The Absolute Way in Life
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NKJV.
There are times in life one meets a brick wall and gets confused and perplexed as to the next steps to take. It is common for man to seek ways to navigate in life and attain heights in a bid to experience self-actualization. The desire to progress has also pushed man to seeking out inventions as seen in Ecclesiastes 7:29: “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” Man was not created and designed by God to go his own way or live to please himself.
Man was created for fellowship with God and he was to live according to God’s ways submitting entirely to the systems and patterns of God. The deviation of man from the paths of God is traced to the days of Adam and Eve; to the days where man chose independence and rebellion against God’s dictates. The sin of man at the garden of Eden was not just the sin of disobedience; it was a sin of independence outside of God.
It was a system imputed into man by the crafty serpent, Lucifer because he went that way of rebellion and also led man down the path of the way of rebellion and independence. From the period of the fall of man at the garden of Eden, Man chose his own way and neglected the pattern of God. The way of rebellion was established from then henceforth.
In the book of Jude 1:11, we see the outcry and lamentation of Jude against all manner of falsehood exhibited by false brethren and teachers and he compared them to Cain and Balaam. He said concerning them that they had gone the “way of Cain”. From the moment Cain killed Abel and after his being questioned by God as to the whereabouts of His brother Abel, he chose a path leading towards destruction.
The bible records that Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod (See Genesis 4:16). The origin of man going his own way began with the fall of man. Cain established his system and ways outside of God’s design and that is what is made clear in the book of Jude 1:11. The way of Cain is the way of rebellion and serving self-purposes; it is the establishing of religion outside of God’s will. And also bad enough many have trodden this path. All of humanity has gone the way of Cain.
That is the reason why in Isaiah 53:6, the prophet said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way…” Mankind had lost it and chosen the way of rebellion not knowing the way of main is the way that leads one astray. From the book of Isaiah, we see a system applied by men in going the way they thought was right. Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death…”
There is a path that man can tread that leads to destruction. Man became so conceited that we feel we are always right. We forget the fact that God’s ways are higher than our ways (See Isaiah 55:8-9). Man went astray and in his own way to the extent that man began to unify and build towers and cities and going the path of absolute defiance of God by worshipping strange gods and building idol altars. (Read Romans 1: 19-23). The building of a city and a tower of babel was another way man was proving to God that they don’t need Him. They followed the path of their ancestor Cain.
THOSE THAT CHOSE THEIR OWN WAY
It is evident that humanity is far from what God expects it to be but God is never caught unawares. He had provided a remedy from the foundation of the world to salvage the negative consequences of the fall of man so that man can get acquainted with His ways. As we read on we will get to see the provision and solution God provided to do away with the rebellion of man. But for now we will consider some men who chose their ways and ended up badly. Their stories are examples for us not to go the way that pleases us.
Samson, a man destined for greatness, a man named from the womb and called to be a deliverer and a judge neglected the Nazarite consecration he was to follow. This was a man moved by the Spirit on many occasions (Read Judges 13-16). He was instructed not to have dealings with the Philistines especially with their women. He disobeyed and ended on the laps of a femme fatale. How quick are we to blame Samson for his failures? But for God’s grace, we probably would have ended like Samson.
Saul, the first king of Israel, well-built and structured. A man amongst men. The Bible referred to him as a choice young man (See 1 Samuel 9:2). He was anointed king by Samuel but he chose his own way. He became rebellious and defiant (1 Samuel 15). He was to slay all the Amalekites but he partially obeyed even leaving alive the king of the Amalekites, King Agag. This defiance of his was the beginning of his destruction. He went the way that seemed right. Going one’s way is the way of rebellion and witchcraft (1 Samuel 15: 23).
God rejected him as king and an evil spirit began tormenting his life not too long after. He died a miserable death in the hands of his enemies, the Philistines (1 Samuel 31). Judas Iscariot one of the twelve disciples of Jesus was one who lusted for money. His love for money was above his love for the Lord. He went the way of greed and covetousness. Leaving out these bible characters, we are guilty in certain ways.
How many times have we made decisions outside of God? How often have we taken steps that we sensed are not in line with God’s will? Do we not chose to have our way to fulfil our lusts? But grace which Jesus brought keeps us and this grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and also return back to God when we fall. Judas could not bear the agony he felt after betraying Jesus, he hung himself and fell headlong (Matthew 27:5).
THOSE WHO CHOSE GOD’S WAYS
However in human history, despite the failures of humanity, there were men who had a heart for God. God has always remnants, the few who go His way. As much as the devil had implanted his rebellious nature in man, there were men who were brooded upon by the Spirit of God and these men actually were shadows and types of the ultimate remedy, Jesus Christ which is discussed later. Abraham was one of such men who went the way of God. Called out by God from an idolatrous lineage and into a land he knew not, yet he obeyed (Genesis 12).
He chose the way of God as against the way of idolatry. His obedience paid off as he became the progenitor of Jesus Christ in the flesh. He was blessed materially too with cattle and sheep. Noah was one who obeyed God’s command to build an ark (Genesis 6). He found grace in the sight of the Lord and was selected from the rebellious ones and chosen to be the progenitor of a new race (Genesis 9). He was considered a righteous man in the perverse generation he was in.
David who can be considered an epitome of a new covenant minister was such a man who God called a man after His heart (See 1 Samuel 13:14). David was after the pleasing of God’s heart. He never took any decisions without consulting God. Moses found grace in the sight of God, he was a meek man also and he chose the way of God as against the way of Egypt (See Hebrews 11:24-26).
GOD’S REMEDY TO BRING MAN BACK TO HIS WAYS
Evidently, God had already from the foundation of the world provided remedy for man’s rebellion. The way of God was encapsulated in His incarnate, Jesus. Jesus who bore the iniquity of all men became the standard for walking the ways of God (John 14:6). Jesus lifestyle of absolute obedience to God was a model for man to follow.
As many as received Jesus were empowered to follow Him as the way of God. In effect, in making decisions, Jesus becomes the model and the channel through which we make such decisions. Every other way is misleading that’s why Jesus was emphatic and bold enough to declare Himself the way.
Jesus remains the sure way to every destination.