Where a walk in the park can lead!
It started as a walk in the park…
Half way between my house and where I pick up one kid from school, there’s a big park called Percy Warner. It’s a great place to walk on a beautiful day – and yesterday was a beautiful day.
As I walked through the winter woods completely barren of leaves and dark against the bright blue January sky, I came upon boy who appeared to be about 10 years old. He was rummaging through the weeds along the path.
Not wanting to startle him as I passed, I asked from a few yards away, “what are you looking for?”
Without looking up and with a measure of desperation he answered, “My compass. I’ve lost my compass!”
I happen to be a pretty good finder of lost things so I started moving weeds aside and looking further back along the path. Together we searched and within a couple of minutes, we found it. Okay, I found it, but the point it, what was lost was found! His smile beamed and he thanked me profusely and ran off down the path screaming, “I found it! I found it.” He was thrilled.
I was reminded of the joy Jesus describes in Luke 15 – the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son.
So, lesson one: don’t forget the joy when that which is lost is found.
My thoughts then turned to Pilgrim’s Progress.
As you read, you come to recognize the nature of the walk that leads all the way home. There are those who journey with us for awhile and there are good guides and those who seek to get us off the path. The anticipation rises as Little Christian approaches the Celestial City. There are always questions but there is the consistent faithfulness of God to guide, direct, draw near and lead – through a variety of signs, signposts, companions, maps and guides. The instructions to walk and live in faith are available, we’re just not making faithful, consistent use of them.
I’m talking about the Holy Spirit, the Bible, prayer, and the fellowship of other believers. If you’re looking for a compass by which to walk by faith in the world, these are the guides and maps God has given.
One way to think about the current state of affairs in our own lives, relationships, families, and nation are to talk not only about a spiritual compass, but a moral compass. While it may seem as if people have lost their moral compass the reality it everyone has one – everyone is calibrated to and moving in the direction of something. As a Christian, I am committed to intentionally moving in the direction of someone. That movement happens in my mind as every thought is brought into conformity with Christ’s Lordship and – although imperfectly – that movement happens in my life as I walk faith out into the world through the good works God has prepared in advance for me to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10 and yes, Jeremiah 29:11-12).
Action – that which we actually do be it moral, immoral or amoral – is the product enacted ideas. Deeds follow thoughts. So stop and think for a moment about what you’re thinking about. Upon who or what is your mind set? What ideas, images, narratives and provocations fill the stream flowing into your eyes and ears and through them to your mind and heart?
As Jesus noted, what goes in is one thing. What comes back out is the tell tale truth.
As Christians who see the sin and moral devolution of the culture in which we live, we must recognize that renewal and revival starts at home, in the home and in the household of God.
To see moral renewal in the culture we must begin with ourselves, our families and the family of God gathered into the Church. We must individually and corporately recognize and repent of our ways in which we have rejected God’s Word and His sovereign Lordship in our lives – and our life together. It all begins by restoring the Word of God to its rightful place in our lives and in our common life as believers.
How do we do that?
My husband Jim has just published a book designed to equip every believer to rightly handle the Word of God. Yes, its comprehensive and it’s that good. It is available on Amazon in paperback (if you want a hardcover copy let me know).
Three encouragements today as you walk your faith in Christ out into the world:
- Know the Lord – saturate and soak your life in His Word and draw near to Him in prayer
- Know the Enemy – anticipate the antics of the Evil One who is even now prowling around looking for a way to distract and destroy you.
- Walk by faith with the Spirit and in the fellowship of other saints. We are a family, a body, a temple…indeed the living stones of a building God is even now building together on the sure and certain foundation of Jesus Christ – a building God intends to be a beautiful, living, substantial demonstration of the Gospel to the world wandering in darkness but hoping for life.
For revival we pray and into revival we walk by faith.