Monday, August 29, 2016

Straight Paths and Level Mountains

Straight Paths and Level Mountains
August 29, 2016
Isaiah 45:2  "I will go before you and make the crooked paths straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze, and cut through the iron bars."

I love the imagery of the Lord going on a head of me, like a guide in the jungle, blazing a path with a machete.  He is out front and leading, making sure the path is cleared for me, making sure it is straight.  And if there are any mountains in the way, Scripture says He'll level those too, so I won't have to climb that difficult mountain.  This even comes with the side benefit of protecting me from harm, if there are any wild animals or savages out there.  The Lord lays out all the benefits of when He goes on ahead.  He declares this through His prophet Isaiah and then again through John the Baptist.  Examine both sets of Scripture, though, to understand what it is the Lord is promising to do.

In Isaiah, the imagery of the Lord going ahead of us and leveling the mountains is in direct reference to the path that Jesus was going to take.  When the Lord said "You" in this set of Scripture, He was referring to Jesus, not necessarily you and me.  Then again when this imagery is set up by John the Baptist, He was declaring that Jesus was coming and a crooked path was made straight and any mountains were about to be leveled.  Both a straight path and a leveled mountain are needed to make a clear and direct path, for easy and efficiency of travel.  I don't think Jesus needed a straight path or level mountain necessary in the physical sense.  These had to represent spiritual obstacles, maybe even human obstacles needing to be overcome, making way for the Salvation that can only come through Jesus.  Both references in Scripture were made in preparing the way for Jesus.  You and I aren't Jesus so we must be careful if we think the Lord will just straighten our path or level our mountains for us.

Before you get frustrated and think the Lord will never straighten your path or level your mountain for efficiency's sake, please fully understand what the Lord was intending.  While the interpretations of these Scriptures were meant for Jesus, it is fully applicable to the Lord's plan for Salvation for mankind.  This wasn't just true two thousand years ago.  This is still true today.  There were obstacles that must have been overcome in order that you could be saved.  Looking back on your own life, there was a clear and direct path that physically led to your knowledge and acceptance of salvation.  You've seen others who had a clear and level path to their acceptance of Jesus as their Savior; mountains had to be leveled in order for this to happen.  Miracles that bring forth a sinner to the knowledge and acceptance of Jesus happen each and every day and this isn't limited to the work of the Lord for their salvation; this includes you.

You are part of the Lord's plan for salvation for mankind.  The message must be carried forward and a straight path and level ground are necessary for efficiency's sake.  The Lord is working in and through you for the salvation of others.  The Lord has work for you to do; you must be salt and light to this earth, bearing the good news of the gospel, and being His witness to the end of the earth.  To this end, the Lord is in the business of straightening paths and leveling mountains if that enables you to take the message of the gospel forward.  Absolutely, the Lord will straighten your path and level the mountains in front of you, but not for your personal gain, only for the gain of the gospel.  You have a ministry, even though you might not be in full time ministry like a pastor or missionary.  And that ministry is to bring the message of salvation to the lost in your own personal world of influence, to those around you.  If there is an obstacle, the Lord wants to overcome it today.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Is 45, Matt 19:26, Lk 1:3, Lk 3

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