I have heard that they get paid pretty well. They sure look like they are having fun rocking out on the street corner with a huge arrow-shaped sign that can be tossed and spun in every direction. Do they get your attention? My 3-year-old son always notices them, even when I do not. The other day we were driving and he exclaimed loudly, “We’re supposed to go THAT way Mom!” I did not know what he meant at first, but then I saw the huge arrow and funky-haired boy with his headphones in, pointing me on to the great sale. I had to explain to my son that those signs are different from street signs and they do not tell us what we have to do.
This experience was a great analogy for what often happens to a Christian as they try to walk the straight and narrow way (Mt. 7:13-14). There can be distractions, false teachers and temptations that are screaming out to us “GO THIS WAY”! The Hebrew writer encouraged us concerning these things in this way,
Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:1-2a)
Many things distract us from our walk with Christ. We are too busy watching television, taking our kids to soccer practice or playing on Facebook to make time for Bible study or prayer. Relaxing has become more important than Righteousness.
We are distracted when we fail to talk about spiritual things in our conversations with non-Christians. We talk about everything from movies to parenting issues, but we conveniently leave Christ out of the conversation. Remind yourself daily of Paul’s exhortation in Romans when he says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
Unfortunately many believers have been encumbered in their walks because they have been led astray by false teachers. They may have been going the right way, but much like the big arrow analogy they follow the false signs instead of the true street signs. Instead of looking to the word for their answers, they have put their trust in men. The Bible tells us to beware of false teachers because many Christians have been led astray by them. The warning directly after the verses about the straight and narrow path in Matthew 7 says,
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15) The Bible warns that false teachers may cause us to leave the straight and narrow way.
Sin “ensnares” or “entangles” us. What an excellent mental image this word gives us of sin wrapping around us tightly intertwined and twisted, binding us like an animal lured to a trap. The Bible also says that sin easily ensnares us. This fact should give us all the more reason to be on our guard, prepared and aware of temptation so that we make it more difficult for ourselves to be ensnared. If we are ensnared by sin we are unable to walk the straight and narrow way.
So, what should we do in order to lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us? Fix our eyes on JESUS! This is the only answer for how to stay on the straight and narrow way without giving in to the bombarding distractions, false teachers and sin. We fix our eyes on Jesus by praying to God through Him and having a personal relationship with Him. We fix our eyes on Jesus by reading the word and learning how to love and serve Him. We fix our eyes on Jesus by focusing on Him in our daily activities. When the giant arrows of this world scream out to us “GO THIS WAY!” it is our goal to resist them and keep our eyes focused on Christ and the straight and narrow way.
By Aimee Lemus
Aimee and her husband, Andrew, serve with the Norco church of Christ in Norco, CA. Both Aimee and Andrew hold Bachelors degrees from the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. Her husband is the minister and evangelist. Aimee is a stay-at-home-mom to Andrew Jr. and Annabella.