Which Fork in the Road Will You Take?
One of the saddest things I see in real life or even on TV is when a small kid just realizes he is lost. At first, you see the initial joy and excitement on his face as he explores fresh territory with newfound independence. Then disorientation and disconnection sets in. Some children keep that distress inside, anticipating that their parent is right around the corner; others let loose a fearful shriek that lets everyone know they are lost. Being lost is such a fearful and disorienting struggle.
But you see, even though we have a home and parents, we are born lost. We are spiritually lost, in a terrible place … a state of insecurity, inadequacy, and isolation. We long to be in a different place … one of peace, love, joy, security, and intimacy. To arrive at this secure destination, we need to go on an excursion. In today’s scripture reading, God tells us that He goes before us. God’s imagery of “going before” clearly lets us know that He wants us to go on a journey … with Him as our guide and leader … He even calls us by our name.
Even before we start out on our exciting adventure, we have problems. Unfortunately, we forget to let God prepare and guide us. Our own strategies are so out of whack. We make many poor choices regarding important elements of the trip. The map we use to chart the journey is our own random one, which worsens our plight. We use the world’s distorted strategy. Our destination is a self-centered goal. We demand to be our own guides, thinking we can see clearly and know the future.
Instead, we need to use the Bible’s teachings as both our map and our strategy. Our all-knowing God needs to be our guide. Our destination is the mind of Christ. The journey is for your mind, heart, and Spirit. The pot of gold at the end of the journey is the fruit of the Spirit, which only comes as the result of a close relationship with God! All of this happens through Godly decision-making.
Christian life is a dangerous pilgrimage to the Promised Land. Satan is always lurking. So, we need the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit … the power and comfort of prayer … and the protection of the armor of God. All these stem from the decisions you make right now. This is why I continually draw your attention to your decisions, because they are your divine weapons and spiritual acts of worship.
Today, imagine yourself standing at a fork in the road. One option looks enticing and allows you to guide yourself. The other is the journey your Lord invites you to take. Believing He is your ultimate destination, and having faith He will come alongside you, take an intentional step on the next Stepping Stone of God’s path. Listen to His guidance and resist Satan’s deceptive voice. If you don’t, the fruit of the flesh will detour you into anxiety, fear, loneliness, frustration, agitation, and impulsivity. When you get to the fork, whether you choose God’s path towards peace and fulfillment, or you take the world’s shortcut to frustration and emptiness is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I thank You for going before me. What a gift! I like to have a map when I travel, to know exactly where I am going, and how long it will take me to arrive. When I look at the road ahead that You call me to travel with You, all I see is a bend where the road disappears. Help me, Father, to keep my eyes on You, knowing that You are my map and guide. Thank You remembering me even when I do take the wrong fork in the road. Thank You for Your constant willingness to take my hand and guide me back to Your path. Help me to encourage others to follow You on this journey. I pray in the name of the One who died so I might be free to travel Your path, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, I am the God of Israel. Isaiah 45:2-3
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalms 119:105