Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Path Before You

Sometimes, in one single day, you can figure out a lifetime of problems. Oh, I don't mean that you suddenly have the answers to every problem you've ever had. I just mean that in one day, in one moment, you can have a revelation of something that gives you a new perspective of your past- of why you did certain things, of why you failed and why you succeeded in certain things. And this new perspective is one so enlightening that you now look forward to your future. It's not that you will never have another problem again. But now you realize that you will approach things differently.

This revelation I recently had came to me out of taking a deeper look at some of the parables Jesus taught on regarding open doors, closed doors. Maybe He didn't use that term exactly but that's what He was discussing. When He sent out the disciples, He was telling them what to do when they weren't accepted in a town (closed doors). When He taught on prayer, and the unspoken question was "What about prayers that don't get answered?" (closed doors), He answered by telling them to "Ask, and it shall be given unto you"- using the verb form of Ask meaning "KEEP ON Asking". When He spoke about the widow going to the unjust judge in search of justice, He spoke about why open doors sometimes occur- because you kept on, because you persisted, until your request was rightfully heard. I saw how many times Jesus was helping us to "get it right" and not falsely conclude or prematurely conclude that the doors were closed to us, permanently.

As our family has been dealing with important questions such as "What college is the right place for our son?" and "What work can we do that would be even more fruitful?", we have wanted to make sure that we heard the answers to these questions. We know God is not hesitant to guide us. Yet we all struggle with times that we feel we did not "get it right"- that we botched it up somehow because we misunderstood, or we over-spiritualized a situation. We felt we stumbled about- and yet we never intended to. We intended to pray, to ask God, to listen to Him, and therefore to be on our way, certain of our course.

Since I have been reading the Bible in this Contemporary English Version, I have been enjoying seeing certain favorite Scriptures come alive with new meaning. One of my favorite Proverbs in Proverbs 4:18,19. But here's how it looks in the CEV version:

"The lifestyle of good people is like sunlight at dawn
that keeps getting brighter until broad daylight.
The lifestyle of the wicked is like total darkness,
and they never know what makes them stumble."

I suddenly saw how much of a curse it is to keep stumbling about, keep making the same mistakes- and NOT know why! There's nothing worse than the situation of a person who is never progressing. Whether its constant self-sabotage, constant foolishness, or constant confusion, to not know why you are always failing and falling is a horrible curse!

The "lifestyle" (other versions use the word "path") of a godly person should be one where things are getting clearer and clearer. The internal lightbulb should be going on daily! You should be having so many "Ah-ha!" moments of discovery and revelation, that people will call you Einstein!

So if you're struggling with confusion, if you're constantly dealing with mistakes and failures or a constant internal sense that you don't know what you're doing- you first of all have to know that this is NOT supposed to be your lifestyle. Not if you're a believer in the the One who came to redeem your life from the pit! Not if you're "free" because "He who the Son sets free is free indeed".

Walking in this path of enlightenment, of ongoing revelation like that of sunlight making the shadows disappear, is your destiny. This is the heritage of the saints of God! To "never know what makes (you) stumble" is not your lot in life. No way, Jose'.

You and I are walking on a pathway where things are getting clearer and clearer. That's why, as Ps. 119:32 says " I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free."

And when we're free to progress, free to succeed in shaking off the restraints and the baggage and the old patterns, we are free to not only run onward, but to enjoy the Son shining down on us as we do so.


AK Angel said...

all I can say is "thank you"...

LAUREN at Faith Fuel said...

God bless you, ak angel.

Marlo B. said...

Beautiful insight, Lauren.

Sherry said...

I wonder how many times I stopped short of asking prior to receiving God's best? As I continually ask, God will reveal my hearts desire and I will be able to run onward in true freedom and experience life the way God intended.

David was very specific when he mentioned “run” (not walk) in Ps.119:32. I love these “Ah-ha!” moments which feed fuel to my soul and a bounce to my step! I never thought to anticipate them on a daily basis. This gives me another new perspective on my path of enlightenment.

Lauren, much like His Word, there is so much to absorb in this awesome blog. From my heart to yours...thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Lauren! This is my first time happening upon your site! This particular writing is so perfect for me to use to explain to my parents why I am about to make drastic changes in my life! Thank you so much for your fluent explanation!

LAUREN at Faith Fuel said...

I'm so glad if this post helped you in any way to express your thoughts to your parents. Change is always hard- for the person making the change, and for the loved ones watching as we do so. May you find much grace.

Angee said...

I don't usually click on highlighted excerpts, but I was reading on Christian Stewardship and finished the article/post and went back to the highlights, man am I glad I did, this was an ah-ha message for me.
Wow, I'm really feeling convicted and at a lost for words other than to say, thank you!