How not to get lost

lost-474124_640Jeremiah 10:23: I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. (ESV)

When we are well directed, we will end well. The route you take is important. And by extension what or who guides you. Since we do not know all things because we are limited in knowledge by default, we need guidance.

When God made Man, he guided him concerning his purpose, saying that he should name all the animals, (as a statement of his dominion over them) he could eat any of the plants in the Garden of Eden, and he received the blessing to increase and multiply and replenish the earth (Genesis 1:26-28, 2).

He was made from the earth from the dust of the ground with the Spirit of the Lord breathed into him to make him a living soul. He got direction about who he is- made in the image of God, what he has- he has the Garden of Eden and a wife, and what he should do- tend and keep the garden.

And there is another instruction man was given, which was the direction he should not go, which he eventually went and he lost everything. He got bored with just doing the right thing and decided to taste the wrong things and that was the beginning of his end (Genesis 3).

Paul said that we should be children, that is undeveloped, uninformed when it comes to some things (1Corinthians 14:20). What the devil wants is the opposite, he wants us to taste things we should not, taste things that will “burn our tongue off.”

The bible says that we should taste and see that the Lord his good (Psalm 34:8). That means the direction we should go is to obey, seek and enjoy the Lord.

But what Adam tasted, when he eat the forbidden fruit, was not just a fruit, he tasted independence, and later on the seed of that manifested in his offspring as they set out to build a tower that reaches heaven (Genesis 11:1-9).

Rather than be submitted to God and be confined to the earth, which is the place they have been given, they got tired of the confinement and set out to reach heaven.

They rebelled against their divinely ordained limitation, and that was the end of unity of men on the earth as God came down to scatter the language of the people. They were not interested in submitting to God. We should not be like that because the bible says that if we submit under the mighty hand of God, remain in our divinely ordained confinement, God will lift us up in due season (1Peter 5:6).

With sin, man lost his way, became blind, lame, and dirty. So the pursuit of independence from God did not lead to anywhere good. That was similar to the wrong choice that the devil made in the heaven, as he set out to usurp the authority of God, and gain independence from him (Ezekiel 28:12-16).

And the devil wanted nothing more than for Man to follow in his rebellion just as he had influenced a third of the angels in heaven at the time of his own rebellion (Revelation 12:1-4). Adam and the devil, though God’s creatures, chose to rebel against him and were plunged into darkness.

But in Christ we have our eyes opened. If you cannot see well, then there is real trouble. We need to have our eyes opened to the truth of the word of God because that is what we are supposed to live by. A psalmist prayed: open my eyes to behold wondrous things out of your law (Psalm 119:18). In another place we read: send forth your truth let them guide me to your habitation (Psalm 43:3).

We need to know where God dwells. He dwells in his Word (John 1:1-5). When two disciples of John the Baptist decided to join themselves to Jesus, and they started following him, he asked them: what do you seek. They answered: where you dwell (John 1:35-39).

They sought his dwelling, his presence, and he told them: come and see. You cannot seek God on your own terms, in your own way, you have to seek him based on his own way, his word. If you cannot worship him based on his truth, you cannot worship him at all (John 4:24). The psalmist prayed: teach me your way oh Lord and I will walk in your truth (Psalm 86:11). Without the light of the word of God, what we have is darkness.

We need to hear God speak to us, and Paul wrote that as many as are led by the Holy Spirit they are the sons of God (Romans 8:14). When we read the bible and we listen to the Holy Spirit we are guided aright. Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Remember that Jesus is the word and he himself was sent by the father. This is the arrangement: the word of God leads and the Spirit follows, going hand in hand.

The word of God should help us judge the spirits. We cannot jettison the word of God in the guise of following some spirit. Any spirit whose operation does not line up with the word of God does not glorify Jesus. If he is not lined up with the claims of Jesus about himself as contained in the word, it is a false spirit (1John 4:1-3).

The Holy Spirit did not come on his own mandate, he has come to honour the Son, Jesus Christ (John 16:14). Therefore, we need to study the word and yield to the Holy Spirit; if we are not full of the word of God we will not be of much use the Holy Spirit. To the limit that we know Christ, the Holy Spirit leads us in his path, and he leads us in his path so that we will know him.

The word charts the path the Holy Spirit fuels us on the journey. The word guides, the Holy Spirit helps on the journey; the word enlightens, the Spirit empowers. It is not about choosing between the two; we need to embrace them both.

Mental laziness causes us to move away from the word of God and the fear of the wrong spirit, of becoming eccentric, cause us to move away from the experience of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:1-13).

But the solution for the two problems is the other. When we embrace the Holy Spirit, we are led to be passionate about the word of God, and when we embrace the word of God we see the indispensability of the Holy Spirit.

Otherwise, we are rejecting the will of God in a fundamental way, rejecting his direction. Remember that when Adam and Eve rejected the will of God, they were full of different excuses, which were not tenable. They were not spared the repercussion of going in the wrong direction because they rejected the word and submitted to the wrong Spirit, rejecting the Holy Spirit.

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