Sunday, June 24, 2012

Whose Path?

Lately I’ve taken time to read while waiting (and waiting, and ...)  Lynn Squire’s recent post 'Your Marching Orders Are Not Mine' contains a paragraph that gives me food for thought:
God gives each of us unique experiences, and we need to respect that. He knows our characters. He knows what we need to go through in order to grow or to humble us or to reveal Himself to us in a way we'd never considered before. The reasons for our individual paths are as vast as He is.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12 KJV)

That’s where we must take great care – when something seems right, and loving friends let us know there appear to be problems with our path. There are some check points we can make if they – or we – have questions about that path:

When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7 KJV)

When there are dissenting opinions, it’s best to get to the heart of the matter, and that’s where the Lord knows best:

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2 KJV)

Peter and Paul are two of our best New Testament examples for service in different ways.  The way they were called – Peter at the first of Christ’s ministry, a fisherman, while Paul after the crucifixion, a highly educated Pharisee. Simply because Peter followed Christ we can understand his religion was very important to him, but the Bible does not give his education, as it does for Paul. They both served our Lord very well.

During Christ’s ministry, Peter appears somewhat hot-headed, responding with emotion in several situations. Paul, on the other hand, stuck with the Torah’s judgmental view, unable to perceive God’s mercy. Yet, each felt they were right with the Lord before and after their time with Christ. Eventually, I believe they came to understand they were to:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 KJV)

Lynn Squire used different biblical men – Saul and David – both chosen of God to lead His people. One needed the accolades of the nation over obeying God and looked for excuses to answer for his unfaithfulness.  The other acknowledged his sins and wrote Psalm after Psalm in humility:

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalms 51:2-4 KJV)

God delivers what is necessary for each and every one of us and it may be clear only to the recipient. We pray for our friends and loved ones as they follow the path God has laid out for them, just as they pray for us.

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