Hello Church Devotion Sept. 16, 2013

P is for Path

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Who has ever given to God that God should repay him?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans11:33-36 NIV 84

In life we take many paths and walk on many roads, both figuratively and literally. Some paths we take are to get us to and from specific locations, like driving to a friend’s house for a night of fellowship. Or traveling long hours on roads we are not familiar with all to arrive at our long awaited vacation. While other paths, are the underlying figurative paths that guide are every decision. Both paths can at times seem dark and scary as we try to navigate the turns and obstacles along our journey. The similarities between these different paths might be more than some of us have thought.

For many Christians, there have been numerous decisions along life’s journey that have left us contemplating whether or not we were following God’s path for our lives. We have wondered if this decision or that would keep us on track with what God has planned for us. It is in this deliberation that we are reminded of the Jeremiah 29:11 passage that states, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We begin to look at every decision, whether it is small or large as one that could knock us off this path or plan that God has for us.

This idea of path is where I want to draw us back to the comparisons of both figurative and literal paths. Quite a few people place an unwarranted and overly burdensome weight upon their shoulders when it comes to decisions in life. Yes, as we look at decisions we should take time to think them through and weigh the possibilities. We should evaluate the gifts God has given us and determine if it matches up more with certain paths going forward regarding careers, family, etc. But the weight of these decisions should never pull us away from the comfort and freedom we have in and through the saving work of Christ. God does have a path for us and it is to live according to his commands and for all people to know him as Lord.

God has laid out certain paths for us in his word but there are many decisions that we make in life that do not take us off of his paths. There may be multiple career paths that you might choose and all of them could allow for you to use your gifts in God pleasing ways. Although each is different than the other path, it doesn’t mean you have fallen off of God’s path for you. We are reminded in Isaiah 2:3, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” God has given us the guidance in his word that we need to approach all of life’s decisions. No matter what decisions we make we are called to live as people redeemed by Christ. You can walk as one redeemed by Christ in many settings as is made apparent by the giftedness of so many diverse people.

Now, as we begin to see God’s path as one that underlies the entire path of our life we realize that our path may go in many different trajectories along the journey all while staying within God’s path for us. It is only when our decisions and life contradict the word of God or leads us into sin that we have chosen a path outside of God’s path for our lives. When that happens, and it will because of our sinful nature, we remember what we do when we make a wrong turn while driving down the road. We turn the car around and head in the right direction. From time to time we have to realize we picked the wrong path in life and it has led us away from God’s path and into sin. In that realization we change direction, repent of our sins, and turn our lives around before God and ask his forgiveness and guidance as we change course and head down a different path.

As we consider the path to take in the many decisions we face each day we must always remember that God’s ultimate path for each of us is rooted in these words from 1 Timothy 2:4,“This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” God wants all people to know him as Lord. Unfortunately, many reject God but even in the midst of rejection there is still hope because Christ died for all. There is still time for each of us to heed God’s call and to follow his ways down the path of life.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for revealing your ways to us through your word. You have called me to a different path than the world; help me to see that path more clearly each day. Lord, give me the strength and guidance to apply your word to each situation I face. Lord, give me the confidence to weigh each decision and trust in you knowing that you will never leave me nor forsake me. If I wander off your path Lord, help me to repent of my sinfulness and lead me back to you. Thank you for your guiding light through Jesus Christ your son. Amen.

Further Thoughts:

1. Does God’s path add a burden to our lives or free us from burden?

2. Is there a decision in your life that has left you feeling burdened? If so, does it go against God’s plan for all his people or is it unwarranted weight added by this idea of walking the perfect path?

3. How might you seek God’s wisdom for decisions in life and trust him in what you decide?