Getting Traction

My wife Jean recently commented how long it has been since we had our television on. We spend a lot of free time reading our Bibles and studying different topics. This is true, for two reasons. First is our enjoyment of studying God’s Word and second is the lack of quality television programming today. When I was young there was a selection of high quality, intellectually stimulating programs that I never missed. A prime example is The Dukes of Hazzard. (That was a test to see how well my dry sarcastic humor translates from speaking to writing.)

One thing that always stood out to me about the Duke boys and their General Lee was the amazing ability of the Dodge Charger to squeal its tires on gravel roads. I grew up on a farm and know for a fact no other vehicle can accomplish this feat. I’ve tried. The problem with big V8 engines generating massive torque on gravel is traction.

Sometimes in life it seems like we don’t have much traction. Christians have access to plenty of power, the problem arises where the rubber meets the road so to speak. Do you find a disconnect between your spiritual engine revving and your forward progress? I was reading Deuteronomy 28 and wondered about the connection between traction and obedience, specifically diligent obedience. It is rather obvious what the Lord expected of the nation of Israel in order to walk in His promised blessing. Take a look at the first two verses.

Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God. [NASB]

I can’t count how many times I have heard a Christian reference “the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath” found in verse 13. I also can’t recall anyone who quoted the rest of the verse. There is a pesky “if” statement which means the good stuff doesn’t apply without meeting the criteria.

The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe [them] carefully, 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. [NASB]

I see a couple of not so popular phrases that require diligent obedience and careful observation of God’s commandments. Is there something He is telling you to do but you are hesitant? Maybe you know of something that you need to set aside but haven’t. Are you carefully observing His commandments by reading your Bible consistently and applying what you read? Are you diligent to attend church as a contributing member, not a hearer only? We can all improve in these practical areas, it is a matter of choice. Each correct choice is an increase in traction propelling us forward.

When is the last time you pondered the theological implications of life in Hazzard County?

Published by Eric M. Johnson

I am a follower of Christ, husband to a beautiful worshiper, and father to two amazing sons. My day job is at a great company in which I am fortunate to be a partner. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and a Master of Science Degree in Information Systems. I enjoy studying God's Word and have taken several graduate level Biblical Studies courses, never in pursuit of a degree. In my free time I enjoy traveling, outdoors, and sports. I am an Iowa Hawkeye fan which is a character building experience.

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