I was late. My first critique group meeting, and I had grossly underestimated the Saturday morning traffic. I pressed down harder on the accelerator and watched the speedometer hit 75. Only a couple more miles until my exit. That's when I saw them. Two police officers strategically located just beyond an overpass. I immediately eased my foot off the accelerator and tried to flow with the traffic, expecting to see blue lights flashing in my rearview mirror at any moment. But I must have escaped their detection. I didn't get pulled over.
I justified my speed because I was late for my meeting. I realized I wasn't really sorry I was driving ten miles over the speed limit. I would only have been sorry if I had gotten caught. Ouch! When I'm not on the lookout, sin has a way of creeping into my life ever so subtly.
My enemy is a crafty one. I'm given the heads up, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8; KJV). He's the master of deception, and would love nothing more than to get me to question and doubt God's word. Just like his question to Eve, Satan often seeks to derail me with the words, "Yea, hath God said...?" (Genesis 3:1).
Does God really mean everything He says? Absolutely. As I thought about speeding, I had to admit that the Bible is clear that I'm to submit to those in authority over me - including the government that enforces the speed limit I had disregarded. "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13:1). Unless the law of the land asks me to do something that goes against God's word, I'm to obey it.
But it goes far beyond speed limits and traffic laws. It has to do with my heart attitude. Do I routinely push the envelope in a selfish attempt to get my own way? Or am I willing to say with the Psalmist, David, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).
What would happen if I let go of my excuses, stopped justifying my behavior, and laid down the rights I think I deserve? If I truly let God search me and point out areas where I'm not pleasing Him, I could agree with Him, purge those stumbling blocks from my life, and live for Him. Instead of living a life enslaved to sin and self, I have the opportunity to make freedom in Christ a reality. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1).
Are there areas in your life where you're being tripped up by the enemy? Allow the Lord to open the door of your heart and expose any areas that don't measure up with His word. Agree with Him about your sin, decide to do things His way, and then stand in the liberty that He gives you!