Are We Willing to Get Directions and Follow Them?
There was a time when the husband’s reluctance to ask for directions was often a source of great frustration to the wife. It didn’t matter that (to her at least) they were obviously lost, he would continue to insist that he knew what he was doing. Since today’s modern technology has placed the directions on the car’s dashboard, the wife no longer has to be frustrated with her husband’s refusal to ask for help; instead, she can be frustrated by the fact that her husband ignores the directions supplied by the GPS, insisting he knows a better way.
Why do men sometimes do this? Why do we men, at least occasionally, not seek help, or when help is given ignore it? Certainly pride is a factor in this and we need to learn that it is better to swallow our pride than to be late or frustrate our wives (1 Peter 5:5). However, another part of the answer probably lies in the fact that we usually get away with it. We may not have taken the most direct route, and we may be a little late, but we usually manage to get there eventually and feel we have proven something to our wives.
Yes, we men sometimes act foolishly when it comes to directions and our driving, but in reality it’s as much amusing at times as it is frustrating. However, when the same scenario is played out spiritually by both men and women there is nothing amusing about it. Long ago, Jesus described the majority of people as taking the wrong path.
“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.” Matthew 7:13, 14
While the words of Jesus should settle it, a quick glance at the world around us confirms that somewhere along the way mankind has strayed from the path. Who thinks their neighborhood is safe from crime? What family has not been touched by the scourge of drug abuse, whether illegal narcotics or the legally sanctioned killer called alcohol? Our hearts break when we read about child abuse and sexual predators. More and more children are growing up in single parent homes as both divorce and out-of-wedlock births are increasingly common. Across the globe there are a number of wars being fought. The newspaper bears daily testimony to Solomon’s warning: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25).
Are the warnings of Proverbs 16:25 and Matthew 7:13, 14, along with the condition of the world, enough to make us swallow our pride and admit we need God’s directions? We may be able to find the amusement park without stopping to ask directions, but, no matter how right it may seem to us, without God’s directions we are headed down the way of death, the broad way that leads to destruction. Are we willing to accept His direction? If so, we will need to become more diligent Bible students.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
Though most today view truth as a nebulous, unknowable thing, Jesus insists that absolute truth exists, can be concretely defined, and can be known.
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31, 32
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John 17:17
“Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’” John 18:37
God, through His inspired word (2 Timothy 3:16, 17), has provided directions that will steer us away from the broad way leading to destruction and set us on the path to eternal life, but we must be willing to listen, and that means much more than simply reading or hearing God’s word. When it comes to the Scriptures we must not be like those travelers who have programmed the GPS, but then choose to ignore the directions it gives. James 1:21-25 warns that we must not simply hear the word of God, but it is imperative that after hearing we then become doers of the word. The one who came to bear witness of that knowable, attainable truth is only the author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:8, 9)
Listen to God’s directions now since, “Godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8
(All quotations from New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishing Company)
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