Recently I remembered my brothers in our childhood. One of the memories included when they ran away from home. They thought they were well prepared and knew where they were going. Since they were Boy Scouts, they knew how to survive. They packed a Boy Scout Hatchet for any emergency, plus two canteens of water. They planned to live ‘off the land’.
They hiked the seven miles to the Boy Scout Camp, the logical place to go. The school notified Dad and Mom mid-morning when they failed to appear. The search began. In those days, we had lunch at home, instead of school. I walked home and Mom made her usual delicious lunch with chocolate pie with mile-high golden meringue for dessert.
The problem? I found it difficult to swallow because my brothers, Jim and Gene weren’t there. I missed them and wondered if I would ever see them again! My imagination conjured up mind-pictures of huge black bears pouncing on them.
At dusk, Jim and Gene appeared with a neighbor who found them and brought them home. He told Mom they were hungry so he bought them each a hamburger. Later at our private debriefing, they told me the water was soon gone, and they could only find berries to eat. Then they could find nothing to eat. They wandered in the woods. I was thankful they didn’t say anything about bears.
Why did they run away? They were tired of following the rules at school and doing chores at home. They wanted to find their own way. Surely it would be better for them.
How often we say, I can do it by myself. I can make my own rules, create my own world by myself. Sooner or later we learn – It is God’s Way.
King David was a ‘man after God’s own heart’. How can that be with all the bad things David did? Did the power God gave Him, ‘go to his head’? David had a song in his heart and he knew when he didn’t follow God’s way and pleaded for forgiveness.
Over and over in the Psalms, we learn how God forgives King David. Why? God forgave David because of David’s humility before our Creator. The biblical definition of humility brings it home – thinking more of others than ourselves…
To know God’s Way, we learn to know God Himself through knowing Jesus Christ. “Where is your father?” they asked. Jesus answered, “Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” John 8:19.”
To know God’s Way – we learn to know God Himself through Jesus Christ. He came to this earth to teach us God’s Way. Jesus prepares us for this journey with His heart of love. Love like Jesus – that is God’s Way – for God is Love. God cannot abide to lay His eyes on sin. God sent Jesus to teach us God’s Way of purity.
Why God’s Way? Who created the vast Heavens and earth? Who created man? Who made the sunshine and the stars in the night sky? Who made the wide ocean and the lofty mountains that speak of His grandeur? This is God’s universe we live in and He is our Shepherd and King. He longs for us to choose Him, love Him, and trust Him with our lives. He gives us hope, joy, and peace when we live in His Way. He gave us His Word to learn His Way!
He prepares us. He trains us. He beckons us to Come. He surrounds us with His Presence for those who see and hear Him with our hearts that are tuned to Him. God created us in His image. He believes in second chances.
Elizabeth Elliott says it – “The will of God is not something you add to your life. It’s a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Son of God…or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.”
We have the Armor of God when we walk in His Love. This is not armor we can see, but armor protecting our faith in Jesus.
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:14-18
There is no ‘running away from God’. Jonah learned this while contemplating his actions for three days and nights in the belly of the big fish. C. S. Lewis said. Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. This pain can be physical, emotional or spiritual.
God didn’t create us to leave us here to do the best we can alone. We soon learn we cannot do life by ourselves. He reminds us often that His Way is for us.
James 1:2-4 tells us why there is pain and why it is good. Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Do we know our destination after this life? Are we prepared for the journey? Who is our Guide and Comfort? This life is a process of learning to be His.
Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes. Psalm 27:11
Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. Psalm 86:11
He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. Psalm 25:9
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13