~ by John Ortberg ~
Robert Frost's poem creates an image of two simple paths in the woods. One is narrow and less traveled while the other is wide and more popular. But, I think there are lots more paths out there. After we choose the narrow way, we keep running across new forks in the road.
Oh look, this path is less rocky and a little bit more maintained. It's still narrow but it just looks a little bit easier on the feet. From our vantage point, we may not be able to see if a certain path will lead back to the wide way.
Sometimes, the path narrows so much that it is difficult to see the way. The grass grows high and the bushes crowd in so that each step is labored.
I guess it seems to me that each day we are given new choices which is why it is so important to evaluate our thinking each and every day. Asking ourselves, Is this thought pattern drawing me closer to Christ?
On the internet, I run into people from two vastly different mindsets. I'm talking about extremes, so please don't be offended. One ideology says that we must separate ourselves from the world becoming epicurian in our lifestyles, avoiding anything that even resembles worldliness.
On the other hand, there is a movement for people to make Christianity relevant for today's generation. This includes incorporating worldly ways into our worship and our doctrine.
Let me be clear. Neither one of these paths leads to the cross.
Ok, I may have just really ticked some people off. But, it saddens me to see people getting so excited about holiness or so passionate about people but not pursuing CHRIST.
I want to know HIM, I want to be made like HIM. He loved people and He was sinless. He wasn't exactly relevant though and I don't think He would fit into some epicurian circles. He was a regular guy whose life was about grace, honesty and God's glory.
1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, prepare your minds for
action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
Are my belief systems in line with Christ's? What I believe about humanity, about myself, about salvation, about how to live out my faith....are these beliefs conformed to Christ? Or to the last great book I read (ouch!)? Or to the mentality I inadvertantly pick up from TV? Or to some man-made idea of perfection?Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I have a last comment about how we conform our thinking to CHrist's. My thoughts will conform to His when I know His thoughts. So, I have to begin by saturating myself with His word. Worldly thinking and pharisaic beliefs are often so set in that we don't recognize them as such. We have to pray like David, asking God to search our hearts and reveal false beliefs. This is a daily battle. I choose the right path when I consecrate my thoughts to Christ and trust Him instead of my human thinking.