First Baptist Church of Blackwell
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
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The Ancient Paths

 
 
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…
(Jer. 6:16)
 
Some have asked “what do you mean with the title “The Ancient Paths?”
 
The term is taken directly from Scripture. God spoke to His people, Israel, and told them their lives were off course. They needed to return to the old way of doing things. He pleaded with them to change course, but in their obstinacy, they continued on with life as usual. The ancient paths are the paths laid out by the fathers. At one time they were well worn, but now they are simply overgrown due to disuse.
 
I imagine it like old Route 66 that wound its way through the small towns and byways on its way west. Progress came and so did the super hi-ways. Speed was of the essence so the old path was virtually abandoned for the new route that bypassed obstacles and made for smooth driving. The old route continued, but it was used for nostalgia, not everyday travel. This illustration fits well with the ancient paths of God. God’s way was well worn from centuries of use. It traveled the narrow way of faith, and was in essence “walking with God.” It was a way that leads to the still waters, but it also traversed deep dark valleys and mountain splendor. It was a course that required sure footedness. One could easily fall into the ditches along the way. There were times it seemed like the way was a dead end – leading only to despair. But God always led the way safely.
 
The way was abandoned because of its arduous travel. Progress came and paved new roads to God. Hindrances, obstacles, and the doldrums of slow going are gone. In their place are beautiful scenery and smooth riding. For ministers, the new path was easier traveled. They didn’t have to walk the old path of days filled with prayer and study. They could be successful by trading the study for an office; trading reading and prayer for administration; trading spiritual walk for professionalism. In their minds they see themselves as executives rather then shepherds. But something is missing… in their hearts they hear a call of the road…
 
For the common Christians the new path is less cumbersome.  They don’t need to stock up on faith, hope, and love. The new way stations have all everything a person needs by way of fast devotions for the busy traveler. Quick Stops have spiritual Twinkies and Big Gulp “cups of courage” to replace Bible reading plans and all night prayer vigils. The ancient path has fallen in to disuse, but it is still readily discovered. To use it a person may need to chop through some undergrowth to get to it, and they may have to carry a back pack to hike it, but oh what sweet travel it is to walk with Christ by faith. It is the good way… and walking the ancient path brings rest to the weary soul.
 
Bro. Randy