At most every lighted intersection there are wide visible white lines painted
horizontally across the road indicating where the driver should stop and wait for a
green light. At many of these stops you will find a sign that reads something like
this, “Stop here to actuate signal.” The word actuate is a transitive verb which
means, “to put into mechanical action or motion” or “to move to action.” So if you
pull too far forward of the line or stop too short of the line you will NOT actuate
the signal and you may sit there for a very long time.
It never ceases to amaze me how some folks will pull a full car length forward of
these lines and wait for a green light and then get angry because the light doesn’t
change. Some I have seen purposefully disregard the red light and make an
illegal turn because of their own ineptness. I have seen some stop too short of
the line and anger those behind them. Some of these lines are staggered so to
allow vehicles turning from the right ample room to negotiate the turn. Those who
pull too far forward of this line can impede traffic or cause an accident.
Maybe you now realize that this is a bit of a sore subject with me. It aggravates
me! I have even at times slowed down and advised the driver (who has been
unwilling or unable to properly follow simple, logical instructions) of their
incompetence. I think what really bothers me though is how this all translates
God has said in His Word that we are not to “go beyond” that which is written. 2
John 1:9 reads, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of
Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the
Father and the Son.” The word “transgresses” here means in part, “to go past or
pass over without touching a thing…to overstep, neglect, violate, transgress.” In
other words, if we desire God’s mercy, grace, blessings and salvation then we
must stop where He says to stop in order to actuate those things in our lives. If
we stop short or go beyond what He has told us, then we will fail to receive that
which we desire of Him.
The old adage “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” is relevant here. The King
James Version translates 1 John 3:4 like this, “Whosoever committeth sin
transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Other
translations use the word “lawlessness” for transgression. The idea here is of one
acting in violation of the law either by blatant disregard or by ignorance.
Friends we cannot add to or take away from the Word of God and receive His
spiritual blessings (Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18-19). The wise man hears
and does what God says (Matt. 7:24). Not only will those who fail to know and do
God’s will not receive His blessings but they will receive His wrath (2 Thess. 1:8).
My dear friends it is imperative that we obey Him (Heb. 5:8-9). Be faithful!