Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
By: Pastor Lars Janssen
If the phrase “this is the way” makes you think of a popular television show set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, you’re probably celebrating Star Wars Day today. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s perfectly fine. But it is informative to take note when pop culture claims to show “the way,” even if it is in a fictional TV series. In the case of this series, “the way” is an honour code that followers must adhere to, even if it costs them their lives. If I’m honest, when I hear things like this (even from fictional characters on TV!), my audible response is often, “That person needs Jesus.”
God’s way is so much more than an honour code that requires great sacrifice to achieve. Listen to how God’s way is described in Isaiah 30:18-22.
18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
19 For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. 22 Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!
There is so much encouragement in these verses! God’s way with us is to eagerly show us mercy in our struggles. He is ready to give justice to those who wait for him. He can comfort the weeping and is quick to answer our cries. He is ever-present in times of need and willing to be our Teacher to show us the way. His way is tailor-fit to us, perfectly tuned to our situations, and magnificently greater than any other way. God’s way will make us want to say to every other way our culture suggests, “Be gone!” His way is not an honour code, a philosophy, or a moral high road. God’s way is a person, and that person is Jesus.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the way. He once prayed to God his Father concerning his followers, “Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them” (John 17:26). Because of this, we don’t need to prove our true grit by grinding ourselves down on some honour code that can only be explained with the resigned growl, “This is the way.”
We can face our sorrows through tears of hope, knowing that we are never alone. Jesus is the way, and, believer, he is always with us! There’s no need to drag yourself through a lonely grind of empty solutions to your struggles. Are you looking for another way? Are you looking for a way defined by personal pleasure, independent freedom, some code of conduct, or anything other than Jesus? A fresh view of Jesus will make you want to “scatter them as unclean things.” He will make you want to say to those other ways, “Be gone!”
Living with this Jesus of ours and with his people…This is the way!