The Turn indicator

James 4.8

“Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:7-8

We just finished Vacation Bible School and we were so blessed in the Lord! Our theme was “Flight School, Aiming High in Jesus”! One song that I particularly liked was “Sin is a Drag.” The children loved it as well for the motion was to lean to the side and go further and further down and come back to level and raise you hands up, up, and up!

Sin is a drag that will pull you down
Sin is a drag that will pull you down
Sin is a drag that will pull you down
But Faith (clap, clap)
Will lift (clap, clap)
You Up-
up, uP, UP!

But Faith (clap, clap)
Will lift (clap, clap)
You Up-
up, uP, UP!

The James passage gives us the same wisdom of God as the song. Draw near to God, resist the devil, humble yourself, repent- God will draw near and exalt us. What a loving, gracious, and merciful God He is!

One lesson was focused on trusting the instrument panel- trusting God and not leaning on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-7).  God has given us many instruments- the Person of the Holy Spirit (who is God), His Holy Word, Prayer- and these instruments give us indicators of our heart health.

To keep this post reasonable, I won’t go through all the indicators on the instrument panel but the one indicator that we as believers may need to pay a little more attention to is the “Turn Coordinator.”  The indicator that God speaks of in the James passage above. God speaks by His Spirit through His Word and prayer to tell us to turn and sometimes we keeping flying head on until we crash. 

Let’s be careful not to get caught on the notion that sin is relative and God’s Word is outdated…lies and deceit from the enemy of man’s soul. The wonderful, beautiful grace of repentance should be embraced by every believer and applied as often as needed in order that our hearts be cleansed. 

On the same night that repentance was part of our discussion, I came home and this article was in my reading. I thought it was a perfect illustration of an indicator saying turn and how obedience to do so resulted in God’s glory and blessed and benefited Derek Carr and others… and will continue to do so. Please do not let the word ‘tithing’ stop you from reading the article, the example speaks to the turn indicator. 🙂

Raiders’ Carr says tithing tops priority list

by Tim Ellsworth, posted Monday, June 26, 2017 (3 days ago)

NASHVILLE (BP) — When Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr signed a contract extension making him the highest paid player in NFL history, he was quick to identify one of his top priorities — tithing.

“The first thing I’ll do is I’ll pay my tithe like I have since I was in college getting $700 on a scholarship check,” Carr said at a June 23 press conference following the signing. “That won’t change.”

Carr and the Raiders agreed to a five-year, $125 million extension that will keep him in silver and black through 2022.

“First and foremost, I’m just blessed and honored to be sitting here today,” Carr said in his opening comments at the press conference. “I dreamed of this day when I was a little kid, and it’s here. I just thank God for this opportunity.”

An outspoken Christian, Carr said he was excited about the contract because he wanted to continue playing for the Raiders, and because of how he and his wife Heather would use the money.

“This money’s going to help a lot of people,” he said. “I’m very thankful to have it, that it’s in our hands, because it’s going to help people not only in this country but in a lot of countries around the world. That’s what’s exciting to me.”

The Raiders drafted Carr out of Fresno State in the second round of the 2014 draft. In three seasons with the team, Carr has established himself as one of the league’s elite passers. In 2016, he led Oakland to a 12-4 record with 3,937 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

His older brother David also played quarterback at Fresno State and was the top pick in the 2002 NFL draft by the Houston Texans. David retired from the NFL after the 2012 season.

Though he grew up in a Christian home, it wasn’t until college that Carr began to take his faith seriously, thanks mainly to a letter he received from Heather. They were just friends at the time, but Heather confronted Carr about his profession of faith that didn’t match up with his actions.

“He would say one thing but act the opposite way,” Heather said in a video produced by The Increase, an organization that shares the Christian testimonies of professional athletes. “He was talking about God and how much he loved God, and then I would see him going to the parties, hanging out with the girls.”

That letter from Heather was a wake-up call to Carr. He repented of the way he had been living, told his teammates that he had done a poor job of living the Christian life and pledged to be a better example to them going forward.

Lorne Bell, the area representative for the Fresno County Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was a teammate of Carr’s for two years and was there when Carr made that confession to the team in 2009. Bell said Carr apologized and asked his teammates to help keep him accountable in his relationship with Christ.

“This guy is real,” Bell remembers thinking. “I’ve seen that continue since he graduated. I know that Derek’s faith is genuine. He really loves the Lord. It’s not fake. It’s not for the cameras. God is number one in his life.”

Carr and Heather eventually began dating and then married in 2012.

Carr, whose grandfather was a pastor for more than 40 years, has a tattoo on his left wrist with the Scripture reference Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you’ — this is the LORD’s declaration — ‘plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'”

On his website, Carr says he wants to use football as a means of glorifying God and sharing his faith with others.

“Football is God’s gift to me and I am thankful he chose me to be the steward of this gift,” Carr writes. “Being a quarterback is what I do but it does not define who I am. I am first and foremost a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Each time I step out on the field I play my heart out for the Lord.”

Tim Ellsworth writes for Baptist Press and is an associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn.


James 4.7-8

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

14 thoughts on “The Turn indicator

  1. Awesome article about Derek Carr’s faith and Who is first in his life. I often wonder how many people do not see these “turn indicators” in their lives God places before them. I know it took me quite a long time, and I still sometimes want to do my own thing in some areas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, so awesome and example to us. Even as Christians, we will sometimes ignore the nudging of the Holy Spirit that tells us to turn when we are getting it wrong. Praise God that He is patient, long-suffering, and will discipline us…because He loves us! Praise His Name! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Great story to the glory of God! We must pray for Derek and his family for we know the enemy will come after him to destroy his witness. But greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. It is why we must be diligent to walk by the Spirit, spend time with the Lord 1:1 in study, meditation, and prayer so our hearts can be His display in this world. I am praying as you to hear His voice and turn as necessary and not crash! 🙂 Blessings today!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, thanks for that story. I was not familiar with Carr, but now I will keep a watch and a prayer for him. What an awesome inspiration! And I’m old enough to be his dad! Faith is ageless and we can all learn, one from another. Even the letter from his (then) girlfriend is an inspiration, and that he was effected and took it to heart, amazing!
    Personally, looking that far back, I see that God had given me many turn indicators, so many flashing lights as I zipped past them over the years. It wasn’t until I drove my spiritual life into a proverbial tree that I stopped and looked up at God. But, he did get through. He turned my path, and I’m so thankful for those indicators, even the ones I still get!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blessings today, thanks so much for sharing and adding to our discussion. Faith truly is ageless and we learn from your life along with Derek’s. Thanking God for His grace, tender mercy, and faithfulness…in this present session of life!

      Liked by 1 person

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