This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.
Egypt = our fleshly desires, sin, and the world
The Promised Land = a Holy Life, a life set apart for God, a promised outcome God has given
What are the Ancient Paths? What does it mean? I believe God showed me something for all of us, but it is up to each of us to translate it and act on it for our own life specifically.
While reading, a book called: “revival – a people saturated with God” by Brian H. Edwards pg.134, it struck me that part of the Ancient Path for all of us is the Presence of God. The author refers to the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt, Exodus 33, and how Moses would not move without God moving too. They were known to be a different kind of people, because God’s Presence was with them in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. And in David’s day, they carried the Ark, which was God’s Presence.
• We should be, and I believe are called to be a people marked by God’s Presence! Getting back to that is getting back on the ancient path.
It can be a little daunting or unheard of for some to imagine God’s Presence being a daily thing, but actually He is with us all the time anyway, we just don’t realize it. We need to practice recognizing Him; taking time daily to talk with Him yes, but more importantly to listen to Him. (Ecc.5:1-2) Looking for Him in nature, in His Word, in Songs of Praise – He IS there! O that we would see Jesus! Adoring Him, worshiping and praising Him…when you experience that moment, the moment you feel His presence and hear His voice – hold on to that and make it your plumb line – make it what you aim for in relationship with Him. Don’t settle for less than His Presence! His Presence in our life will lead us to that Promised Land He has for us. Let us mark the doorposts of our hearts with His Blood, the doorposts to our lives with His Blood and be a people set apart for Him.
• Being on the Ancient Paths is to leave Egypt.
We need to drop the shackles that bind us (mentally, physically, and spiritually) whatever they may be. We need to open ourselves to the idea of a new life, living in a new place we aren’t currently residing in. We need to be open to leaving the familiar, leaving the old life we’ve known. That can be scary, some of us don’t like change…look at the Israelites – Egypt was a place of slavery and abuse for the Israelites for hundreds of years. You wouldn’t think they would complain to finally get out of dodge, but even as they were witnessing miracles by God to free them, they were moaning and groaning that they’d rather go back to Egypt!!! Wow! It’s easy to look back at that, and down on them, with our human 20/20 perspective, but today WE still live in “Egypt”. Well, yes, we now call it the World and our flesh, but we are just as stuck to it as they were to Egypt.
Jesus died to set us free! He doesn’t want us to be captive to anything, abusing ourselves and living in separation to God with our addictions/sins, with no regard for where His Presence is! He wants us to be captivated by Him so much so that His Presence radiates from our being.
Jesus parted the “Red Sea” for us, when the curtain to the Temple was torn in half, as He died on the Cross. And He sent “the cloud by day and fire by night” when He ascended to Heaven and sent down Holy Spirit to reside inside each of us who would accept Jesus into their hearts.
A Holy Life is possible or He wouldn’t have asked it. With Jesus all things are possible, even helping us to walk out of Egypt on the New Ancient Paths to reach a Promised Land of Holy Living He prepared for us.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”