One of the saddest things I see in real life or on TV is when a small kid just realizes he are lost. You see the initial joy and excitement on his face as he is exploring fresh territory with newfound independence. Then disorientation and disconnection from their parent, guide, or guardian sets in. Some keep that distress in, anticipating that their parent is right around the corner; others let loose a fearful shriek that lets everyone around know they are lost. Being lost is such a fearful and disorienting struggle.
But you see, even though we have a home and parents, we are born lost, spiritually lost, in a terrible place … a state of insecurity, inadequacy, and isolation. We long to be in a different place … one of peace, love, joy, security, and intimacy. To arrive at this secure destination we need to go on an excursion. 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 even calls us by our name.
Even before we get started on our exciting adventure, we have problems. Unfortunately, we forget to let God prepare and guide us. We make many poor choices regarding important elements of the trip. The map we use to chart our journey and avoid obstacles is our own random one. We use the world’s distorted strategy. Our destination is a self-centered goal. We demand to be our own guides, thinking we can see everything and know the future.
Instead, we need to use the Bible’s teachings as both our map and our strategy. Allow all-powerful and all-knowing God to be your guide. Choose the mind of Christ as your destination. The journey is of your mind, heart, and Spirit. The pot of gold at the end of the journey – the fruit of the Spirit that only comes as the result of a close relationship with God! It all happens through Godly decision-making. WITHIN REACH shows you how.
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. All these start with the decisions you make right now.
Today, imagine yourself standing at a fork in the road. One option looks enticing but you are your own guide. The other is the journey your Lord invites you to take. Believing He is your ultimate destination, and having faith He will come alongside you, 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 will detour you into anxiety, fear, loneliness, frustration, agitation, and impulsivity.
Dear Father God, I thank You for going before me. What a gift! I like to have a map when I travel, to know exactly where I am going, and 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. Thank You for not forgetting about me when I do take the wrong fork in the road. Thank You for Your constant willingness to take my hand and guide me back to Your path. 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 say – 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.