Summary: The modern Church has turned God into a vending machine. Prayer in ~ Blessing out. But we are missing the main point, the greatest blessing of all is the Lord Himself.
In the book of Jeremiah, the Lord spoke through the prophet to the people to seek the Ancient pathways. But they would not, to listen for the sound of the trumpet, but they would not. The people were at a crossroad, needing to choose the way of the Lord or continue in a form of religion that ultimately led to captivity.
This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ’We will not walk in it.’ 17 I appointed watchmen over you and said, ’Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
This message was inspired by a personal note to me from a friend in Israel, He shared a vision of an Angel standing at the crossroads, not saying anything, but pointing in a particular direction. Pointing out the pathway of the Lord.
It got me thinking about the pathways of the Lord. Of course the most important thing for us all is to enter the pathway through the door, JESUS. But I suspect that many of us just mill around the door way and never venture too far along the pathways of God.
Proverbs 4:18-19 18But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness, they do not know what makes them stumble
Psalm 23 The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. 2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Psalm 25:10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth,
The revelation of the pathway is also found in Jesus! He is the door, but he is also the way. So wy don’t we venture past the door and into the way? A lot of it has to do with fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of deception and so on. The Lord will not led us up the Garden path! He will lead us into the "Right Paths" The key is being abandoned to the purpose of God as found in Jesus. Putting aside our desire for power and gifting and walking in His! The Lord will never led us away from the Ancient paths, only our self nature which seeks power for the wrong reason will do that. But a humble abandonment to the master and His purpose will release the supernatural pathways of God.
The fifth century Celtic Christians walked in amazing supernatural demonstrations. Signs in the sky, raising of the dead, Miracles and wonders were an every day part of their life. They did this because of their abandoned life. The prayer on the Shield of St Patrick sums this abandonment up.
Be Christ this day my strong protector: Against poison and burning Against drowning and wounding Through reward wide and plenty Christ beside me, Christ before me Christ beside me, Christ before me; Chrsit behind me, Christ within me; Christ beneath me, Christ above me; Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me; Christ in my lying down, my sitting and my rising; Christ of all who know me, Christ on tongue of all who meet me; Christ in eye of all who see me, Christ in ear of all who hear me.
Many of these men and woman died for Jesus, and here is the key; "They died for Jesus" not for their faith, or their Church, rather; Martyrs did not conceive of their death as some grand scheme to make them a saint! They died as witnesses to a better way, His NAME is Jesus.
Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the believers who were praying for him upon his impending death the following.
I must implore you; pray leave me to be a meal for the beasts, for it is they who can provide my way to God. I am his wheat, ground fine in Lions teeth, to be made purest bread for Christ. Better still, incite the creatures to become a sepulcher for me; let them not leave the smallest scrap of my flesh…When there is no trace of my body for the world to see, then I will truly be a disciple of Christ.
Many of us desire what Christ gives, but do not desire Christ himself, and therefore we miss the pathway to the supernatural realm. When the pathway becomes Jesus himself, and not the longing for gifts that the modern Church has proclaimed, then we again will see into the supernatural! Can you grasp this? Ignatius again said. "Apart from Him, nothing else should have any value in your eyes".