Thursday, August 24, 2023
His Path...not Necessarily Ours
His Path, Not Necessarily Ours
by David Brenneman
"But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.
Am reminded of a song I heard growing up. In it it's mentioned that there a highway that leads to glory. That it's no easy ride. That you'll find all kinds of exits that will throw you off your stride. Some will lead to fortune, others lead to fame...some will lead you so far off, you won't return again.
We read in the New Testament that we're in a race. To run in such a way as to win the prize.
By looking at any serious runner, what do you see? Someone who made intentional sacrifices to get where they are today.
Someone who said no to this food or that train of thought. Someone who was interested in winning the race pours out everything not contributing to that goal. Someone just wanting to finish well might put in as much effort.
It depends on how much you want the prize. Jesus had the writers tell us in the Bible to run the race with every ounce of our being. Run the race like we're after winning that prize from Jesus Himself.
His path for us isn't necessarily what we have in mind. In fact, it is pretty much a given, that it won't be. Our thoughts are not His thoughts nor our ways His ways. The thoughts of Jesus Christ are higher than ours in every respect. His ways aren't ours at all.
A very profound thought I had the other day has a lot to do with some discussions on why going through life as we do when Jesus already knows who will be saved and who won't receive His free gift of salvation. You, my Dear Reader, were born at just that right time in human history for you to make that right choice to follow Jesus. Your personality, your everything that makes you, you, wouldn't work in any other time in human history. The same actually applies to those who have chosen to reject the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. The time in which they live would have been perfect for them to understand and say yes, but, sadly they chose not to. They will, as the Bible says, will be without excuse.
Every Believer is also going to be without excuse for insisting on living life their own way rather than how the Spirit was attempting to direct them.
Oh their lives might look spiritual but that doesn't mean it's what the Spirit was directing them towards.
Churches all across this world will be filled after the Rapture of the Church. Why? Because of false teaching, false beliefs. People who weren't listening to the Savior's call. People who only believed about Jesus and not in Jesus.
In saying that we are to deny ourselves and take up our own cross and follow Him, Jesus is wanting 100% from us. Not 50/50. Not 80/20. Nothing but all. The same as that runner dedicated to not just entering the race but intending to win it.
It means no giving Jesus the leftovers.
It means saying no to what we want in favor of what He wants.
It means preferring one another above ourselves. That matters to Him which is why it's in the Bible.
It makes every difference in why we do what we do. We may not feel like going through what we do in life, but it's that path that God has us on. It's what we need and what those others born in this here this now need.
Our lives are not our own, we were bought with a price, the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The price is too high for us to run this race without trying to win.
If what path we are on isn't what God wants, get off it, get back to where you should be. Even if it doesn't appear that you're going to like it. You hamper the work of Jesus Christ in you when you're not obeying Him. You hinder your prayers by willful disobedience.
You can be listening to, think you're learning of, all kinds of things about God and still get it wrong. Because deep down selfishness is still impacting you. You still may be wanting life you way in your timing.
Look at your life, are you running this race called life or are you walking without even trying to win that prize at the end from Jesus? You don't want to be found by Him living a life He hadn't in mind for you, do you?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart do not lean on your own understanding And in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation