Doug-Wondering why your tagline says that you are walking the path of least resistance? Please explain and use Bible verses before I start using some of my own!
Amy recently asked me what the big deal is about walking this path of least resistance that I bring up from time to time. On occasion, I will ask someone about something they have blogged about and get that sort of response, so I’ll just provide such a link (done) and try to explain where I’m coming from.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
If you take the word “way” out of many of the Psalms, and insert “path” or “trail,” the meaning is essentially the same. This trail is comprised of the pre-ordained steps that are prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10), not those sidesteps and shortcuts that we choose to take on our own from time to time. This imagery of a trail is one that I have used since my blog first began. If I’ve encountered a rough period in my life, I will say that I am in a valley and when all is well, I may say that I am at the top of a hill. It’s all imagery.
For this imagery to work, you have to realize that everyone is currently walking a path. I am not referring to the wide and narrow paths that Jesus spoke of quite so much as the personal paths for each one of us. They are paths that represent our lives. The paths have periods of difficulty and ease, beauty and wretchedness, pride and shame. The paths of our lives intersect each other at certain points. There is room for us to move about on the path, but certain things are destined to happen.
For example, if God has elected some before the foundation of the world, it makes sense that He made sure your parents met each other. And your grandparents. And so on and so forth. If God knew you from the beginning, He had to have a direct hand in making sure that you would be here. In short, you are not an accident. You are not some chance occurrence. An unplanned pregnancy is only unplanned by the parents, but this is an event that God had determined eons ago. This does not absolve us of any responsibility regarding premarital sex or any other sin, but it does mean that God is in control.
Everybody’s path of life is unique to the individual, though most paths have similar events that are found at different points, depending on the path you are on. Each path has landmarks, some more than others, and anything that can be considered a life changing event is a landmark. A marriage, the birth of a child, a permanent change in health and more are examples of landmarks. When I looked down a few weeks ago into the coffin of a man my age, I looked face to face with my own mortality. I am the same man that I was, but there has been a change in me. This is a small landmark when compared with my conversion to Christianity, but it is there all the same. My marriage is a large landmark. So is the day I was tested and cleared of epilepsy.
Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
The paths we walk also are marked out for us. We are on a marked trail, just as the settlers on the Oregon trail were on a trail that was marked. There are times that I don’t know which way to go in certain situations, and I can turn to my Bible and see the trail markers more clearly. Society has been moving the boundary stones of the righteous path for generations. Inch by inch they have been moved without too much fuss from the church, but now they are moving far enough that Christians are becoming emboldened by the stakes we fight for. We didn’t change anything about marriage, neither did we defend it. Now we can see that we were wrong not to fight for the first inch that the boundary marker was moved. The trail markers have become covered in moss and many are almost invisible. You have to kneel down with the word of God and look for them, but they are there. God placed them there and nothing society can do will ever change that. All it can do is make the path harder to see and less attractive to walk, but Jesus never promised that following Him would be easy, did he?
This is where you may think that a path of least resistance would be found in leaving the trail that God has laid out for me, but that is not so. You see, I just subtly mentioned that I have a guide on my trail. He is the one that knows how to get where I need to be and how to get there. When I stumble or veer off the trail, He gathers me back up and gets me moving again. I can resist Him for a time, but that is never a fruitful proposition. If I am to walk my trail of least resistance, I need to walk in the path that I am called.
When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If I am truly a slave to righteousness, I would resist my new nature by acting like a slave to sin. Sadly, we all do that from time to time and those who are in Christ realize it, often before and during the sinful act. There is no such thing as a good shortcut on the trail of life. The only good path to follow is the one God has placed before me. I long to remain on this path no matter the cost, and am comforted that He will get me back on the path when I do fail to stay there on my own. Stating this in my tagline is more than just a way to build conversation. It is a healthy reminder that I use to maintain my focus on the trail boss.