By Jay Pearson

This article is an exhortation to turn from going our own way toward following the Way, Jesus Christ our Lord. There is another way that is not the Way. That way is the way of sinners. Yes we are all sinners, but we should not follow the way of sinners. We should follow the Way, Jesus Christ.

Psalm 1:1:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

John 14:6:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

My heart became open to this study, Changing Direction, when I realized that God spends much of his time asking us to turn. I can totally relate to this exhortation because I find myself going the wrong way in life more often than I would like. I’m 65 pushin’ 66, so I’m not going to spill my whole sinful journey to you, but I will give you a glimpse to illustrate going the wrong way.

At 19, and totally absorbed in my own self, I was faced with an unhappy 17 year old wife and a beautiful 3 month old baby, both of which I was about to lose. Lose I did. This caused me to stop for a brief part of my life to consider my God and to ask for his help. In hind sight I realize now I was asking him to help me continue going my way. I never considered changing my direction. After all, how could I possibly be in the wrong? God did help me, but as long as I continued in my direction, it was going to take a long time to reach his direction for me.

Many times we want God to help in what we want to do or in the way we want to go. This is not a lesson I have learned. It is a lesson I am learning. We need to listen for his direction and to follow him instead of asking him to follow us. By not following him we find ourselves doing the same things and going the same wrong way. God exhorts us in his Word to turn toward and not away from him. He calls us back when we have veered from the Way.

Proverbs 1:23:
Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

Proverbs 4:27:
Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Isaiah 30:21:
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

We all struggle to stay our course. We often find ourselves making the same mistake over and over again. Seven years later, I followed urges and heart into another marriage. A man’s heart doesn’t always desire truth, but will settle for satisfaction far too often. This marriage lasted about 5 years and did reap a loving Christian son, for later in life he accepted Christ. His marriage has been quite stable and loving. When my marriage to his mother broke, again I sought the Lord part-time, between the drugs and other self satisfactions. I was not changing direction, I was only crying to God to be my copilot. In hindsight I now know that if you continue to make the same mistakes, you must seek the Lord with your whole heart. Instead of being discouraged when this happens, be encouraged to turn again and again unto the right way, Jesus Christ.

Peter is an example of a man that continually struggled with his own self control. Here is just one example of his struggles.

Luke 22:33-34:
And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

We know in the verses that followed verse 34 that Peter did deny the Lord just as the Lord said. However this was not the end of Peter. He continued to struggle, but also continued to conquer by changing direction from his way to the Lord’s way.

Acts 2:38:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:41:
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Yes Peter struggled, but Peter was a victor also in Christ Jesus. May we continue to change our direction from following afar off to following the Lord’s direction.

Psalm 119:5:
O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!

Psalm 73:24:
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

Changing direction isn’t all about where you are going, it’s also about how you go. It’s about what you bring and what you leave on the way. If it’s his way you’ll bring joy, hope, and thankfulness and leave the blessings that you have received from the Lord and others. Following the Way is more than seeking an eternal destination; it’s walking in his steps.

1 John 2:6:
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

We need to turn from going our own way to going his way. This requires counsel and wisdom.

Proverbs 16:9:
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

My third try at marriage was as sincere as I could be and felt so right. At this time my path was still very crooked. The Lord continued to be patient, but he had a lot to teach me. Before I would be ready to follow the path he had for me, there was another serious struggle at life to go through. This marriage failed also.

At this point I began to ask the Lord to lead me, instead of to follow me and pull me out of my troubles. I changed directions. Yes, in 1991, I took a change of direction to making a surrendered effort at following my Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord placed me with a help meet that he wanted me to join together with, a woman that loves the Lord and follows him to the best of her ability. For 19 years we have struggled together and enjoyed the pleasures of obedience to the Lord. If we find ourselves going the wrong way, we change direction.

It’s time; it’s always time to change direction from the way we go to the way the Lord would have us go. Yes, there is a way that is not the Way. Let’s not find ourselves on that treacherous road in the way of sinners. Instead, let us listen to the "word behind thee" as in Isaiah 30:21, and seek the Lord’s direction as the apostle Paul who knew from where his wise direction came.

1 Thessalonians 3:11:
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

Now when I find myself going the wrong direction, I remember my favorite verse in Proverbs.

Proverbs 3:6:
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

My prayer to God for you is that you seek his direction. Yes, change from going your way to going his way. It takes a focal point to maintain that direction. That focal point is Jesus Christ. If you are looking unto him you are going the right Way, Jesus Christ.



From the June 2011 issue of The Vine & Branches