Is Jesus our way, or have we substituted something else?
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Most of us are familiar with Jesus’ statement in John 14:6 where He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” We tend to dwell on the last part – Jesus being the exclusive path to the Father. When it comes to the first part, things get a little fuzzy, especially “I am the way.” It seems to be saying the same thing as the last part, but is it? Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, dealing with sin once and for all, He is clearly the only way to the Father. But after salvation, then what?
Our journey into the heart of God doesn’t end when we are saved. It is a continual process of submission and receiving all that God has for us. While we have been saved once and for all from the penalty of sin (our justification), we are still in the process of being saved from the power of sin (our sanctification). This is the walk that true followers of Jesus are on. It is a journey of learning to live in light of who we are in Christ as well as learning to deny ourselves and see the world through God’s eyes instead of our own. It is a journey of learning to know God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit on an intimate level.
All journeys lead somewhere, and once we figure out where we’re going, our most important task is to figure out how to get there. This brings us back to Jesus’ claim to be the way.
AS I SEE IT
Jesus didn’t say that He would show us the way or tell us about the way. He said that He was the way. Our problem is that we have substituted all sorts of other things-good things-for the way. Satan is always ready to divert our attention away from the real goal-an intimate relationship with God. He tries to prevent us from seeing Jesus as the way by tricking us into thinking that Jesus’ work got us saved, but now, it’s up to us to grow, mature, and draw closer to God.
He disguises Christian disciplines as “the way” instead of Christ-things like prayer, Bible study, witnessing, or church attendance. The more energy we expend, the more convinced we are that we have indeed found “the way.” Devotion to Christ takes a back seat and we wonder why things aren’t “working” as they should.
The Holy Spirit, however, works to draw us closer to Christ, into an intimate relationship that allows Him to have more and more control of us resulting in a desire to do those things we mistook for the way (the opposite of what we usually do). Things now “work” because they’re no longer done in the flesh. More focused Bible study, more diligent devotions, and regular prayer time don’t bring us closer to Christ. It is our intimate and growing relationship with Him that results in more effective Bible studies, more meaningful and heart-felt devotions, and more time with Him in prayer. We get things backward when we fail to see Jesus as the way.
We’re so used to always being busy doing something that we seldom take time to be still and know that He is God. We like checking things off our list so we can feel like we’re “on track,” but eventually we realize that we’re just going through the motions. The first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul strength and mind, not never miss a quiet time or attend church regularly. God wants our love more than our service. Jesus said, “If you love Me you will keep My commandments.” He wants our love first. From that will flow our obedience.
We’ve all fallen into this trap at some point. For me, I had to repent of my “misguided” devotion and start seeking God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as I never had before. I had to look at my personal worship of my Lord. Was I really worshiping Him as He wanted to be worshiped, or was I just going through the mechanics? What is your conscience saying to you? Let’s truly make Jesus and only Jesus the way to everything that God has for us.
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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
What is the relationship of an igloo’s circumference to its diameter?
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