Monday, August 7, 2017

How to choose the right path

“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. ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭6:16‬ 

Life pretty much consists of thousands of decisions, from the routine such as when to get up in the morning to the paramount like choosing your friends or picking a career. We often stand at the crossroads and must discern between right and wrong, good and evil, the godly way or the unrighteousness path. The choice we make can determine the course of our life.

Sometimes the choices are clear but more often than not, we can't see where the paths lead. Most of the time there are multiple paths, so many that we get overwhelmed and confused. And just like in a good detective movie or Sherlock Holmes story, there are obstacles and unseen impediments that muddy the waters and make the best choice unclear. So we must use our analytical skills to determine what is the best path to travel.

This verse in Jeremiah tells us to choose the ancient paths, the roads marked by the timeless truths given to us by God from the beginning of time. But the culture we live in is constantly challenging that ancient path, enticing us to take the newer, shinier, fancier road. It promises that this path is designed just for you, the one that will lead to happiness and success. But the end is always destruction. As Jesus says the thief comes to kill, still and destroy, but I have come to give you life, abundant life. John 10:10.

The ancient path is the road that leads to a full life.  Yet, how does a person know which path to take when there is no sign declaring "God's path"?  How do you choose the rocky, steep “old" trail when there is an alternate newer, smooth road beside it with a neon sign proclaiming "the road to happiness"?

Every believer struggles with discernment and the prince of this world's goal is to deceive us and keep us from taking the right path. But God has not left us defenseless to make the correct choice.  He has provided every believer with a road map and the power to make right decisions. 1 Corinthians 16:13 tells us to "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love."

So when making a crucial decision, you can be confident of making a wise choice if you:
* Be on your guard. Be aware of the deception of this world.  Don’t be tempted to take the “in” path.
* Stand firm in your faith.  Choose the ancient path, the one that most aligns with your Christian values and principles.  
* Get on your knees. Communicate with God asking him to give you wisdom to make the right choice. He has given you the Holy Spirit which helps you make the wise decision.
* Read the Word. The Bible is how God communicates with us. His Word is the road map to making the right choices that lead to an eternally abundant life. Become familiar and follow the road map!
* Go to the wise. Discernment is better caught than taught. Seek counsel from experienced men and women of faith and follow their advice.
* Be courageous and strong. Taking the ancient path instead of the socially popular choice takes courage.  

What if I make a wrong choice?  We all make bad decisions from time to time and oftentimes we will suffer the consequences.  However, for the child of God there is no decision that will prevent you from being in God’s will.  We think that if we venture off God’s path by making the wrong choice we are doomed to forever trying to find our way back to God’s will for our lives.  But because of the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice, we don’t have to go searching for his will.  Jesus plants the ancient path right in front of us, every time that we have strayed far from that path.  He moves it so that our next step, our next decision, can be made to follow Him and that is God’s will.

So when making a choice, choose the ancient path and don’t look back.  Know that God will be with you even if you should choose unwisely.  And when you do make choices, do everything in love.

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