Stop Means Stop
“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned (brought) the words of the people unto the LORD.” Exodus 19:7-8
I have gotten myself into hot water many times because I took laws to mean what I interpreted them to be, instead of treating them as law. I sought to find creative loopholes around obeying the rules. If there were “no entry” signs or a blocked entrance, I just looked for other ways to enter into an establishment. I saw these hindrances as minor inconveniences, but never as a true stop sign. Spiritually, I have done this in my life as well, doing “California stops” at God’s stop signs.
I had just turned 18 and been driving for six months or so. I thought I was a great driver. I drove fast many times without being detected, and I felt invincible until I found out the hard way. I was driving to see a friend one day, and another friend was following behind me. In an effort to be cool, I was speeding a little bit. I was going about 40 mph in a residential area when I spotted a motorcycle cop who had the drop on me. He was waiting for me to drive through the neighborhood, and I saw his radar gun pointed right at me. He hit the lights and I thought about punching the gas for a second, but I thought better of it and pulled over.
I received a speeding ticket, but figured I would just pay for driving class and that would be it. The ticket curbed my speeding for about a week or so, but soon I was back to my old ways. I took the truck to school that day, and was supposed to pick up my mom from her work and then head to driving school later that night. I was running a bit behind, so I thought I would pick up my pace to make up for lost time. I was only about a mile away from school when I came across an intersection that had a stop sign. I looked to my right and saw a car far off in the distance, so there was really no reason for me to stop at the stop sign. I slowed down enough to turn and then I realized the car that seemed so far off in the distance was gaining on me. The closer the car got, the more I began to realize that the car was following me. In fact, it was not any ordinary car, but rather the kind that has red and blue lights on the top of it. I pulled off into a neighborhood hoping to evade the law but as the songs says, “I fought the law and the law won”.
The police officer asked me why I did not stop, and I told him I thought it was safe not to stop as there were no cars coming in either direction. He told me the point of the stop sign is to stop, not to make a determination if there are cars coming or not. I learned that day that a stop sign means stop, and I also learned that someone is always watching, even when I don’t think anyone is. I learned things the hard way that day, and I had to explain to my mom why I got a ticket on the very day I was attending driving school for a previous ticket. I knew that I had better take heed to the law or things would only get worse for me.
Moses shared with the people of Israel God‘s laws, and they chose a proper response to God’s stop signs. It would be good for all of us to share their commitment, “All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.”
Where are you today friend? Are you stopping at the stop signs God has placed in your life, or do you simply slow down enough to see if anyone is watching? Do you take God’s commands as merely suggestions or do you desire to obey His every word? Are you hiding God’s word in your heart to combat the Devil when you are tempted to sin? May we do all that He has commanded us to do, and may we not have to learn the hard way. Joshua 1:8 states, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” May we find it more important to be prosperous with God than to be prosperous in this world.
Stay in the fight!