One of the saddest things I see in real life or on TV is when a small kid just realizes they are lost. You see the joy and excitement on their face as they are exploring, and then the disorientation and disconnection from their parent, guide, guardian sets in. Some keep that distress in, with a hidden hope that their parent is right around the corner; others let loose with a fearful shriek that lets everyone around knows the child is lost. Being lost is a disorienting struggle.
But, you see, as a kid, even though we have a home and parents, we are born lost, spiritually lost…in a terrible place…the state of insecurity, inadequacy, and isolation. We long to be in a different place…a place of peace, love, joy, security, and intimacy. To arrive at our secure destination we need to go on a trip. In today’s scripture reading, God tells us that He goes before us. God’s imagery of “going before” clearly lets us know that He desires us to go on a journey…with Him as our guide and leader…He calls us by our name.
During our journey, unfortunately, we forget to let God guide us. So we make some poor choices regarding important trip elements. The map we use is random; we use the world’s strategy; our destination is me-centered or material focused; we demand to be our own guides. Instead, we need to use the Bible’s teachings as our map and strategy, allow God to be our guide, and choose the mind of Christ as our destination. Our journey is of our mind, heart, and Spirit. The pot of gold at the end of the journey – the fruit of the Spirit through a close relationship with God!
Christian life is a dangerous pilgrimage to the Promised Land…Satan is always lurking. So, we need the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit…the power and comfort of prayer…and the protection and counter attack of the armor of God.
Today, imagine yourself standing at a crossroad with two paths before you; one is your current path, the other is the journey your Lord is inviting you to take. Through faith in His coming alongside and being the ultimate destination, take an intentional step on the next stepping stone of God’s path. Listen to His guidance and resist Satan’s deception. Your decision, choose well. If you don’t, the fruit of the flesh – anxiety, fear, loneliness, frustration, agitation – is what you will receive.
Dear Father God, I thank You for Your gift of going before me. I like to have a map when I travel, to know exactly where I am going…how long it will take me to arrive. When I look at the road ahead that You call me to travel with You, all I see is a bend where the road disappears. Help me, Father, to keep my eyes on You, knowing that You are my map and guide. Help me to encourage others to follow You on this journey. I pray in the name of the One who died so I might be free to travel Your path, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, I am the God of Israel.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.