Psalm 16:11 says “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” (Amplified Bible). This is the summer season and many are traveling on vacation. It is unlikely for most people to go on vacation without knowing where they are going or without some directions. Things can become very confusing really fast without a plan. This verse tells us that our Heavenly Father God will show us the path ( road, highway, or the way) He has designed for us to go. God has a Master plan for each and everyone, if we will open our hearts to His purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 says “I say this because I know what [the plans] I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you [ plans for your peace/security], not plans to hurt you [for your harm]. I will give you hope and a good future.” ( Expanded Bible). It only makes sense that the One who created us has also planned our lives. Another verse in Jeremiah 10:23 tells us “I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.” ( New Living Translation). God will show and direct us in life on the path that He has planned for us to travel. Following this path will bring pleasure to God and us as well.
A few years back, I had a dream that I would describe as “The Path of Life”. In the dream, my husband and I were in a car together on a two lane highway. The right lane was narrow and the left lane was wide. Matthew 7:13-14 says “ Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. Vs. 14 But the gate is narrow ( contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. “. ( Amplified Bible). My husband and I were in the right lane of the road which was a narrow lane. There was another car in the left lane, which was a wide lane. The person/persons in that car were driving erratically and trying to keep us from passing, while at the same time trying to stop us in our tracks. I believe in the dream the car on the wide road represented the flesh. On the path of life, we must deal with ourselves first, that carnal nature that wants to take control. We must agree with Romans 7:18 “For I know that there is nothing good housed inside me- that is, inside my old nature, I can want what is good, but I can’t do it!” ( Complete Jewish Bible). The KJV describes this as “the flesh”. Galatians 5:17 tells us that the flesh and the Spirit are contrary to one another. They are one another’s adversary, they oppose one another. We must first allow the grace of God to help us conquer our own carnal nature on the path of life. The flesh wants to travel on the wide road, while the desire of our Spirit nature is the narrow road. Even though the flesh fought hard to keep us from passing it on the path of life, we did get past it. This is not a one time event. We must throughout the course of life stay in control of our flesh.
We rode a little further and eventually came to another obstacle. In the left lane of the road there was a large truck that was parked. There was a crowd of people standing close to the truck in that lane. There was also a person lying on the ground that appeared to be badly injured. The closer we got to the scene, the more we realized this was a setup to stop us. The person was not really injured and the truck was there to keep us from going any further because at that very spot where the truck, the crowd of people and the seemingly injured person was, our lane was filled with water. The water was so high in our narrow lane, until it seemed impossible to go on without getting on the wide road. But even if we got on the wide road, we could not go anywhere because the big truck would not let us through. Our thought was how are we going to continue on the narrow road with so much water in our path? We realized, the seemingly injured person was placed there to play with our emotions. We should have an open heart about helping people that are hurting and in need, but at the same time don’t be moved only by our emotions. Be sensitive to God’s voice in every circumstance. The crowd of people signified the people that had been stopped by this setup. The enemy will try and tempt us through our mind, will and emotions. This was a ploy to make us think that we had a good reason to stop and we had no other choice. Other than stopping and joining the crowd, our only choice was to drive through the water. We made the decision that regardless of the cost, we would drive through the water. We did that which seemed impossible and came out on the other side. Isaiah 43:16 says “This is what the Lord says. He is the One who made a road through the sea and a path through rough waters.” ( New Century Version) Once again, on this narrow road we experienced the grace of God in our lives. By HIS grace, we did what was impossible for us, but made possible by the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD.
This is how we live and accomplish what The Lord our God has called us to do and to become.
We road a bit further and at some point realized there were people throwing stones at us. We realized it was a mob of people. The stones were flying everywhere, but not one stone hit us. The stones represented accusations, offenses, stumbling blocks, mockings, ridicule, unrighteous judgments, negative criticism, lies, harmful words, condemnation, and things of that nature that are designed to harm us and stunt or stop our spiritual growth. We never slowed down in spite of the challenges. In the book of Nehemiah, Sanballat and Tobiah were enemies of Nehemiah and the Jewish people. When they heard that Nehemiah and the Jews were rebuilding the walls to the city of Jerusalem, the bible says Sanballat was angry and he began to mock and ridicule the Jews. This is what Sanballot said in Nehemiah 4:2 “And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?” (KING JAMES VERSION) Notice the last sentence in that verse, will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish which are burned? New Century Version reads “Can they bring stones back to life from piles of trash and ashes?” New Life Version says “Will they get good stones for building from the dust, seeing they are burned?” New Living Translation “Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap- and charred ones at that?” Can we actually build something that is valuable, useful and prosperous from the stones that are thrown at us that were intended by the enemy to harm us? I believe we can if we are on the narrow road. Sanballot asked the question “will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish…?” The word revive means to make something new, something strong, healthy, something that has life, restored from a state of depression. Rubbish can be described as trash, something that is not important, words that have no value, useless things. Is it possible for us by the grace of God to take the stones that are thrown at us, which are intended to cause us to venture away from God, and turn those stones into something that will strengthen us and help others ? I believe they are. Isaiah 62:10 says “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.” There will be stones on the narrow road. The Lord wants us to gather them out. Don’t allow what was intended for evil to take root in us. His plan is to take everything that is intended for evil, that is intended to hurt us, harm us, bring calamity in our lives, confusion, affliction, misery, trouble, grief, displeasure, disharmony, things that try to stop us or try to convince us to take the easy way out or to travel on the wide road. He will turn it all around for our good. God will make it into something beautiful, cheerful, lovely, sweet, pleasant, joyful harmonious and His favor and fragrance will be present.
Let us be aware of the things that we encounter that are sent to try and uproot us from God’s plan. The Lord is going to present to HIMSELF ” a glorious church, not having spot, wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” The narrow road is filled with obstacles and pressure, but by God’s mercy and grace, we can and will succeed.