THIS IS THE WAY, WALK IN IT.
Pastor Sherri Drury
I wouldn’t call myself a hiking enthusiast, but I do enjoy it — especially when I’m in the mountains. When I moved here, with the Sierra Nevada Mountains as a neighbor, the frequency of hiking increased. However, often I find myself unsure of the paths. Where do they begin? Is this the right way? Why aren’t these stinkin’ trails marked more intentionally? It’s even worse in the fresh-fallen snow. I find myself looking for signposts with bright yellow paint. And when a trail crosses with another, that’s an even bigger challenge. Truly hounded by the desire to be certain that I’m on the right path, I crane my neck looking to see where other hikers chose to go and pepper passing hikers with questions about the trail and what’s up ahead. I guess I don’t want to miss anything beautiful. I don’t want to find myself alone, and I hate being wrong. Above all else, I do not want to end up lost! I’m craving confidence that I will reach my intended destination.
In the Heaven Study this week, we were asked: What would give you confidence that your destination is to be with God in Heaven? What a great question! My prayer for you is to find complete and eternal confidence in knowing that you will be in Heaven with God one day.
So where is that confidence found? Jesus tells us that He is The Way (John 14:6). And the faith of his early followers was referred to as The Way (Acts 9 & 19). This phrase gives such a feeling of direction and movement to our faith.
In thinking about The Way, I was brought to these two verses:
Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
The Old Testament prophets strongly urged God’s people to look for the ancient paths, and ask for help to find the good way. They also reminded the people that God has always wanted to guide and lead his people to the good way, and that they would find rest for their souls on this good way.
We no longer have the Prophets as a primary guiding voice. We have Jesus Christ himself, which is better by far. Finding the Way, the Only Way, the Narrow-Road-Way (Matthew 7:13-14) is now best discovered by examining the words, actions and invitation of Jesus Christ, found in the Bible.
The prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah wrote these verses not only as a comfort, they were also a challenge to people who knew God but were not obeying God. Their urgent and important call to the people still echoes through our world today. If you are someone who only has the appearance of a religious life but has not yet surrendered and submitted to a following and obeying Christ on the narrow way, you have the opportunity to change that reality, today.
Lastly, inherent in the words of the prophets is a comforting promise. It speaks to a confirmation for us as we walk on the right path. I am so very grateful that we have the Holy Spirit to do this for us on our daily journey. God does not want us to live a life of uncertainty and anxiety — continually questioning where we stand with us. Rather, he wants us to live assured of our relationship with him and assured of our future destination with Him in Heaven.
So today, how many of you are at a crossroads? Look for that Ancient Path that God has been planning and securing for us since the beginning of time. Ask Him where the Good Way is. And when you find it, walk in it, even if it’s narrow and less traveled. And I pray that you will hear the sweet whispered confirmation of the Holy Spirit, “Yes, this is the way; walk in it.”