Posted on: 9th September 2019
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
What can we trust? What can we learn that will help us in our future? What does it mean to submit to God?
Trust me, I’m a … . What can we use to fill that sentence? Trust requires there to be a truth that you put your faith in. Trust requires faith. Speaking to a colleague recently about faith and facts, we discussed the possibility that something being fact now could possibly not be fact in the future. The changing nature of facts requires us to put a time limit on the fact, or for us to put our faith in the facts.
Gone are the days that I get my AA Roadmap out, or spend hours prior to a trip writing out the directions for my journey. Out comes the mobile phone, google maps (other map services are available) and off we go. I heard of a group of youth workers, heading to help at a school camp in Newtown, Wales. They confidently typed the postcode of the venue into their device and followed the directions. Having never been to Wales by car before, the devices directions as ‘gospel truth’. As they passed signs for Lockerbie (having set off from Oswaldtwistle), they received a call from the camp, asking when they expected to arrive. Unfortunately, the postcode they used was KY16 4AJ not SY16 4AJ. 1 digit changed the course of their journey.
Our school vision, ‘Lord direct us’, is a statement of faith. To trust God to direct us requires us to elevate his word above our own view of our situation. It requires us to self-reflect and admit that our own understanding may be flawed or incomplete. This requires an attitude of humility and submission.
The challenge this week is to consider the direction that God has for us, compare it to our own desires and trust that his way is best for us. We have the choice to go our own way, or ask that God will give us a desire to follow his way.
Posted on: 25th March 2019
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.””
Have you ever lost your way? It was July 2004 and I had found a lovely circular walk around Cuerden Valley for myself and my wife in a book. To paint the picture, this was a few days after the due date of our first child. It is also worth noting that it was a hot summer’s day. My sense of direction is better if I have been somewhere before. But on this day, I was sure I would be able to find our way back to the place we started from. The problem was, we didn’t seem to be turning at any point of this walk. Our circular walk felt very linear. I hear the younger generations screaming as they read this, “Just use Google Maps on your smart phone!” This wasn’t a luxury we possessed in those days. After a few conversations with ‘real walkers’ and a few styles and fences to climb, we returned to the car.
Are you looking for the way through life? The disciples were. When Jesus called them, they had their lives changed. But in John 14, we read that the disciples didn’t realise who Jesus was. They heard the teachings and saw the miracles. But they didn’t recognise that Jesus was God or that he was the way to God. Why would they? This was a completely different route to what they thought.
In Acts 9:2, we meet Saul. He was a devoted follower of God. In Acts 22:4, he admitted that before following God, “I persecuted people who followed THE WAY and some of them were even killed.” This came after arrests, imprisonment and beatings, for following THE WAY!
Following THE WAY (Jesus) was a matter of life and death for those early believers. We may not face the same persecution and suffering in our lives for following Jesus (although many across the world do), but we too must make a choice. My prayer for you this week is that you consider the words of Jesus, the passion of Saul and the struggles of the early disciples to recognise who Jesus really is – THE WAY.