By Robert Guinn
I wish I could tell you that we are preparing for our journey. The reality is that we have already started. What we do today, what we did yesterday, and what we do tomorrow bring us further on our journeys.
The journey is life. It is amazing, because God gave us life. Life is an amazing journey because God not only gave it to us, but He also gives us the freedom of choice…the choice of how our journey ends. The Bible describes the journey as having two destinations: destruction and eternal life (Matt 7:13-14), with our destination based on how we live (Hebrews 9:27). So, we need to see where we are going. What helps us to properly see what is around us? Light. Psalm 119 contains an excellent section of Scripture describing God's word as our source of light.
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path," (v.105). God’s word is a light that reveals our location. Have you ever stepped into a room, turned on the light, and all the bugs scatter back into the dark corners? You cannot see them until the light reveals their presence. By allowing God’s word to shine in our lives, it reveals the reality of our spiritual situation. We may not always like what we see. We remember on the Day of Pentecost, following the death and resurrection of Jesus, Peter stood up and shined the light of God’s truth by preaching to the crowd. They reacted by saying, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” To which Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins,” (Acts 2). God’s word revealed their current situation, and it will also reveal our current location, showing us the right path to take.
“I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules. I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word! Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your rules,” (v.106-108). God’s word is a light that reveals our commitment. After turning on the light and seeing the bugs scatter what do you do? Do you turn the light off and run? Or do you notice where the bugs are going and get the bug spray? The themes of confession, obedience, persecution, dependence, sacrifice, praise, and continued dedication in these two verses convey a sense of loyalty. One will not do any of these without some level of commitment. Thus, our reaction to what the light reveals displays our loyalty to God. David sinned by committing adultery and arranging for the death of Uriah because he was physically attracted to Bathsheba. When confronted with God’s word by Nathan the prophet, David admitted his wrong and recommitted himself to the Lord despite the consequences (2 Samuel 12; Psalm 51). God’s word reveals our commitment as we either deal with the revealed problems or ignore them.
“I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts. Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end,” (v.109-112). God’s word is a light that reveals our power of choice. Ultimately, it is our choice whether or not we pick up the can of bug spray or call the exterminator to handle the issue we discovered when we turned the lights on and the bugs scattered. Likewise, we choose whether or not to properly follow what the light (God’s word) reveals is the best path for our own lives. Barnabas saw a financial need and sold some land and gave the money to the Lord. Ananias and Sapphira did the same thing but lied about the amount for which their land was sold (Acts 4-5). The end result was their death. God’s word reveals our power of choice by showing us the motivation behind our “faithfulness.”
Life is an amazing journey! A journey that we are writing as I speak. The question is, what do you want the ending of your journey to look like? Make sure you can see where you are going. Take the “Light” of God’s word for your journey.
- Robert Guinn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.