He Will Make Your Paths Straight: God’s Direction
Purity 477 07/22/2021 Purity 477 Podcast
Today’s photo of a palm tree lined roadway running through the Valley of Temples in Kaneohe Hawaii comes to us from a friend whose journey to the islands back in June included a memorial pilgrimage. I believe this road is on a stretch of road called Memory Slope and curiosity of the location uncovered the fact that burial plots are still available there with prices as little as five thousand dollars for an individual plot. So if you wanted to be resurrected in the Pacific paradise of Hawaii when Christ returns, the cost of your spot in the Valley of Temples would be that of nice vacation, travel costs not included.
But seriously, I chose today’s photo not to be morbid but because it’s Thursday and I love to highlight photos of pathways, or roads, to encourage people to follow their faith to the pathway of Christian discipleship. I will be teaching another class based on Neil Anderson’s the Bondage Breaker at Rock Solid Church in Hudson NY this evening at 6:30 pm, and I invite everyone to join me, either at the church or by listening in via the mt4Christ247 podcast. Tonight’s topic is temptation and I hope you’re tempted to check it out.
As for today’s photo, I just love the way the palm trees, and memorials line the road as a contrast of life and death and how the clouds seem to have split right where the road d runs as if God is welcoming us to come on up to heaven. Although it looks like we may need to get a running start and make our ascent before we run into that speed bump!
You can’t speed through a cemetery! Somebody might get killed!
But seriously, again the good thing about making peace with God by putting our faith in Jesus Christ is that we don’t have to fear death and we don’t have to run to try to earn our place in His kingdom. Our entrance to God’s kingdom is a free gift and our walk of faith is God’s invitation to experience a little bit of heaven on earth by choosing to follow His lead to experience the peace and joy that come from being in harmony with Him.
No matter what speed bumps the world puts in our way, when we walk with the Lord by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit we can not only overcome the obstacles in our way, but our direction also becomes clear as if the heavens open up to show us the way we should go. However, if we are looking at our feet and are consumed by the things of this earth we can miss the clear path that is provided for us by our heavenly Father.
I have had a few things come up recently, possible invitations from the Lord to “come and see”. And to be honest, I immediately dismissed them as simply not possible and stopped thinking about them all together. But this morning in prayer, suddenly these “invitations” came up again in my spirit. I immediately pointed out that we couldn’t do it, although it was more like I didn’t want to do it because of selfish reasons and maybe a little fear because I questioned my capacity to meet the challenges being presented. But today, I was presented with a simple solution to the “impossible” and I knew it didn’t come from me. So, when you walk by faith, you stop and recognize that you are being called again to try something new, to stretch your limits and abilities and even though some arrangements will need to be made, you feel in your spirit that you want to see where God will bring you next.
Hey sometimes you walk along doing the same old thing long enough and you think you’ve finally found a comfortable routine and then suddenly things start to change. We can choose the path of resistance and try to stay where we are, or we can be open to the mystery of where the Lord is leading us and trust Him to guide our path into another adventure.
As for me, when I receive intuitions to try something new or to do something good, I’ve found that it’s better to answer the call and follow rather than running the risk that you will miss out or even worse, get dragged along kicking and screaming into what the Lord wants for you anyway.
So follow the road you’re on but be prepared for those speed bumps and don’t be surprised if God invites you to take an unexpected detour into a new direction where you will have to trust Him and walk by faith.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
1 Peter 4:16 (NKJV)
16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
Today’s verse reminds us that living as a Christian is not always a bed of roses but encourages us to glorify God when we are proven to be His.
A faith that is not tested is not real faith. Unfortunately, the masses will not applaud your decision to make Jesus your Lord and Savior and to live a Christian life.
True story: before I got saved, one Christmas, yes one Christmas, I greeted my brother Matt, who we only see a few times a year, by joking that I had made Jesus my Lord and Savior. Ha Ha! Because obviously, I would never be one of those born-again Christians! Ha Ha! Hey man. let’s drink!
Obviously, things have dramatically changed, and the joke was on me!
But my mocking a devout Christian lifestyle is just one example how the world is opposed to anyone who would boldly proclaim the exclusivity of Christ to save and the intention to live by faith.
Probably, not surprisingly, I have suffered the loss of many relationships because of my faith. The losses reveal the depths of those relationships and the spiritual status of those who walked away. But to my delight, the vast majority of my friends have remained and while they may not understand what happened to me and may not fully agree with me, our relationship as friends continues.
My first world rejections and slights pale in comparison with the persecution that other Christians are currently suffering from, but it shows me two things:
1. I’m definitely a child of God. When you face negative consequences for your faith and you still remain committed to proclaim the gospel and live a Christian life, you have been proven to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Christ said that we would suffer for our faith and when we run into opposition or hate, His promise is proven true, but it also proves you are His.
2. It’s worth it. As scripture says, the sufferings that we will endure on earth do not compare to the riches that we receive from being His. Not only are we saved from judgement and death, but we are blessed with God’s presence, guidance, and love as we walk through this life. As hard and as trying as our lives of faith may be at times, as Peter said, when we know the Lord there is simply no where else to go.
So, no matter what hardships or rejection you may face in walking out a life of Christian Discipleship, remember that those tests not only are worth it and prove you to be a King’s kid, they also give glory to God. Your endurance and patience in suffering gives glory to the One who gave you everything. Take comfort in His love, know that He cares, and keep walking and talking with God come what may.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing Chapter 8.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:
Proper Guidelines Lead to a Proper Walk
5. Happiness. Key Concept: Wanting What You Have
The world's concept of happiness is having what we want. Madison Avenue tells us we need a flashier car, a sexier cologne or any number of items that are better, faster or easier to use than what we already have. We watch the commercials and read the ads, and we become antsy to acquire all the latest fashions, fads, and fancy doodads. We are not really happy until we get what we want.
God's concept of happiness is summed up in the simple proverb: "Happy is the man who wants what he has." As long as you are focusing on what you don't have, you will be unhappy. When you begin to appreciate what you already have, however, you will be happy all your life.
Paul wrote to Timothy, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that" (1 Tim. 6:6-8, NIV).
Actually, you already have everything you need to make you happy forever. You have Christ. You have eternal life. You are loved by a heavenly Father who has promised to supply all your needs. No wonder the Bible repeatedly commands us to be thankful (see 1 Thes. 5:18). If you really want to be happy, learn to be content with life and thankful for what you already have in Christ.
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.
God bless you all!
Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship