7/27/16 Looking Straight Ahead
“Have you ever pictured the straight path that I have called you to travel? First of all, it is very narrow and strewn with rocks, pitfalls, and other obstacles that will make you stumble, if you don’t keep your eyes on Jesus. It is crowned in the center so that it slopes to each side where there are briars, entanglements, and multiple places where the unwary traveler could be stalled by hazards. Overhead, there is a canopy of foliage, which contains a mixture of nourishing and poisonous fruit and vegetables, its bounty sometimes hindering all light from brightening your path. This covering also conceals predators that are looking to devour anyone who is near the sides of the path and not in the very center. Off to the sides, there are winsome sirens, who call to hawk their wares and divert travelers to the side roads, which are smooth, wide, and very beautiful. These tangent paths are numerous and very tempting, filled with rest areas and refreshing places.
"Most of the time, it is very dark. Sometimes a blanket of dense fog covers the road, making visibility non-existent. The road is long, sometimes very steep, and often seemingly impossible—even to the most seasoned traveler. Anyone who decides to travel the road alone is sure to fall into the briars, become side-tracked by many of the beautiful tangents, or die from choosing wrong fruit.
"To each of you, My precious children, Jesus extends His nail-pierced hand. Keep your eyes on Him, never looking to the left or right, and place your feet only where He tells you to step. As you travel, He will tell you of the many wonders We have provided for you at the end of the path. You are very safe from the terrors that are waiting to harm you while you travel, and Jesus has any refreshment you will need.
"If you notice, the end of the path is approaching. Be sure to keep your eyes on Jesus. Most of the journey has passed, but there are a few dangerous steps ahead. The distractions will be more intense and the path will be steeper, but the hazards will not touch you if you continue to focus on Him. I am waiting to welcome you.”
Ps. 27:11 AMP
Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain and even path because of my enemies [those who lie in wait for me].
Prov. 4:25-27 AMP
25) Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you.
26) Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright.
27) Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil.
Heb. 12:1-2a AMP
1) THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.
2a) Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].
I’m sure you’ve heard the story of the traveler who was walking on a very dark night in a mountainous area. He had traveled the road once, and was aware of the dangers and steep cliffs at every turn; so his steps were cautious, knowing that he could fall off the road if he should lose his footing.
At one very dangerous place, he did lose his footing and dropped over the edge of a cliff. Grabbing for anything he could, he snagged a branch that was protruding from the side of the sheer drop-off. There he hung in the black night, unable to see in any direction, hoping the branch would hold.
Throughout the long, cold night, he prayed fervently, hands straining to keep a grip, fingers weary beyond understanding. Periodically, the words, “Trust Me,” came to His heart. When they did, he felt the urge to let go of the branch, which he fought off for obvious reasons.
Morning light, however, revealed that he had grabbed a branch above a large ledge, just high enough above the ground to keep his feet about one foot from touching solid footing. He had hung there all night in fear, unaware that safety was close at hand.
I’m not quite sure how to equate this story with the word above, so you can fill in the blanks as they apply to your life. I do know, however, that our Father is faithful to protect us even though there is no sign of His hand anywhere in sight. I also know that Jesus has gone before us and is the provision for our journey. I guess that everything other than that is simply not worthy of notice.
Sometimes wearily hanging, when I should be letting go,