Last week I had the joy of visiting the northern coast of Devon, England. How boldly beautiful are its rocky cliffs with great boulders and stretches of rock elongated along the shoreline. I felt as if I could have sat for hours just staring out at the grand and majestic beauty before me.
As part of our journey, my friend and I visited an ancient coastal town — Clovelly. Literally built down the cliff side, there are only narrow, cobblestoned footpaths to take residents and visitors to the harbor below. Having mastered our way down the path, we decided to have lunch at the little restaurant along the harbor.
We passed through what appeared to be an obvious way to the entrance. There was indeed a door just under the archway but it was old and heavy looking. Surely this can’t be the way, we agreed. Making our way around the back of the restaurant there were steps leading to the reception. Ah, this had to be it, but no, what our eyes beheld was a room that was not inviting at all. It was cold and sterile looking; it was not the warm and friendly atmosphere, with delightful smells of good food, that we were hoping to find.
We descended, and coming to the unlikely door again, we decided to give it a try. Pulling the door open, what greeted us was an ambience of warmth and coziness. A friendly lady working there welcomed us in. A fire filling the whole of one wall gave us warmth. The food was hot, tasty, and filling. How wrong we had been in our judgement of the unattractive door.
It’s no different in our spiritual world. So often we judge God’s leading in our lives by outward appearances. He whispers into our hearts, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.” (Isaiah 48:17) However, the way doesn’t seem attractive. Perhaps it even looks scary so we convince ourselves that — surely this can’t be the way.
Eve did the same thing in the Garden of Eden. God clearly gave Adam and Eve His perfect directions. Understanding what they could not, He forbid them to eat the fruit of a particular tree, knowing it would bring them harm, but Eve did not see that as an attractive prospect. The fruit appeared delicious. In Genesis 3:4, we see Satan telling his blatant lies, “You won’t die, the serpent hissed. God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.” In listening to this lie and taking time to consider this lie; then deciding the lie was more attractive than God’s way, we read the sad words in verse six, “The woman was convinced…so she ate the fruit.” Unpleasant consequences followed. Veering from God’s path never brings lasting joy.
Sadly, we have all, at various times in our lives, heard the lies of Satan as he points out a seemingly more attractive path for us to take than the one we see God revealing to us. Never forget that Satan only ever has desires to bring us harm and shame and disaster. Satan has been a liar from the beginning and he will always be a liar.
Equally, never forget that God only ever has desires to bless us and bring us joy of heart and peace of mind. God has been the epitome of truth from the beginning and He will always be truth. As Jesus Himself said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me.”
The path God leads us to may indeed appear unlikely, unattractive, scary; even so, let us open the door of His leading. There will always be a glad welcome for us, the warmth of God’s love for the path ahead, and nourishment from His own Words to sustain us along the journey. If God is leading, then surely it is the way.