“Thus saith the LORD, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein.”
In this passage God is speaking to a nation that has lost its way, though these words were spoken from the mouth of God to the nation of Israel, they are easily applicable to much of His church today.
Jeremiah 6:13-14 - “For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.”
This exhortation is given to redirect Gods people, to wake them up to their personal responsibility to take a stand, to see, to ask for, and to walk in the “old paths.”
Many of Israel’s prophets and even the priests had lost their fear of God and their love for God, they had become greedy and materialistic. They were performing their services out of covetousness. Instead of proclaiming the truth of God, they were telling the people what they wanted to hear. By their actions they had helped to produce a spiritual cancer that was destroying Gods people.
I see it happening in the church today. I grew up in a denomination that used to preach standards of holiness. There were dress codes for men and women, standards by which we were to live that were considered “holy.” The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that we must make every effort to be holy and that without holiness no man shall see God (Hebrews 12:14) While I personally believe that holiness is a work that God performs on the inside of a man, it is direct result of obedience to His Word, There are certain steps that we must take, standards by which we must live, so that the world can see the internal work and recognize that God is changing us. Paul proclaimed that if a man be in Christ he is a new creation, the old is passed away, behold all things have become new. Today I do not recognize the denomination of my youth. They have “progressed” along with the changes in our society and they have abandoned their standards of holiness.
Yet the Word clearly warns us not to conform to the patterns of the world, and not to allow ourselves to be led captive through hollow and deceptive philosophies which are based on human tradition rather than on Christ. The word is clear on these matters, we are not to follow after the patterns of the world, period. It doesn’t matter if “society” is okay with things today that were not okay 50 years ago, that does not make it okay. God’s Word must be obeyed!
The way that we dress is just a small example of what I am talking about, but it is the most visible example. Men were created by God to be men, and women were created by God to be women. 100 years ago it wasn’t okay for women to wear pants, today society says that it is. And now we see women wearing pants and we accept it as normal. Why? Because society says it’s normal. 20 years ago it wasn’t okay for men to wear dresses, but today Bruce Jenner wants you to think it’s normal, even heroic. How long before we see men in the church wearing dresses? Absurd? Well so was ordaining homosexuals just a short time ago, now it is accepted in many churches today.
It is very easy to get caught up in a gospel that is a gospel of convenience and comfort, a gospel without a cross, and a gospel that permits you to think, say, or do anything you want. A gospel that denies the grace of God, and exalts self to a status of godhood, so that anything self chooses is considered right and acceptable.
Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Proverbs 16:25 – “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Any time the bible says something 2 times word for word this close together it is vitally important.
Paul said: Galatians 1:8 – “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
Today as never before we must heed this admonition to stand in the “old ways.” We need see, consider, and compare how we are living today versus how our elders lived. Can you still see the cross from where you are standing? Do you see the blood from where you are living? Do you see the son of God dying for your sins? Do you see him raising from the dead? Do you see him coming to live in his children through the person of the Holy Spirit?
Are you crucified with Christ? Is the life you are now living, lived by faith in the Son of God who died for you, or by the standards of a society that is killing your spirit by driving a wedge between you and the holiness that God says is required for anyone that wishes to see Him?
We must look for the familiar landmarks in our walk: Is there an altar? Is there repentance for sin? Is there baptism in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues? Is there salvation, healing, and deliverance? These are all familiar landmarks, sign posts that mark the old paths. If you can’t see them, you may have taken a wrong turn, you may be on the wrong path, you may be lost and you may not arrive at the destination you are expecting to reach.
I have great news for you, God allows U-turns!
2 Chronicles 7:14
“14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”