Winding Paths, No. 196

Isaiah 40:3-5, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed …”

We read in Luke 3:3-6 that John the Baptist came as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” to prepare the way of the Lord. Each one of the Gospel writers confirms this—Matthew 3:1-4; Mark 1:1-2 and John 1:23. The last verses of the Old Testament also prophesy it and  Luke 1:16-17 and 76 fulfill the prophecy.

These Scriptures explain in more detail exactly what it means to prepare the way for the Lord—“And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

To prepare the way for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, John had to make the way straight. He was anointed to “turn the hearts of the fathers (which includes the mothers too) to the children …” But the prophetic word of Malachi 4:5-6 says that it must happen again “before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.” We are getting close to this time. It is time to prepare. It is time to straighten the paths.

When the hearts of fathers and mothers are not turned to their children, they are on a crooked path. There are many deviant paths in this humanistic world. There are luring detours off the straight road. They may look enticing. They may even seem the right way, but they are often subtle “windings” to steer us away from God’s perfect plan. Yes, this is what the Knox version calls them, “the windings are to be cut straight.”

Are you on a winding path? Sometimes you don’t even realize it until you get lost; until you wake up to find that the devil’s tempting ways are not what they seem; until your family life is out of order and you wonder why. Perhaps, without realizing it, you have landed up on a winding path of independence from your husband. You are too busy to serve him and your family.

Perhaps you have got on a crooked path of busyness—running here and there, attending this meeting and that, getting involved with this organization and that. You are in a whirlwind of activity. It seems great, but where is this winding path taking you? What will be the end result?

It’s a long way off the path God planned for you as a mother—to be nestled in the heart of your home. And what are your children learning? That life consists in going to this and that, being involved in this sport and that organization and not having time to sit around the dinner table together? Will they ever learn the power of the home?

That in the home great things can happen. It is here they learn the pattern to pass on to the next generation. They have time to create, think great thoughts and bask in the joy of home and family life.

Our children will follow the path we take. We dare not take them down winding paths of deception. The decisions we make and the paths we choose will determine the course of not only our children, but generations to come.

Keep alert for these crooked roads and remember that we only prove the salvation and deliverance of the Lord on the straight path. It is only on the straight path that His glory is revealed.

He wants to show His power in your life—to bridge the lonely valleys with His love and compassion; to level every mountain that looks impossible in the natural but can melt in the power and presence of His Spirit and to cut a straight path of truth through all the windings that criss-cross over and back through God’s straight road. Will you let Him lead you?

I love the Way’s translation of 2 Timothy 2:15, “Be earnest … a labourer who needs not to blush for his work, but who drives the ploughshare of truth in a straight furrow.”

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL

PRAYER:

“Father, I ask that you will help me to keep on your straight path, never turning to the right or the left. Please expose every winding path the beckons me away from your truth.” Amen.”

AFFIRMATION:

I will plough a straight furrow in my life and the life of my family.

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