Years ago, a friend and I visited a state park in the late afternoon. Deciding that we had time, we embarked on a nature tour of 1.5 miles. We set out on the trail through the forest. After a long time had elapsed, even though we were still on the same trail, the end was nowhere in sight. Continuing on more rapidly, we pursued the trail in hopes that we would soon return to our car.
Dusk began to settle. We became angry and frustrated and began to snip at one another with accusations of blame. As darkness fell, we began to be frightened.
Getting off the trail we went towards the west and sometime later came to a row of thorn bushes beside a fence that separated us from a railroad track. Painfully we climbed through the thorns and over the fence and walked down the track. Thankfully, we saw a light and climbing over another thorn-lined fence, we found a ranger?s house. Interrupting his dinner, he drove us back to our car and we headed home.
From a practical sense, that night illustrates the fate many find in our world today. The following spiritual lessons can be learned from this story.
First, we grew increasingly lost as we doggedly pursued the trail. Millions seek salvation on a path that only leads them to danger and destruction. Matthew 24:24 says false messiahs will appear. If we follow these fakirs, we will find only darkness and destruction. Jesus said that the path to hell would be wide and full of people while the path to heaven would be narrow and sparsely traveled (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6, NKJV). Jesus said to follow him and we will find eternal life on the “Highway of Holiness” (Isaiah 35:8; Mark 8:34).
Second, as the darkness enveloped us, we grew more frightened. Proverbs 4:19 says, “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble.? Darkness is the cloak of deviancy. Crime and all manner of sin occur when darkness is a protective cover.
Darkness, in a spiritual sense, is defined as a “figure of the darkening of the mind and spirit, of ignorance in moral and religious matters.” /1 The paths of Satan are illuminated in the dark streets of sin and depravity. Righteousness has no place there.
Third, we had to get off of the wrong path to find the road to safety. Persevering on the wrong path was not accomplishing anything. Spiritually, most people are on the wrong road. They are following, as Don Henley sang, “the wrong gods home.”
Fourth, the light beckoned us to safety. 1 John 1:5 says that “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” Light is where salvation resides. It is a beacon through the stormy waters. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).
Being completely lost is very frightening. Not knowing where to go or whom to trust, we need a safe harbor. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
If you are on the wrong path, mired in a life of pain and hopelessness, please come to Jesus to be saved, in every way. Jesus came to give us an abundant life so that we can all be safe in his arms (John 10:10).
1/ Bauer, Ardnt, Gingrich, A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 764.
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