Summary: A challenge to chart the course for the year by following the "Path of Life" that God has revealed.
Determining Your Path
Text: Psa. 16:11
"Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In thy presence is fulness of joy; In thy right hand there are pleasures forever."
Today on this first Sunday of the year 2002, we stand facing the journey of the uncharted, not yet traveled road of Life before us. It is not a question of whether or not we shall make the journey but one of what course we will choose to travel.
Every road will have it’s twists and turns. Every path it’s unseen dangers and unexpected surprises. Each course once initiated will bring the traveller to it’s ultimate destination. And the question for each of us today is what course will our lives navigate this coming year.
I. THOU WILT MAKE KNOWN TO ME THE PATH OF LIFE
There is an old saying that says, "All roads lead to Rome" and some have mistakenly thought that this principle also applies to Spiritual destinations. They have mistakenly thought that "all paths lead to God." But this is not what the scriptures teach. The scripture clearly teaches that way to God is singular, that the pathway of life and righteousness is but one.
I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but through me
I am the door, if any man enters through Me he shall be saved…
- God clearly offers us the pathway of life through His Son Jesus Christ and you cannot begin the journey if you do come to Christ (expand to reach the unbeliever)
Thou wilt make known to me the path of Life
A. God Wants to Direct and Guide Our Life
- God is not obscure, aloof,
- He is not indifferent or unresponsive
- The psalmist clearly states "Thou wilt make know to me…"
B. The Question Is Do We Want To Know His Direction For Our Lives
- There are many paths that lie before each of us
- How will you know which path you should choose and take
- What will be the criteria by which you determine the course of your life
- For some it will be:
a) Does it feel good,
b) Will it bring me prosperity or financial benefit
c) Will it bring me recognition
d) Will it make me happy
e) Will my friends or family approve
- The bible clearly teaches us what happens when man tries to determine his own course of life
Prov. 14:12; 16:25 state:
"There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end is the way of death."
C. God Wants to Reveal His Will - His Direction For Our Lives
- In fact God has gone to great lengths to clearly reveal His divine will for us
Heb. 1:1,2 tells us that:
"1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"
- God has gone to great lengths to reveal His divine plan and purpose for our lives, but all too often we have chosen our own paths
Isaiah 53:6 says:
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way"
- even at that though God still tries to reveal His path for our lives for in the very same verse it goes on to say…
"...and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
D. God’s Word is His Divine Will for Our Lives
- His Word will make Know the Path of Life
- There is no great mystery about knowing the will of God
- The problem is that even though God speaks clearly, we often think we know better!
- Allow me to illustrate with a story about a sailor
Charting His Course for Us
An old sailor repeatedly got lost at sea, so his friends gave him a compass and urged him to use it. The next time he went out in his boat, he followed their advice and took the compass with him. But as usual he became hopelessly confused and was unable to find land. Finally he was rescued by his friends.
Disgusted and impatient with him, they asked, "Why didn’t you use that compass we gave you? You could have saved us a lot of trouble!"
The sailor responded, "I didn’t dare to! I wanted to go north, but as hard as I tried to make the needle aim in that direction, it just kept on pointing southeast."
That old sailor was so certain he knew which way was north that he stubbornly tried to force his own personal persuasion on his compass. Unable to do so, he tossed it aside as worthless and failed to benefit from the guidance it offered.