Lead Me on a Straight Path

Psalms 27:1-3 ESV

“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

“When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

“Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.”

In this world of ours we have things being thrown at us (figuratively speaking) all the time which have the possibility of instilling fear in us if we let them. The news alone is a hotbed for fearmongering. Angst is everywhere, including in social media memes and tweets. It is like having flashing billboard signs in front of our eyes continually saying, “Be afraid! Be afraid!”

And then we have daily circumstances that we face and tragic events in our lives, and illnesses and injuries, and people treating us unkindly or betraying us, etc. which also have the possibility of instilling fear in us if we let them. And if our own human nature is not enough fighting against us we also have Satan trying to instill fear in our minds and hearts, too.

So, what do we do? How do we respond? If we are followers of Jesus Christ we turn to the Lord in prayer and we surrender our circumstances over to him and we pray for wisdom and discernment and for direction in how to proceed. We don’t let fear overtake us, but we entrust ourselves to the Lord. We commit our ways to him and we trust him to work it all out.

In this life there are things we have some control over that we can do something about to change our circumstances, and there are things we have absolutely no control over, which includes other people. Some people will treat us kindly, and that is good, but others will treat us badly. We will have enemies no matter who we are, even if they are secret enemies.

And if we are following the Lord wholeheartedly with our lives, and if we are holding on to the truth of the Scriptures, and if we are sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ (the whole counsel of God) with others, and if we are exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness for what they are, we are going to have enemies who will come against us and who will oppose us.

For, in the Christian world of today, at least here in America, many have compromised the truth of the Scriptures to suit their own purposes. They have altered the gospel of Jesus Christ to make it more agreeable to their flesh. So they have devised an alternate “gospel” which makes no demands of them whatsoever to forsake their former lives of sin.

So, if you are still teaching what Jesus and what his New Testament apostles taught with regard to the gospel, that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we must repent of (forsake) our sins and follow the Lord Jesus in obedience to his ways, then you should also have people attacking and opposing you, depending on where you live.

But we never have cause to fear any of these situations or people. So, if we begin to feel fear we must immediately surrender our circumstances and the people in our lives over to the Lord, pray for wisdom, do what he says, and then rest in him and trust him to work it all out according to his plans and purposes. For he has purposes we don’t see.

Psalms 27:11-12 ESV

“Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.”

If we want to know the way of the Lord we need to read the Scriptures, but we need to read them in context. For many false teachings have come into being from people teaching Scriptures outside their context. Now, I am not saying that we can’t apply the Scriptures in practical ways to our lives and to our world today. We can. But we need to guard against misinterpretations of Scriptures because we are interpreting them outside their context.

Let me give you a couple of examples. Some people love to quote Ephesians 2:8-9 and say that no works are required of them. Yes, we can do nothing in ourselves to earn or to deserve our own salvation. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father draws us to Christ, and even the faith to believe in Jesus is from God and not from ourselves, lest we should boast (Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1).

But verse 10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” So, when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith we are created in Christ Jesus for good works, but not our own works of our own flesh, but the works God prepared for us to walk (in conduct, in practice) in them.

And then many people like to quote John 10:28-30 where Jesus said that he gives them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one can snatch them out of his hand. And they use that to say that once they believe in Jesus that heaven is guaranteed them no matter how they live from that point forward. But they leave out verse 27 which describes who “they” are who have eternal life. They are those who listen and who obey the Lord.

So, if you want the Lord to teach you HIS WAY, then make certain that you are reading his word in context so you know what his way is. And don’t rely on other humans to tell you what that way is for not everyone is telling you the truth. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing out there lying to you and trying to convince you that you don’t have to repent or obey or submit to Jesus Christ as Lord of your life and that you are still saved. Lies!

Psalms 27:13-14 ESV

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!”

And the same applies here. We can’t claim the goodness of the Lord over our lives if we are still walking in darkness. And walking in darkness means living in sin, in deliberate and habitual sin against the Lord. We are either for the Lord or we are against him. We are either walking in sin or we are walking in righteousness. This is not saying that we will never sin, but that sin should no longer be our master to where we obey the lusts of the flesh.

So, please know that Jesus Christ came into this world in order that he would one day die for our sins. But he didn’t die just so he would forgive us of our sins and so that we could one day go to heaven. He died to deliver us out of our slavery (addiction) to sin so we would become slaves of God and of his righteousness. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died to free us!

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]

Mary, Did You Know?

Songwriters: Greene Lee Rufus / Lowry Mark Alan

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re
Holding is the great, I Am

Mary, did you know?

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