In the verses below I want to focus on a single phrase that I will address below.
14 So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them. Deuteronomy 28:14 (NKJV)
1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 2 Chronicles 34:1–2 (NKJV)
27 Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:27 (NKJV)
Not turning aside ‘to the right or the left’ is the phrase. Let me give you my paraphrase, ‘Ignore distractions and remained focused on the task at hand.’ When it comes to following Jesus, this is sound advice.
When we choose to follow Him this is what He desires to do in our lives, lead us in the way of wisdom and follow the path He is leading us on. An interesting analogy I see comes from my hiking. I have hiked up a lot of mountains and sometimes there is a clear view of the trail ahead and other times you can hardly see around the next bend. When the trail narrows in the trees you can see the person in front of you, often not beyond them or very little. You stay on the path by focusing on the person ahead of you and trusting their leading. If we take that back to following Jesus there is an important truth. As we walk through life when we will encounter difficult times and it becomes difficult to see the road ahead. This is when we need to be more aware of and dependent on His leading.
As you walk with and seek to follow Him here are some things you may find helpful. I regularly focus on them in prayer and they are rooted in my awareness of Ephesians 2:10. He has works and a plan for me so I want to discern and walk it out with Him each day. My goal is to be sensitive to His leading and respond with obedience. To that end I reflect on or pray about these areas.
- Jesus, I begin my day connecting to Your presence and focusing on You aligning me for today.
- Holy Spirit, as I sit and walk with Jesus, I ask You to draw me into the subtleties of the interaction that I might deepen my awareness of Your presence and leading.
- Father/Jesus, I thank You that You are here. I give myself to You afresh today. What do You have for me to do today? (Over saturating our soul with activity dulls our spirit.)
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)
If we approach our walk with Him with this type of perspective, I think we will find ourselves not ‘turning to the right of the left.’ I don’t anticipate any of us will do this perfectly but I believe doing it will lead to us staying focused on and attentive to His agenda and avoiding distractions.