#13 September 27, 2005
Walking with My Savior
"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." Galatians 5:25
I was reflecting this morning on a devotional by one of my favorite writers and preachers, fellow God Chaser, Tommy Tenney. (http://www.godchasers.net/) The reading dealt with distractions that take our eyes off of Jesus. In my mind's eye I saw myself walking a road with my Savior by my side. Walk the road with me for a few minutes and let's see what happens...
We are on the path of the righteous with Jesus which the Bible tells us is "like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day" (Proverbs 4:18). The path is bright and light because "in Him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). Our Lord, our Redeemer, our Friend, our All in All is talking to us and we are abiding in Him. Our minds are set on Him and we have life and peace (Romans 8:6). His words are a "lamp to our feet and a light for our path" (Psalm 119: 105).
There are many signs along the way. STOP and go down the path of offense for a while. YIELD to the voice of gossip, backbiting and slander. GO the way of anger, bitterness and resentment. Liar's Lane on the left and Revenge Road on the right. Selfish City this way...Lust Lane that way. Take a swim in Superficial Swamp - dive into Complacent Canal. Watch out! It's pretty shallow! Worry World, with all of it's rides and attractions bids you to come and take a vacation. Judgement Jungle beckons with the promise that you will see "a roaring lion waiting to see who he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). You get the picture...
All of a sudden it's cold. It's dark. Your insides are churning. Your mind is racing a mile a minute. Focus has left and fear has taken it's place. And wait a minute....Where is Jesus? He was with us a minute ago...He was right here...Jesus? JESUS?
Softly He waves and says, "Here I am...right here where you left me." We got distracted, we were enticed, we wandered away. But Jesus didn't follow. He stayed where we should have stayed. You see, the Lamb of God knows who His Shepherd is - His Heavenly Father - and He only follows Him. But "we all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way. (Isaiah 53:6).
I imagine Jesus sitting down at the side of the path and saying, "there they go again - why won't they ever learn?" As He cried over Jerusalem, He cries over us, "how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings" (Matthew 23:37). But He doesn't leave - He doesn't go on without us. He loves us too much to leave us but He also loves us enough to let us learn the lessons of the wayward path.
So we make our way back. Bruised, cut, broken, guilty, ashamed and so, so sorry! We part the trees of the dark forest we have been in and there He is! Patiently waiting, arms open wide, a smile on His face. The Balm of Gilead Himself with His hands poised to heal our wounds (Jeremiah 8:22 and Jeremiah 46:11). His arm extends. His finger points to the Path once more. Faith replaces fear. Peace replaces confusion. Hope replaces despair. Life replaces death. Blessings replace curses. Forgiveness replaces condemnation. We receive beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning and peace for despair (Isaiah 61:3).
And we wonder...why did we ever leave His side in the first place? Why do we always think we know better? But our Lord never says, "I told you so". He lovingly says, "Follow me". "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12). His arm goes around us and tenderly He says, "Let's walk -- I've got some secrets to tell you".
Walking with Him,