“Stay in your lane!” is a popular saying these days that basically means to stick to your path, to what you know and to what you do.
Like most things, it’s not original.
There are several verses in the Bible telling believers to “stay in their lane.” Or as the Bible puts it, “turning neither to the right nor the left.”
Deuteronomy 5:32 say, “So you shall observe to do just as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left.”
The Bible even tells us why- because following God’s commandments brings us success:
Joshua 1:7 “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.”
…and keeps us from evil:
Proverbs 4:27 “Do not turn to the right nor to the left;Turn your foot from evil.”
… and prevents us from following false gods:
Deuteronomy 28:14 “and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.”
However, we have an enemy and his sole task is to get us to turn from the word of God and distract us from walking the straight and narrow path. He uses various means and methods to deceive us and lure us away and one of the most popular is through our feelings.
Gods Word tells us in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Satan knows it, understands it and knows how to manipulate situations to rile up our emotions. Have you noticed how so many of the things happening in the world today invoke an immediate, visceral response? Anger, outrage, frustration, hatred, desperation- it’s emotional terrorism.
It is the complete opposite of the promptings of the Holy Spirit who is not in the thunder and lightening, but is the “…still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12); the calm in the storm (Matthew 8:23-27); and the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
What do you do when you find yourself succumbing to the onslaught and veering off the path to chase the latest distraction?
- Do what the Word says and “bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”- 2 Corinthians 10:5. Our enemy’s goal is to get us away from God when instead we should have Him in our forethought at all times. Dig in, ground yourself in the Word and allow it to direct your thoughts and in turn your actions.
- Test the spirit. 1 John 4:1-6 gives an example of testing a spirit such as an Angel that appears to us, but the word spirit has two definitions and the other one defines a particular way of thinking, feeling or behaving, especially a way that is particular to a group of people, an activity, a time or a place. (Ex: they acted in the spirit of Christmas). God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. Does the path you are on bring out the Fruits of the Spirit (love, peace, joy, temperance, long suffering etc) in you, your family, your community? Anything else is from the enemy.
- Pray about it! The devil’s distractions are designed to fool us into believing we are following Christ’s will without actually ever consulting Him. Ask God and don’t make a move until you get a response. Better to hunker down and stay in your lane rather than move too quick and realize too late that you’ve traveled off the path.
We are warned to stay sober and vigilant, to be expectant of Satan’s attacks and prepared with our weapons of faith to conquer and be victorious. Avoid the distractions, look neither to the right nor the left, and stay in your lane as you run your race.