On Friday night we went on a hike around Flax Pond. The path was rather narrow in some spots and there was a lot of poison ivy around. (not to mention the tick infestation) As I walked, I was very mindful of where I stepped because I wanted to make the journey without problems later. I also was watching my children because they are easily sidetracked by shiny things and would not notice that the shiny thing is in the midst of poison ivy. I was constantly reminding my 6-year-old to watch where he stepped and to stay on the path. He forgot it as quickly as I said it to him.
It makes me appreciate the patience God has with me. I know that there is a path that I am supposed to stay on that is littered with shiny things and dangerous things. God reminds me to stay on the path because even though there are some cool looking things off the path; on the path is where true safety is found.
This is a daily struggle for all of us. We live in a world that calls to us in a loud voice. We take detours, get into trouble, and then find out way back to the path. And while it is true that God welcomes us back; it is also true that there are consequences for wandering off. Some of those consequences last longer than poison ivy does.
The Christian life is not based on praying for salvation and then ignoring God. It is about daily being rooted in Him, living in Him and strengthened in faith.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6-7
Here is a portion of a prayer I read this morning from the book The Valley of Vision. It reminds us that we need to pay attention where we step in order to stay on the right path and closer to Jesus as a result.
“Of all hypocrites, grant that I may not be an evangelical hypocrite, who sins more safely because grace abounds, who tells his lusts that Christ’s blood cleanseth them, who reasons that God cannot cast him into hell for he is saved, who loves evangelical preaching, churches, Christians, but lives unholily.”
Remember to stay on the path. Sure some parts are challenging and narrow. Of course there are some fun looking things off the path. But if we want to be continuing to live in Christ, rooted in Him, and built up in Him, then we need to follow Him every day.