Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Old Paths


'This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’ Jeremiah 6:16

Each of us stands at a crossroads. One path is the culture of the day. Ever changing, never steadfast--- a "new path" to follow every year. Pop culture, technology, new age thinkers, tv shows, gaming and entertainment--- they are ever changing, offering no lessons of waiting, patience, and growth. The soul is not fed or nourished in an eternal way by the culture. It offers no satisfaction that is lasting, and it offers a frantic and hurried pace of life. If one's soul is to be satisfied, it will not find true and lasting satisfaction in chasing after every new trend. That is a confusing and soul draining way of life.

"There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death." Proverbs 14:12

What we must understand as Christians is that we will almost never be called to walk the cultures paths--- because the cultures paths are generally not in union and abiding in God and His laws. We will not find satisfaction in the culture of the modern day. It changes rapidly from day to day and never fills the soul. We will spend money, time, health, and energy chasing every fleeting thing offered us and we will have spent a lifetime chasing the wind. There is no fruit produced from this tree of the world, it's branches wither and die.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing."  John 15:5

The path of God stretches in the other direction. It looks dated to the world, it looks old and "uncool." Yet it offers eternal wealth---salvation. God's path promises a deep rest to the soul, one that the world's modern and ever changing ways know nothing of. It is a rest that each soul longs for and many never realize. 

"Like greedy dogs, they are never satisfied. They are ignorant shepherds, all following their own path and intent on personal gain." Isaiah 56:11

 In making a choice to not chase after the world, but rather to shed it's layers and walk the old, peaceful, simple paths, we are able to spend time with God, seek Him, and seek His rest and peace for our lives. 

"Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong." Hebrews 12:13

 The ever strong winds of the day will blow against us, yet God's peace is stronger than these temporary winds. This means we may face questions, ridicule, persecution and mocking. Yet we are deeply satisfied. Our soul is at rest, abiding with God. We must take the time to seek God and His paths. Some of us set our feet on a path only to turn and follow a new one next week. We must take the time to really determine our path and then plant our feet firmly on it.

This may mean that our lives look radically different to those around us because we are chasing after the things of God. Our evenings are spent with our families, loving them and enjoying them. We are not out chasing after the latest events every night.

"Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow." Psalm 5:8

We spend time with God. In prayer, Bible reading, and reading books filled with gems of wisdom from old, great writers and preachers.

We are not busying ourselves unnecessarily, even at times with church events, as too much busyness means we are neglecting the old, spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible reading, and quietness in our lives.

"My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you." Psalm 17:5

We are busy building up our families for God and that requires our time and full attention, it requires our presence.

We seek a simplicity, because the simplicity keeps away the soul clutter and gives us more room to focus on God. This means we have the Lord's discernment, discerning and praying about each new fad and trend that may tempt us, even ones in our modern and contemporary Christianity. 

"Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path." Proverbs 4:26

God wants us to be steadfast and determined to walk His paths, and He will be faithful to lead us.

"I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them." Isaiah 42:16

The Bible is full of God's words about following His paths. It is His command out of love for us that we walk in His ways. His way is the path with light illuminating it, the shining way of life.

God tells us His paths lead to life, peace, righteousness and joy. He longs for us to walk His paths; so He can reveal Himself and shower us with His peace. It is a path that is waiting for us, He has prepared it for His beloved people.

"This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow." Isaiah 48:17

"Oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths!" Psalm 81:13

"The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray." Psalm 25:8

Prayer: "Lord, show my mind and heart the path you have for me. Give me strength to let go of my old ways to walk your path for me. Lead me down the path to your still waters, and may I never fear where your path leads, knowing that it leads to your salvation. Amen."

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