When our sons were young, one of their favorite Golden Books was Tootle the Train. It was the story of a baby train in school to learn to be a Flyer, but he kept jumping off the track to go play in the meadow. It took all the people in the town working together to convince him that a train needs to "stay on the rails no matter what."
For a short while in the book, Tootle buys into the lie that life can be found in the meadow, racing horses and making daisy chains among the buttercups. But if you're a train and you go off the rails, you don't have a good time playing in the meadow—you get stuck in the dirt! Ever heard the phrase "train wreck"? It's what happens when a train doesn't "stay on the rails no matter what."
Trains weren't made to run on grass, they were made to run on rails. Staying on the rails is the only way Tootle could be the train he was designed to be.
This book reminds me that God's truth and precepts are like the rails on which a good life runs. God wants us to have good lives! Six times in the book of Deuteronomy, God tells us that the reason He wants us to obey His commands is that it may go well with us:
Deuteronomy 4:40 "So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time."
Deuteronomy 5:16 "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you."
Deuteronomy 5:33 "You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess."
Deuteronomy 6:3 "O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey."
Deuteronomy 6:18 "You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to give your fathers,"
Deuteronomy 12:28 "Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God."
Do you want it to "be well with you"? Of course you do! We all do!
There's only one way, and that is to live our lives according to God's plan and design and purpose for us. And there's only way to do that: to read and study His word so we can learn His plan and design and purpose for us. There are no shortcuts.
Researchers have determined that when people read their Bibles at least four times a week, life change happens. That's the tipping point.
Do you want it to go well with you this next year? How about opening your Bible—or Bible app—and reading God's word at least four times a week?
Bible.org offers several Bible reading plans: bible.org/Daily_Bible_Reading_Plans
Or you can jump on board at Join the Journey as we go "rim to rim," Genesis to Revelation, this year: www.jointhejourney.com
Let's go . . . so it will go well with you.