Heb. 12:13 Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.
Have you ever been on a trip needing to get to your destination and all of a sudden, there it is, a detour. Next thing you know you are running late trying to get to where you wanted to go. In our Christian walk one of the things that we have to be aware of both from our own fleshly standpoint as well as our enemy who does not want us to accomplish our God-given plans is that we will face decisions that can become a detour to where we want to go. These detours that I am talking about are ones that can be avoided. If we avoid the detours we are going to succeed in what Christ has done for us.
The other key element is that we have people who are watching us. There are those who look to believers with hope of a better life but then they see these Christians going down the same crooked path they are on and this only causes them to continue to stumble through life living weak and lame. The healing and deliverance they need is not received because they may not have someone to lead them down the only path that will get them there, and that path leads to God. The number one complaint of unbelievers about those who say they are Christians is that they are hypocrites. I realize that there are those who claim to be Christians and either are false converts, or don’t even realize what a real Christian is. But scripture clearly reveals that those who know Christ should be setting an example that others can follow.
If you want to reach the destinations that God has for you here on earth, which these destinations are the promises we have been given through Christ that we can obtain now, there are several key things in our life in which we need to have a straight path maintained to so that we don’t get detoured from what God has given to us as a strength in our life. I want to share two very important areas we need to maintain a straight path to. There are more, but these are two of the most important in the life of a believer. The better we get rid of the distractions and maintain these straight paths the stronger we will become as a child of God. God did not intend for us to become born-again and not become stronger spiritually. On the contrary, the stronger you become spiritually the more impact you will have for God’s kingdom, and you will have greater victories in this life.
Psa. 27:4 I have asked one thing from the Lord. This I will seek: to remain in the Lord’s house all the days of my life in order to gaze at the Lord’s beauty and to search for an answer in his temple.
The first place we need to make a straight path to is the Lord’s house where we can behold His beauty, be refreshed in His presence, and get answers to the challenges in life that we face. Current polls show that only 43% of Christians attend church just once a week. The other 57% don’t even attend once a week, but most churches have at least two services a week. It is no wonder why the body of Christ as a whole is not very strong. If you send your children to school once a week how much are they going to learn?
If Christians are not dwelling in the house of the Lord where the Bible teaches they are refreshed by His presence, equipped with insight and training from God’s Word, strengthened through fellowship with one another (iron sharpens iron), how then are they going to defeat the darkness that is increasing on the earth? It is not only important we get to God’s house, but it is also important we do so with a desire to know God, serve in His house, and be a part of the body He has called us to grow with.
Stop and think about your church attendance. Scripture reveals many benefits in going to God’s house, yet if we are not there how can we benefit from something God provided for us to be a strength in our life? Think of all the excuses people make for not going to church. These excuses are detours that put believers on a crooked path where instead of going straight to church, they take a detour and go elsewhere. I have found no place in my life where I can get refreshed and blessed like I can in church. I have never received the strength I get in God’s house at my home, in the grocery store, at a ball game, nor anywhere else. Those places don’t have all that God’s house has.
Luke 14:16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,
Luke 14:17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, “Come, for all things are now ready.’
Luke 14:18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’
Luke 14:19 And another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’
Luke 14:20 Still another said, “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
Luke 14:21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’
Luke 14:22 And the servant said, “Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’
Luke 14:23 Then the master said to the servant, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Luke 14:24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”
Jesus here speaks of the fact that God wants to see His house full every time His table is set to feed His children. A shepherd’s job is to feed His sheep. Notice when people were invited to come the excuses they made as to why they could not come. One bought a piece of ground, another bought five new oxen, and the other had married. These are often the same three excuses that people give today as to why they don’t come to church on a regular basis.
The first represents those who are caught up with their own personal desires. Whether that is taking care of their land, mowing the grass, working in their yard, or doing other things more important to them. The second represents those who become so busy with their own business, buying oxen; they no longer have any time for God’s house. The third focused on family time, and that family time was more important than going to God’s house.
Notice in verse 21 that the master was not happy about those who made excuses and did not want to come to his house. So the servant was told to go and compel all who would come for the bottom line was the master wanted to bless these people, and it brings great joy to him to see his house full. It brings great joy to our God to see His house full for He desires for us to be in His house for our benefit, and to help others. Those who were invited and did not come, they did not taste the supper that God had prepared for them. If you don’t eat you become weaker and weaker. The better you eat the stronger you become. Remember when we make straight paths for our feet, those who are in need of healing and deliverance will know who to follow.
Every pastor who is called by Jesus as one of the five-fold ministry gifts He has given to the body of Christ who seeks the Lord about what he is to share with that congregation, has something from God to say to everyone that is there. Think about that. God has spoken to that pastor and has given that pastor a word from Him that He wants to share with His kids. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a message that I have shared and later had someone who didn’t come to church but then wanted my help in dealing with something they were having trouble with, and the very thing they were dealing with I had just preached on under the anointing of God. God knows what we need to hear and when we need to hear it.
Psa. 119:104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.
Psa. 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
The second area we need to maintain straight paths for our feet is going to God’s Word every day. Through God’s Word we get understanding, and become aware of the false ways that mislead us. His Word helps to show us the steps to take, and what we can look to and believe God for in our life. The Word of God is what will continue to set us apart from the world, it’s deceptive ways, and it’s harmful effects on our life (John 17:17). It brings clarity and strength to our life as we develop further in our understanding of who we now are in Christ Jesus.
John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
When you live in the Word of God you have chosen to make a straight path to the scriptures, and not to allow things to detour you from what will bring great freedom in your life. One who lives in the Word of God Jesus said is His disciple (student), and they shall know the truth. This truth will free them from error, deception, and the seducing ways of satan. It will bring a great strength to those who make it a time of fellowship with the Lord and come each day with anticipation of what the Lord will share with them.
I agree with Kenneth E. Hagin who said that the believer today should spend the majority of their time in the New Testament for this is our covenant with God. Without an understanding of who we are in Christ and our covenant we have with Him, we won’t interpret the Old Testament in light of the New Testament. We should not be reading the Bible just to read it, but to get revelation from it, and fellowship with God.
So make straight paths for your feet. You are the only one who can. A key to doing so is making sure our heart is set on God. We also must redeem our time for the days are evil. Watching T.V., surfing the Internet, and allowing others things to consume our time are not going to make us spiritually stronger. God loves you and wants to strengthen your life and use you to lead others as well.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker