April 11 - The Road never Traveled
Traveling is exciting, going to places and on roads you have not gone before is refreshing. The Israelites, after wandering in the wilderness for forty years, must have felt such excitement as they went into the great, uncharted territory. On the band of the River Jordan, Joshua prepared the troops by sending officers throughout the camp, giving instructions on how to crossover to the other side. As soon as they saw the ark of the covenant of the Lord being carried by the Levitical priests, then they should set out from their place and follow it. However, they were not to follow too closely as to not knowing the way they should go. The reason was that they had not passed that way before.
Going to places you have never been to is both exciting and dangerous. You do not know what to expect, you may get lost easily without a guide. The guide for the Israelites was the ark of the covenant carried by the priests. God’s presence was their guide on a road never traveled. Just like in the wilderness where God had led them by the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of cloud by day. But on this new road, the ark would become their guide.
Actually, becoming a Christian is also like going on an untraveled road. We experience a totally new way of life that affects all aspects of our daily living. All of us need to be retrained for such a venture and journey. Discipleship is simply preparing believers to follow Jesus, and it involves everything that we do, from not choosing the high places at a banquet to avoid shame to being humble in our hearts and let others elevate you. The Lord also taught some very foundational concepts in human relations like not seeking rewards when doing good to others. The disciples were not only to invite those who could repay them for dinner but to invite those who could not invite them back. Their rewards were not on earth but in heaven. They had to look beyond this world to the next.
The Kingdom of God has priority over all human kingdoms, we are under a higher authority and so we have to rearrange our lives for this Kingdom. Those in the Kingdom are not to be complacent but to invite others to the Kingdom feast. Not only that, they are to honor God above all their closest earthly relationships like their parents, children and siblings. They are not even to love their own lives more than they love the Lord. To deny oneself by taking on the cross is the central message of Christian discipleship. That is a completely new road for all new converts.
Are you aware of the demands of discipleship? Discipleship training is to be trained to go on this new journey. It is to give up more and more as you go. Are you ready?
Ps 51:13-19 Josh 3:1-4:24 Luke 14:7-35 Prov 12:27-28