You’ve got to know something’s wrong when you pass numerous broken down cars on your usually smooth commute. In July 2018, a delivery truck had pumped the wrong fuel in underground tanks at several gas stations. Many Virginia motorists who had filled their tanks with Regular gas got Diesel instead. Some cars sputtered down the highway and others seized up entirely.

I’ve often thought about these drivers. It seemed so right filling their cars that day. The pump was labeled Regular. Why would they expect anything else?

King Solomon, one of Israel’s greatest leaders, revered for godly wisdom, wrote about assuming you’re getting the right thing in Proverbs:

“There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” Proverbs 14:12 (NLT)

I recognize that path. It’s the avenue society says is best for me, too. The one where I figure out what makes me happy and how to get it — the all-about-me road. I spend my time doing things I enjoy, buying things I like, and seeking a safe, comfortable life. I decide what’s right and wrong, what’s fair and unfair. It does seem right. It seems normal.

What could be wrong with it? I’m not hurting anyone else. We all think this way sometimes. Problem is that kind of thinking can lead us down a dark path.

Solomon says it ends in death. Spiritual Death. Sputtering away from the path God intended. Dying, separated from the abundant life God planned for us.

The first commandment given to Moses says, “You must not have any other god but me.” Exodus 20:3 (NLT)

That includes us. We can’t spend our lives chasing pleasures, living by our own code of ethics, always putting ourselves first. That’s placing us before God — making little gods of ourselves. When we trust and obey God, we put Him in the rightful place as Lord of our lives. We align our wants with what He wants. We respect His authority in our lives as our Heavenly Father.

Jesus Christ is the perfect example of the proper relationship to the Father. He sought time alone with Him, counsel from Him, and He totally surrendered to God’s plan. Even in the face of crucifixion, Jesus said,

“I want your will to be done, not mine.” Luke 22:42 (NLT)

When Jehovah God delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses for His people (Exodus 20:1-20), it was not so much a list of do’s and don’ts, as some might interpret. It was God’s plumb line for humanity. He wanted us to walk in abundant life, not death. Days with purpose.

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8 (NLT)

Oh Lord Jesus, please help us to know when we are fueling our earthly vessels with the emptiness of this world. We need discernment from the Holy Spirit as we are prone to stray without even knowing it. Accept our confession, oh merciful God. We are guilty of putting ourselves before you. We don’t want to have any other god but You. Please forgive us, change us, and rescue us from ourselves — put us on Your pathway for our lives. Thank you for your unending grace and faithfulness. Amen.

Copyright © 2019 Beth Patch, used with permission.