I am not good with directions, hence the reason I love my GPS. Even so, I had to learn some shortcuts for my recent driving. I did this all without the GPS. I stepped out and left the old, familiar traveled roads. It was all about time management. Remember Psalm 90:12. If I spent too much time driving, other things would get neglected, plus my kids would not be happy if I was late.
Taking an adventure on these new paths has been a blessing. I did not feel rushed and I had extra time for much needed things. I was so glad that I did not settle for the old way. This reminded me of the direction of God. Often we like to return to the same old paths, but God doesn’t want us to return to the past. We aren’t meant to return to the old paths. He is doing a new thing. We need to continue along with Him forward, not turning back to where we once were.
Remember, God is pruning you and growing you. The place you were at, you needed to get through. But that doesn’t mean you are to return. Things are different. You have changed. God has a new path for you to travel. After you travel that path, there will be another season, followed by another. God will continue to do a new thing in your life so you can be made into the image of Jesus Christ. Staying on the same old roads will never get you there. Being comfortable does not happen in a life with Jesus. We do not stay in the familiar; we walk into the unknown. Continue to press forward where God leads, moving forward in faith.
Read Ephesians 4:17-24.
My neighbor recently got a dog who always wants to leave his designated area to come say hello to my dog. Each day he tries to walk off his master’s porch, walk down the pavement, and join Max. Since he was unable to find any success choosing the way of the stairs, he decided to sneak around another way. When Max and I approached, his master looked for his puppy in the usual area; however, he wasn’t there. He was already at some bushes making his way toward Max from another route.
We often think we can take another way to get to a destination. We have shortcuts and back roads. There are times when we can skip steps and save time. But when it comes to our relationship with God, there are no back roads, no shortcuts; there is no way to skip any steps.
I was reminded of John 10:1 when I saw the dog sneak around the gate. In this verse, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!” There is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus, and there is only one way to receive Eternal Life, only one way to have a relationship with God—through Jesus.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” – John 14:6 [NIV]
I heard of people who went from one job to a second job without having a moment to stop and shower. To be sure they did not start to smell a bit foul, they would douse themselves with cologne or perfume to cover up the fact that they did not have a chance to take a shower. The cover up may keep people from noticing that the person failed to shower; however, it does not take away from the fact that the person did not shower. The person is still dirty.
When we accept Christ we are washed by His blood—we are covered by His blood. But it’s not supposed to be a quick spray of cologne or perfume. It is supposed to be a true cleansing. It involves not only baptism but a constant relationship with Christ, becoming a new creation living out the purpose for which you were created.
Today, don’t spray on some cologne and pretend to be clean. Don’t try to take a short cut. There’s no short cut when it comes to God. You either are living in Christ or you are not. You decide.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 [NLT]