Hi everyone. Rob here.
I love these words of God found in Jeremiah 6:16,
‘Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
He was speaking to a nation that had lost its way. Its path of paganism and compromise with surrounding empires had not been a good one. It now stood facing conquest and exile. God asked them to take a different stance than the self-destructive one they were on. There was a choice and God had already prepared a path for them if only they were prepared to ask.
I find myself at a crossroads personally. I know that my mission field is the church itself, but I have no idea what form that should take. It is a place of uncertainty and confusion. God makes order out of chaos and so I trust that God will sort me out. But in the meantime there is a path to walk down. It is the ancient path of trust. God doesn’t give us a map. He gives us Jesus and the Spirit and we are to follow Jesus on the path in the power of his Spirit.
Remember that his path led him to a Roman cross. The journey is not without heartache and loss. It is not without suffering and pain. But it is the only journey that leads to resurrection and new life. So, at the crossroads I find myself in I’m not looking for the easiest path or the most exciting one. I’m looking for Jesus himself and I’ll seek to follow whatever path he takes.
He has already led me on one heck of a journey. But the ancient path is not one of returning to old ways or habits. It is always to follow the one who led Israel through the desert and turned fishermen into apostles. It is always a path that leads to transformation, that helps the kingdom to come and God’s will to be done. The path I follow Jesus on will lead to death – dying to fear, selfishness, pride and shame. It will also lead to disruption and disorientation most likely. But it will be a path that bears fruit and is filled with love. It will involve a rising to that love and a coming alive to God.
Experience tells me that this ancient path of trust is the only one without a dead end. Jesus is the path of life and the path to life. So, while I stand at the crossroads and appear a bit dazed and confused about where it’s all going or where to next, the reality is that Jesus will show me soon where to go. I just have to keep the eyes of my heart open. Easier said than done of course but Jesus has this way of taking our truest desire and being able to make a way with it. We may veer off at times but Jesus keeps bringing us back by reminding us that our deepest desire is for the life that only he can offer.
May you walk the ancient path of trust in 2021. To be honest you really have no other choice. I’m struggling to think of a year filled with more uncertainty than this one. But there’s also hope and the ancient path is filled with hope and peace and joy. May you follow Jesus well.
Grace and peace.