Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the Lord says: Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
A crossroad is a point at which a vital decision must be made. The path to heaven is jam-packed with crossroads that will require a spiritual mindset to make faith decisions in your life. This verse says that when we reach a crossroad we are to stand, look and ask for the ancient paths and once you find them to walk in it. I believe the Bible is the ancient path because the Bible claims to be God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:15 NIV). Since God is eternal, you can’t get any more ancient than that!!
God please breathe your ancient words on me.
Most of the time society is hostile towards the ancient paths. Every generation strives to push the limit to make something acceptable that wasn’t acceptable in their parent’s generation. Many people believe that the Bible is “ancient” or out of date regarding marriage, purity and sexuality. But I believe the Bible is timeless and applies to all generations that came before me and all that come after me. I find that the Bible has much to say about what is most important in my life, how to spend my money and time, how to avoid sin, how to please God and how to imitate Jesus in his love for people.
In order to obtain Godly insights I need to do a lot of standing still before God, looking intently into the Word of God and asking God for answers and then taking the leap of faith to walk in it.
Picture yourself standing at a crossroad. You have already made the decision to make Jesus Lord of your life and you are excited about your spiritual pilgrimage towards heaven with God. You know by now that the world is a threatening place to take a spiritual pilgrimage, but you believe God is with you every step of the way.
At this crossroad there are 3 signs pointing in 3 different directions. One is pointing back to where you came from, one is pointing to the left and one is pointing to the right. A first glance the path to the right looks correct but it is the comfortable path of least resistance in your spiritual walk. You glance to the left and you know in your heart that this is the path of greater faith and risk. You look back and start to doubt that you might have gone too far in the wrong direction and wonder if you should go back.
You stand for a while and read each sign closely and estimate the time to arrive at each destination. You contemplate the cost of going back, turning left or turning right. After praying and thinking about it you decide the path on the left is the best choice even though it scares you the most. You take your first steps down the path on the left and settle into your walking pace. This path appears less traveled but you are certain you are heading in the right direction. As you strain to see where the path is taking you, you realize it may be a while before you reach another crossroad. A peace comes over you and you experience what this verse in Jeremiah says:
“Ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
You realize that you are walking by faith.
This scenario at the crossroad perfectly describes how I felt when my husband, daughter and I were deciding if we should move to Bend to start a house church in coordination with our Oregon family of churches. We knew in our hearts that Bend was the path to greater faith and risk. However, it hasn’t been easy to build a ministry with just a handful of people in a city where you need to start from scratch in building friendships. In the past 10 months since we moved to Bend, I have often looked back and wondered if I went too far down the wrong path. But that is the fear of faith and risk whispering in my ear. I can see how God has been true to his promise to me and my family. Sharing our faith to the people in Bend is “the good way” and we are walking in it and finding rest for our souls in God’s promises.
Jeremiah 6:16 ends with… But you said, “We will not walk in it.” Jeremiah the prophet preached to a stubborn people. I don’t want to be stubborn and walk in the way I think I should go. I will stand, look and ask for God to show me His way and then walk in it. Are you looking for the ancient paths?