What Path Are You On?
Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
How many of you like to take walks? How many of you like to hike? I enjoy walks myself and occasionally, if it's not rough and a long hike, I will venture onto some trails.
Has anyone heard of the Pacific Crest Trail? It's not simply a hike for an average or even beginner hiker. This trail spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada crossing through California, Oregon, and Washington. For dedicated hikers to hike the entire trail it would take about five months. Sounds fun, huh?
The thing about this trail is, yes there are many beautiful scenic views along the way, but, the trail is not always going to be an easy walk. You will spend the walk going up over mountains and down into valleys. You will have to camp in tents, rely on paper maps, be prepared for cold and ice, rain, and sunshine. Even though the trail is marked it still can be very dangerous. To embark on such a journey like this requires you to be both physically and mentally strong.
The nice thing about the trail is that along the way hikers will come across campgrounds, post offices, and some other places as they go. There they can plan to have mail delivered, send out mail, do laundry, refuel their bellies, and rest up before heading out again. Does this still sound fun?
The one thing all hikers must remember is to stay on the marked path because that will guide them in the right direction and keep them safe.
This reminded me of something Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
What do you think Jesus meant? Wouldn't a broader path be easier to see and stay on? Jesus is telling us that even though the narrow path is just that, narrow, He is there walking it with us. While on the narrow path our focus can stay on Jesus because there isn't a bunch of things distracting us.
Yes, there will be valleys and trials we will come across, but Jesus is there helping us through them. He's even, at times, going in front of us knocking down those barriers. If we keep our eyes focused on this path we will see all the good God has for us.
Even if the broad path seems easier and more alluring it's not. Yeah, there may be a few less trials and there may be a lot more fun things to catch our attention. But that is because the “fun” speaks to our flesh desires and worldly ideas. With all the things open around us because the path is broad, we also can lose something valuable, our focus on Jesus and the need for Him in our life. Yeah sure He might be somewhere in the broad picture but so are many many other things that pull us away from trusting God to not only be there but to see us through.
Jesus didn't say the narrow path would be no fun. Along the way in our walk through life we will see many beautiful scenic views and we can have fun. God can have fun, simply look at some of creation and tell me it didn't make God smile. Jesus said very directly, the narrow path is the only way to salvation. There may be a few more roadblocks but God says, ‘Hey, I put you here, I have a plan. I will get you through. Don't give up, simply trust. I will get you through.’ The narrow path is filled with the Spirit and reaches our soul and this is where the devil does not want us.
Do you know the path you choose to follow will determine all your other paths you choose in life (marriage, jobs, friends, etc.)? And yes, we will fall to the broad path through life. The promise we have from God is that, when we do, He will do all He can to get us back on the narrow path because it leads to salvation.
Like the hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail need a map to follow if they want to reach their destination, we need a map ourselves to help us on the narrow path. To help us stay focused, to guide our way we simply need to open the Bible And pray along with wearing God's Armor which is our safest equipment to get through daily life.
We are all on a walk in life. We will face mountain tops and valleys. Life will be beautiful at times and other times we will face difficulties. But when we keep our focus on God believing with our whole heart that God is, God of the mountain and God in the valley, we will reach our destination with Jesus by our side.
Today, if weather permits take a walk, go for a hike, and talk with God. Admire the nature around you and refresh your soul with Jesus. Find strength and renew your soul as you continue on your journey in good times and bad. Allow Jesus in to your heart today and let Him lead your path.
The best way to recognize God's path for you life and to stay on the right path is to turn to the Bible. God is speaking clearly to us in each chapter and each verse. Allow the words to reach you and show you the way to go. For our study today let's read Romans 8 and let the Holy Spirit speak to us as we learn new things the Lord wants us to hear.
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