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Stand in the ways and see

posted 31 Dec 2015, 07:34 by Bert Weenink

Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.’ (Jeremiah 6:16)

I am writing this on the 31st of December. In many ways it is a day like any other and perhaps some of our relatives are right to go to bed at their usual time on New Year’s Eve! We have never done that as we feel that the end of an old year and the beginning of the  new, is a good moment to reflect on where we are, where we have been and where we are going.

 

So, let us stand at the crossroads and see, asking for direction as we seek God’s will.

 

1. Stand in the ways and see

At the beginning of a new year it is good to stop, to stand still and to consider, to see and to reflect.

Where am I in my relationship with God? Have I grown in 2015 or have I gone backwards? (Remember, no one stays the same, failing to go forward spiritually is going backward!)

Have I grown in my passion for the Lord and for His gospel, in seeing others come to faith and finding forgiveness and eternal life?

How am I doing in my spiritual disciples, such as reading God’s Word, seeking God in prayer and having fellowship with other believers?

 

2. Ask for the old paths

The world is changing constantly and we are more aware of that as a

result of technological development. There are many different

opinions about almost everything, there are many new paths, recommended by the world, such as equality and tolerance and freedom and openness, which can be confusing and unsettling. However, we need to realise that it is the world that confuses change with progress. The world is undoubtedly more tolerant, but in becoming that has felt it necessary to let go of truth. Even many religious people claim to believe in God, as long as God is willing to update His views to the 21st century.

 

God’s Word is clear. We need to ask for the old paths, the well trodden one, the right one. We need to admit that there is a right path and that there are wrong paths as well. The Bible gives many examples:

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)

 

There is only one way to God and that is Jesus. It is an old path, promised for many centuries in Old Testament times and opened up by Jesus 2,000 years ago. There is no other way to heaven, to eternal life, to having a relationship with God, to being forgiven!

 

3. And walk in it

That is obvious, isn’t it? But in Jeremiah’s days, that wasn’t the case. The prophet brought God’s Word to the people, but observed that God’s people said about the old paths: ‘We will not walk in it.’

And when God old them through His prophet to listen, they said: `We will not listen.' (Jeremiah 6:17)

 

It is so easy for us to dress the failure to follow and listen with excuses such as: ‘I have been too busy’ or ‘I am not in a very good place’ or ‘I find Bible reading, prayer and going to church too difficult at present’, but the result is that we are not walking in the old and trusted way.

If you have backslidden in 2015, seek God right now, confess your sin, ask for forgiveness and for His help to walk in His way in 2016.

If you find yourself still walking the old paths at the end of 2015, thank God for His grace and faithfulness and ask Him to help you to continue throughout 2016. It is the only way to find rest for your soul.

 

Your fellow traveller,

Pastor Bert

 

 

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