Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Choosing the Higher Way

My desire this year is to become stronger in faith, more in love with the Lord, and to walk the "path of righteousness" that He has created for those Who love him.  One of the ways I am attempting to do this is to study the scriptures on "path, way, steps", etc.  To find God's Way, we have to read how He describes it in the Manual of Life.....His Word.
     I liken this effort to the treadmill that I challenge myself with.  There will be many days where I am on that treadmill, climbing higher, going longer, and feeling so proud of the accomplishment.  Then...life steps in for awhile...and I find myself having to go back over what I thought was already accomplished ground.  I don't like that.
     What I continue to learn each time this cycle occurs is NOT to grieve over what I think I've lost during that lapse, but to seek to remember the prior victories; knowing that I can do it again.  You see I still have the blessed right to choose to go on in spite of the challenges of life.  God gave that to me.  It is a gift, a tool so powerful that it can propel you into greater joy or it can become a weight that makes every step such a drudge that you want to give up.
     Highway is defined in Wilson's "Old Testament Word Studies" as...a going up, an elevated place, high degree, or excellence. a raised way.
     In Isaiah 40:3, Israel was commanded by a true prophet to "clear the way of obstacles; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God".  Do you see where THEY were commanded to do this?  Jesus made The Way to the Father for us.   He removed the power of sin, the power of the devil, and brought down every reasoning that would keep a woman or man from finding God.
     Now, He turns and speaks to us, and says..."I've cleared the Way FOR you, now continue to keep that path clear and climb ever higher in the grace of knowledge of God!"  Excuses abound for those seeking to serve The Excuse god....."I don't understand the Bible, churches are filled with hypocrites, God never did anything for me, He never answered my prayers, religion was shoved down my throat, that Pastor never treated me right, I just don't care (that's honest, at least), religion is for weak minded people, I'm too busy, my weekends are mine, its hard getting everyone dressed, I have to go alone.....NEED MORE???
     You want to know one of my BIG ones?  Intimidation!  Yep, I have fought the battle of inferiority all of my life.  I'm winning, though.  The reason why?  I read.  Whether I always understand or not...I read.  Jesus told me through John that He would send Someone just like Himself to teach me the Truth.  And He has come...the Holy Spirit of Truth.  If I don't understand something, I tell Him.
    Then, instead of giving up, I go back and read again, thanking Him that He will give me light.  And He does.  I read the writings of others who have studied to show themselves approved.  I read books whose sentences are sometimes a mile long, but I read them again, making my mind work to grasp the thought.
     When I first began reading the Bible, in Proverbs, chapter one, it is written that the truths were given for the simple!  I always felt simple, and when I saw that I cried.  I saw God's love for me in that He wanted me to understand the "ways" of the wise.  I asked Him then to help me learn and understand, and over the years the Truth has become Life and Bread to my soul.
     That is the "higher way", the Truth of God that elevates your thoughts so that you begin to think like Him.  God's Word is "excellent", and it trains, corrects, inspires, disciplines and matures the soul of that man or woman seeking Him.  It is the best way....His Way...His Word. 
    Oh, it takes effort!  What doesn't??  Come on now, think with me!!!  Everything you have ever achieved has taken effort.  Some you won, some you lost, but those who truly "make it" are those who draw deep down inside of them that knowledge that with God all things are possible.  It is for you!
    Choose...make choices...decide...determine...put forth that effort....God is already there!  He is just waiting for you.