This Is The Way

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Last fall, I took at trip up to Atlanta for a PPA one-day workshop on dance photography. It was pretty much awesome.

I was staying with a friend in another part of Atlanta, and because I had no idea where I was going, I plotted my destination into my phone and told it to adjust the route to get me there on time.

So, there I am, driving along the interstate, when the GPS tells me to exit and starts driving me through every little neighborhood in Atlanta. Charming little neighborhoods, surface streets, places where people work and eat and live. Places I would never see if it weren’t for following the voice coming out of my stereo.

The GPS powers that be knew there was an accident on the main road, and my alternative route was one I could never have found on my own. Even with a map. But with the voice of a guide, I cranked up some worship music, sang my heart out, and let the voice guide me to my workshop. I arrived refreshed and on time.

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. 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!”

I really love Isaiah 30, starting around verse 15. I blogged about some of it a couple of days ago. In those verses we learn that God waits to show us compassion–in spite of our stubborn refusal to rest and trust and be quiet, in spite of the fact that we are inclined to go try to Make It Happen in our own strength and then end up wrung out–God doesn’t sit there angry and stewing. He waits to be gracious to us. He rises to show us compassion.

And then, he says, “This is the way.”

Oh, how I long to hear, “This is the way.”

Where do I hear that voice? I hear it in meditating on his Word. I hear it when I lay aside my Many Tasks and spend time in worship.

But it’s not just direction that is promised here. It’s power over my own idols.

Did you catch that? It’s after we hear the voice of our true Love that we will “defile our carved idols” and “scatter tham as unclean things…” When we are ripping through life at a thousand miles an hour, our idols–the things and identities we worship instead of Jesus–can become pretty powerful. They are the voices we listen to first.

But when we stop and listen, when we hear the true Voice–it’s then that we see how useless our idols are. How full of false promise, how deceptive.

So, friends, what are you trusting in this morning? Is it your own talent, a new marketing program, the elusive title of Best Photographer or Best Entrepreneur?

I know I trust in a lot of things to give me confidence and hope–a lot of identities beside my true one. Lord, would you fix our eyes on you, the author and finisher of our faith? This morning, would you reassert yourself at the center of our lives, and would you speak by your Holy Spirit, leading us through the challenges of the day? Allow me to throw aside my idols–all the things beside you that I am trusting in, all the good gifts that I am loving more than they deserve. You are great, and you are worthy of being the one I love most.

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