My Way or God’s Way?

My Way or God’s Way?
 
It’s imbedded in today’s postmodern ethos that there is no one way for anything. There’s apparently no one way to live, one way to think, nor one set of rules or standards. Everyone is (seemingly) free to find his own way.  We profess that there are a plethora of self-proclaimed truths, but not one Truth. What’s true for one person may not be true for another. Everyone is entitled to his own truth. Therefore, one man’s way is as good as another’s. 
 
I agree that the way of every man (his truth) is, by reason of his underlying human nature, equal. I also hold that the way of every man is, by his very human nature, wrong. For our nature, separated from God, is corrupt. Only through the work of God can we be truly free–free to throw off the bondage of our sinful nature and choose to serve God and walk in his ways. We do not have the truth in us. Only God reveals his truth to us.
 
This belief in the validity of self-proclaimed righteousness is akin to the correlation between academic achievement and self-esteem in the education system. According to national surveys, in states where math achievement test scores are  highest, the students’ self-esteem is lowest. Kids who score well and know math think very lowly of their own math skills. Where achievement is low, self-esteem is high. Kids score poorly on math tests, but feel good about it! Why? Because achievement requires the motivation to engage in behaviors that are taxing and difficult and driven by a motivation to improve. That means stress and work. No one likes that. It’s like bad-tasting medicine.When students feel insecure in their own knowledge, they strive to improve and learn more.They may not feel better about their math, but they are better at math. Where students feel good about themselves and their level of math learning (no matter how weak), they feel no compunction to bother studying. As Alfed E. Neuman proclaimed “What, me worry?”
 
So it is with mankind today. We strive first and foremost to feel good about ourselves. We have a right to feel good. Therefore  we create a world where whatever makes us feel good is acceptable; not just acceptable and to be pursued, but a right to be demanded. We have a right to feel good. Each person’s way is thus dictated by a proclamation of a self-revealed, self-defined truth. “I am the truth,” each person proclaims. In that climate of worship of the self and a quest for absolute positive self-esteem, why bother to learn what we may lack? Why listen to anyone question our truth? Why believe there is a truth? Why believe there is a just and judging God whose word declares that what we are doing is wrong? Why allow inconvenient truths to emerge about our underlying feelings of doubt, insecurity, depression, isolation, alienation? Let’s reject, explain away, cover up or attack the source of other truths. After all, we want to feel good! So we protect our own little selfish truths at any cost.
 
There is only one truth. There is only one way: the Way of Jesus Christ. He is the only shepherd who can lead us out from the suffocating burdens of our doubts, fears, troubled spirits, and, yes, our untruths. There is no other way along which we can find meaning and value in our lives; for the purpose for our lives does not lie within ourselves, but outside, in the realm of the Spirit, the realm of the Eternal, the realm of heaven, the Kingdom of God.
 
How can we find the way? It is impossible for us alone, but with God it is possible. The way is not a philosophy, or set of moral values. The way is a person. A divine person. Jesus tells us that He is the Way.
 
 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
 
Jesus is THE Way; not a way, or one way. He is the only way. We know from the Bible that for us to get on the Way, we must believe that Jesus Christ is who he says He is: He is Lord and Savior who on the cross paid our penalty for sin, and through His resurrection, we are given the promise of eternal life. 
 
What do we know about His way?
 

1. It is hard to find and most people will never find it.

 
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (John 14:6)
 
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.  (Matthew 19:24)
 
 If anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him (John 11:9)
 
  
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into he kingdom of God. (John 3:5) 
 
 
2. Most people will be deceived into believing they are on the Way, but in fact they have entered through the wrong gate. It may have a sign marked “Highway to Heaven,” but it is a false road.
 
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.(Matthew 7:13)
  
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
 
Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. (Jude 1:5)
 
The Israelites were delivered and God cleared their way ,  parting the sea for them, feeding them miraculously. Yet most turned against their Deliverer and were punished, and perished before reaching their destination. Now if those who were redeemed out of bondage in Egypt could be misled into thinking they were following God’s way, how much more might we be deceived into a false security of being on God’s path to eternal security?
 
3. You can’t buy a ticket to get onto the Way.
 
No effort on our part apart from faith can get us on His way.
 
…if  you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart  that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

 
 Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone. (Romans 9:32)
 
 
 
4. On the Way you bring nothing but faith and  trust in Jesus. It is a road that requires no packing since you enter empty-handed. We must leave everything of our old selves behind: possessions, relationships, idols, desires. We can only bring two things with us:  faith exhibited by a burning love for Jesus; and a deep abiding trust that he knows exactly what we need and will provide it for us his own time.
 
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:37
 
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21
 
5. The Way will not be one of comfort and worldy fulfillment and success.
 
 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24
 
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life. Matthew 7:14
6. We will never return to our old path.
 
As we enter through the gate that is Jesus, we are regenerated (made a new creation) by the Holy Spirit. We are empowered to follow Christ and are firmly planted on an entirely different road than in our former lives. Through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us, as Christ lives in us, we will never go back. 
 
Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”Luke 9:62
 
 
 
7. We have responsibilities along the Way
 
 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:29-30
 
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15
8. We are not alone on the Way; Jesus is with us.
 
 The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. (John 10:3-4)
  
While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have  guarded them, and not one of them has been lost. (John 17:12)
 
9. He gives us His Holy Spirit
 
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26
 
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Luke 3:16)
10. We have God’s promise that we he will secure each of us along his way.
 
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:6
 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13
 
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
John 10:9
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.(John 6:44)
 
  
 
11. God rewards those who keep to His way.
 
But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:13
 
 
12. The Way is a sure one as long as we fix our eyes on Jesus Christ.
 
If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. (John 11:9)
 
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
   which shines brighter and brighter until full day (Proverbs 4:18)
  
Let your eyes look directly forward,
   and your gaze be straight before you.
 Ponder the path of your feet;
    then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
   turn your foot away from evil. (Proverbs 4:25-27)
 
Most of us wander through life lost, searching, unable to find our way. Most  cannot see the way. Most do not bother to read the road map to life, the Bible. There is hope only in Jesus. Take heed that we do not trust in our own reason, our own hearts, or our own way. Draw wisdom from the Word of God as living water from a deep well, and we shall be firmly established on Jesus Christ’s way. The hard way. The only way. God’s way.
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Published in: on February 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Best lines:

    “I agree that the way of every man (his truth) is, by reason of his underlying human nature, equal. I also hold that the way of every man is, by his very human nature, wrong.”

    I adore your brutal honesty 🙂

  2. Will, this is brilliant. Seriously. Your explanation of the deadliness of false self-esteem is so well worded that it’s brilliant in its simplicity. Well done, Brother Will it’s my favorite blog of yours yet! Don’t let it heighten your self-esteem, though, lol! 🙂

    Who then can be saved?”
    26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”


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