With the start of a new year come new resolutions, new opportunities, and new outlooks. It’s out with the old, in with the new! For the Christian, as we seek to find ways to better ourselves this year, we need to evaluate what we’re seeking, how we’re standing, and where we’re stepping. In doing so, our motto should be “In with the old!”
God, through the prophet Jeremiah, instructed the sin-laden Children of Israel:
“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls…” (Jeremiah 6:16)
In our post-modern culture that continually rejects old and traditional in favor of the new and contemporary, Christians would do well to heed these ancient instructions. It’s the only way to find true rest.
1. Seek the Truth.
Not what “feels right”, not “what’s true for me, but might not be true for you”, not some truth that’s “yet to be uncovered”. Seek truth from the old paths – the original source, the ultimate and eternal standard. There will always be a measure of uncertainty in our lives, but there should be no ambiguity in God’s expectations for us. Within the pages of God’s Word is where rest is found.
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth”(John 17:17).
2. Stand Against Sin.
Alternative lifestyles, tolerance, and acceptance are the rules of today, and Christians are far more influenced by this than we might realize. Following in the old paths means lovingly calling sin what it is, and standing firm against it (not just in our like-minded circle of friends). There may be periods of instability in our lives, but in the life of a Christian, there should be no variability in God’s definition of right and wrong. We have a loving Heavenly Father who has given us boundaries, and rest can only be found within them.
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
3. Step Along the Good Way.
The idea that we are all taking different roads that lead to the same place, religiously, is comforting, but it does not square with scripture. There are only two road choices, and finding the good way requires diligence (Matt. 7:13-14). Walking along this good way requires all the more persistence, but God has revealed all of the characteristics by which we can identify this path and remain on it (see point number one). There is no promise that life on the road won’t be turbulent, but we can have confidence that following God’s directions will lead to the promised destination. There is a way that seems right to a man, but it will not lead to rest (cf. Proverbs 14:12).
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
[Tweet “All religious roads leading to one place is comforting, but it does not square with scripture.”]
Resolve this year to move forward in your Christian walk by going back to the old path. It may sound outdated, and it might not be politically correct. Life won’t be conflict free, and you may be busier than ever in service to the Lord. Following God in the way He desires brings everlasting assurance of rest for the soul, and that’s something you can rest your head on.
Kathryn is married to Andy Baker who preaches for the Maud church of Christ in Maud, TX. She stays at home with their 3 children. In her spare time, she enjoys food (both cooking and eating!), gardening, and taking their Boston terrier for walks.