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Need Directions?

According to a certain stereotype, men generally do not want to ask for directions.  For some reason, the male mind is often offended at the idea of admitting that it needs help.  Whether such a man is driving to an unknown destination, trying to assemble a product, attempting to operate a machine, or doing some other unfamiliar task, he wants to do it on his own without assistance.  Pride, stubbornness, confidence, determination, and other attitudes motivate him to press on without the help of others whether he knows what he is doing or not.

When it comes to salvation, every man needs to set his self-confident attitude aside, for nobody will find the way to God without directions.  All people naturally want to find God, for He made them "that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).  However, without the assistance from God, men and women will continue to grope for Him like a blind man feeling his way through an unfamiliar place.  They will stumble, fall, and come short of their goal unless they have help.

Thankfully, Jesus has given directions for reaching God, and they are stated succinctly in one word: Himself.  In John 14:1-6, on the night before His crucifixion, the Lord told His apostles that He was going to prepare a place for them in His Father’s house, saying, "And you know the way where I am going.”  Thomas replied, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”  Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

What does it mean for Jesus to be the way to the Father?  These are truly unusual directions, for rarely is a person described as a way and another person described as a destination.  However, Jesus is the way to the Father because He has made it possible for us to have a relationship with the Father.  Because of Christ’s works, we can now "know” the Father (John 14:7-10).  The book of Ephesians repeatedly shows us how many spiritual blessings we have through Christ, such as forgiveness, redemption, adoption, reconciliation, salvation, etc., and these blessings have led us to the Father.  Notice Ephesians 2:12-13 – "…remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Jesus is the way to the Father in the sense of being a way of life.  When Thomas asked about the way Jesus was going, he was thinking in terms of geographic locations, but Jesus answered in terms of conduct, speech, and thought.  The way to the Father is a way of life that is governed by Christ through His word (John 14:15, 21, 23).  It is a manner of behaving, talking, and thinking that is Christ-like and Christ-led.  This way of life is what Paul meant when he said, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).  In fact, early Christians in the book of Acts were described as belonging to "the Way” (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 24:14, 22), which is a term that modern Christians would do well to embrace again.  When we live in the Way, we imitate Jesus, and we come to the Father.

If Jesus is the only way to the Father, then all other ways are false.  In Matthew 7:13-14, the Lord said, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  The narrow way of Jesus is the only way that leads to life and the only way of salvation (Acts 4:12; 16:17).  It is a precise and accurate way that is not subject to man’s interpretation, revision, or misunderstanding (Acts 18:25-26).  This narrow way will exclude all of those who attempt to gain access to God through any other way.  The broad ways of disbelief, false religions, and corrupted forms of the gospel, which are not really the gospel at all (Gal. 1:6-9), will lead only to destruction.

Therefore, let us follow the only directions that will lead us to the destination we are seeking.  Christ has given us exact directions that lead to the narrow gate that opens to life, and we will have to follow them carefully to find it.  He came to earth to show us the way, and now we must live according to His glorious example and His holy will.  Without following these directions from our Savior, we will never find our way to the Father in heaven.

Stacey E. Durham




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