“This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: ‘A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.” (Matthew 3:3, 5 NIV)
Our prophet, John, doesn’t mince words. His statements are clear, precise, and demanding.
Few Christians today even think of discipleship as a path. However, to the people of that day, and to today’s people of the East, the word “path” has a very deep and meaningful message. It is a metaphor for life. It demands a completely different way of thinking. It also demand a repentance, or turning altogether to a different path or way of living.
The early disciples of Jesus understood this, especially after his ascension. In fact, the early disciples were called members of the “way” in Acts. They understood that being a follower meant to make a change in direction and thinking. No mixing of the world and the kingdom of heaven. It was a matter of life and death, both spiritually and physically.
John’s message holds true even today. We need to make our paths straight of the Lord. The question, is “How?”.
1. A decision toward complete dedication and commitment to the Lord and the spirit.
2. A realization that while we live in a physical world, the battle is a spiritual one. And our spiritual decisions can have a lasting impact in the physical realm.
3. A commitment to learning the teachings of Christ’s teachings and commands.
4. A time of solitude for listening to the Lord speak to us through rhemas and the written word found in the scriptures.
5. A realization that our struggles in life are part of our disciplining process to make us into Jesus’ image.
6. A hatred of anything sinful. Both sins that lead to death and sin that does not lead to death.
These are just the beginning steps of our life in Christ…and the making of straight paths for the Lord.