When you feel off track, do this.
I feel off track.
We are in the middle of one of the most tumultuous times that I (Nick) have ever experienced in my 37.5 years on this earth, at least that I can remember.
In the midst of everything going on in our world right now: an election, a pandemic, civil unrest, and financial strain, everything has become so polarized.
Everything feels off track.
People are polarized over who they want to see win the election, what their political view is, if you should wear a mask or not.
People are polarized over anything and everything that you can imagine in life right now. Heck, I’m polarized because its college football season.
Everything is divided, and I think that if we focus on these negative things, we can find ourselves in a state of spiritual misalignment. Now, what does that mean? Let me put it in the context of a car.
If you have a car that’s out of alignment, that means it pulls to one side of the road or another. You’re trying to keep your car in your lane, but it is constantly wanting to pull to one side.
Feeling off track like uneven tires
What happens is it wears down the tires unevenly (I know some of you are going to go check your tires now). So it’s very important that you keep your car in alignment because it extends the life of your tires and makes it safer to drive.
But if your car is out of alignment, it doesn’t matter how many miles you drive, it will not return itself to alignment. You cannot drive it until it fixes itself.
In order to fix the alignment, you’ve got to take your car to a shop and they will align your tires for you. Then your car will drive straight again.
Now, have I driven a car for way longer than I should have while it was out of alignment? Absolutely I have. You know why? Because it is a minor problem that you don’t realize has long term effects.
The key here is, you can’t just drive the car expecting the problem to fix itself. It will not fix itself. You have to take it in or you are going to have long-term problems.
And our spiritual life is the same way.
I think we get to a point where we are just out of alignment and yet we continue to just keep driving. We tell ourselves that it’s going to straighten out.
When everything feels off track, what then?
What we don’t realize is that the further we drive when we are out of alignment, the further it’s taking us from where we want to be spiritually.
There’s more potential damage that’s happening to our spiritual life.
I want to share a popular verse, if you grew up in the church, you’ve probably heard it. But I want to share it in light of what I just said.
At the end of chapter 11 in Romans, Paul is talking to the people of Rome, and he’s been talking about who has known the mind of God enough to understand His ways or give Him counsel, no one.
He makes this big declaration of who God is, and how small we are in light of Him. You feel off track but then he moves into chapter 12.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind he will find acceptable.
This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
Now why do I share that verse in light of being misaligned? Because I think a lot of times, when we get misaligned, what we are really doing is failing to present ourselves as living sacrifices to God.
We get these ideas and desires that are more conformed to the world than they are to God. And listen, I’m not vilifying the things that you might want or want to do.
I have things that I want to buy or things I want to do. But it’s not about just that, it’s about the way we live and the way we conduct ourselves on a day to day basis.
We get to this point where we are moving in a direction and we fail to make God the number one priority in our lives.
Do you feel off track?
It’s easy to say that He is, it is a much harder thing to live like He is. And as we do that, we aren’t living as sacrifices.
We aren’t holy and acceptable to God because we are living for ourselves, not Him or others. And truly, to offer yourself as a living sacrifice, and to be holy and acceptable to God, means to live your life in such a way that it points people to Jesus.
I know that’s super simple to say, and the big question is ‘how do you do that?’ I think there are a lot of ways that we can do that, but this isn’t necessarily about that. It’s about the concept of living in such a way that we’re bringing glory to God.
This is what some verses would call your reasonable act of worship.
This is being a believer at its most basic level.
Then he says “don’t be conformed to this world.” And I think that is important.
When we feel off track, I think it’s because we are letting the world conform us more than we are letting God conform us.
He says to be transformed by the renewal of your mind, but how do we renew our mind, how do we become transformed? We do that by:
- growing in our relationship with Jesus
- building strong relationships with other believers who love Jesus
- growing in who we are in Him and having confidence in that
- knowing our identity is secure in Him
In transforming our mind, we don’t have to worry about what’s happening in the world. We don’t have to stress about who wins the election.
We don’t have to be caught up in what sports team wins (as hard as it is for me to say that). We don’t have to worry about all of these things because we know who we are and where we are secure.
We know that we are not a citizen of the United States of America, or the University of Georgia, or wherever it may be. We are a citizen of heaven, and that is our number one priority.
We become transformed by the renewing of our minds. Spend time with God daily. Pray to Him, pray for other people and our country, and pray for whatever it may be that you need to pray for.
God says that we may discern what is the will of God. Hey listen, when we feel off track, we are out of the will of God.
We can’t even know what the will of God is unless we are aligned with Him, unless we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
If we want to be transformed and not feel off track, then we’ve got to live in a way that we are sacrificing ourselves, who we are, and our own desires, for the well-being of others.
If you feel off track and know you are spiritually misaligned, reach out.
Reach out to your brothers and sisters, send us a message. If there are questions that you have, we are more than happy to answer those.
Most importantly, you need to be connected to a strong faith community close by, with people, face to face.
I hope this encourages you.