. All those other messes that we leave out for clean up later, will eventually yield its consequential fruit.

A recent blog from titled, “Messy Floors, Messy Relationships” mentioned a key point in dealing with these issues.

“don’t wait too long for reconciliation because just like that bowl of spilled cereal, the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to clean up.”
By Amanda Wells

I like to think about that concept as it relates to any issue that could potentially fester and blow up into something dangerous to the soul. It could be dealing with sin, temptations, addictions, hardships or any other rising circumstance that needs to be addressed immediately. Just like the “Messy Floor” blog with the spilled cereal and milk. If you clean it up right away it is easier. If you wait longer, it gets caked in and dried up, making it much more difficult to clean.

On that advice, let’s try to nip it in the bud. Once it starts to fester, stop it.

Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.
Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
Proverbs 4:14-15 (New International Version)

How can we turn if we are in waist deep?

When it was at the ankle, was the time to escape it–it is a great opportunity for growth and strength. A great opportunity to conquer. Well just like Esau, we can’t trade in that birthright of what belongs to us. God wants us sharp, prepared and blessed at all times when we walk the ways of right living.

Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.
Hebrews 12:16-17 (The Message)

Don’t satisfy the short-term appetite for what is closest to you or easiest for you. The hardest route is usually the path to take. It is for the best. It will take work. It will require consistency. It is all about surrendering– in the most radical ways, which is absolutely [without exception; completely; wholly; entirely] and irrevocably [not to be revoked or recalled; unable to be repealed or annulled; unalterable].

So when you feel yourself heading down that slippery slope or dangerous ditch, try these things:

  • Get help and lots of it!
  • Keep prayerful!
  • Study the word!
  • Make changes!

Don’t feel like those things don’t work. They work when we keep at them. We always need to admit when a weakness is present so that we can be strengthened. That takes much. If you are drowning in an ocean you shout for help! There is a “Lifeguard” ALWAYS on duty by the name of Jesus, and He will lead the way to your safety and success.

Little reminder for us all:

This is what the Lord says—
Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
Who teaches you what is best for you,
Who directs you in the way you should go.”
Isaiah 48:17 (New International Version)

About Christina

Blessings to all that are viewing this. My name is Christina Cruz-Mendez. I am a Senior Pastor at Mission United International Church in Yonkers, NY working along side my husband Juan A. Mendez Jr. Senior Pastor, currently residing in Canton, Georgia. We have been together for 29 years with 2 children that God has blessed us with. Makes us the family of four - "JusChrist4". I have been a Christian and active in ministry for about 22 years now. Through all the rocky and smooth roads in life I am eternally grateful that God has brought me this far in life to share with the world what He is doing in me, through me and for me. View all posts by Christina

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