…it has been written in the scroll of the words of Y’sha’yahu the prophet, saying, “A voice of one calling, ‘In the desert, prepare the way of Adonai! Make His paths straight! Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be made low, and the crooked will become straightness, and the rough roads will become smooth; and all flesh will see the salvation of God!’” (Luke 3:4-6, MJLT)
As disciples of Messiah, we are called to follow Him. Where He walks, we walk; where He goes, we go after Him. He is our Master; we are His slaves—and our hearts’ desire is to always be on the path that leads us straight to Him.
The path of the Master Yeshua—the “way of Adonai”—was prepared for Him by Yochanan the Immerser, as prophesied of the Messiah’s forerunner. His path was to be straight, not crooked; filled, not valleyed; lowered, not mountainous; smooth, not rough. In other words, the path prepared for the Messiah was to be completely flat, utterly level, and without twist, bend, or turn.
But why did Yeshua need a forerunner to prepare His path? So that there would be no hindrance to the Word of God going forth; so that the moment the Messiah was ready to begin His work, He would set His feet upon a road free from obstacles, and He could press on in power to bring the Good News to the people.
Today, many of us expect that as we walk the way of the Master, we will continually encounter Him, and experience His love, peace and power. Unfortunately, the actual story for far too many of us is that we are struggling, we feel trapped and desperate, and we have a difficult time of finding and following God in everyday life. The problem, however, is not that He is difficult to find; instead, it is the topography of the path we are choosing to follow.
For too long, believers in Yeshua have been taught that we need to experience God; and the place to do that is in congregational services or private devotional time, through prayer, praise and worship, or some other spiritual program, exercise, or event. But this has left us with an insatiable desire for something that goes unfulfilled during our regular, day-to-day activities. Seeking and experiencing God, then, becomes an emotional roller-coaster, in which we cry out during our “worship encounters” to see God’s face, praying for and expecting Him to “show up” and “move”—only to have the experience end, and the feelings quickly fade into emptiness, until we can be propped up again the next time.
Does this sound like the straight and level path upon which to find the Messiah?
If we are finding it difficult to locate God on a daily basis, it may very well be that we are relying too heavily on seeking God experientially, rather than finding Him in the Word, and trusting He is there in the ordinariness of life.
The long, enduring love of God is not a whirlwind romance of being whisked off our feet, caught up in a suddenly extravagant embrace of emotional abandon. On the contrary, His pure, simple love is brought to us by way of a plain, flat, level, smooth, straight road. It may not be exciting by worldly, fleshly standards; but it is the usual way that God faithfully walks upon the path of everyday life.
In all your ways know Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:6, MJLT)
Make level the path of your feet, And all your ways are stabilized. (Proverbs 4:26, MJLT)
The path for the righteous is uprightness, O upright One, You make level the path of the righteous. (Y’sha’yahu 26:7, MJLT)
…make straight paths for your feet, so that that which is lame may not be turned aside, but rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:13, MJLT)
Being dedicated to and following Yeshua should not mean a constant cycle of emotional ups and downs, where God requires us to chase after Him through the obstacle course of life. No, he wants us on a straight and level way, so that we can be stabilized and unhindered in our walk. He wants us to find Him in our normal, daily circumstances, and not neglect to see Him there. He wants us to know and follow His Word in all ways at all times, and to seek not the experiences, but the reliable, plain path of God’s perfect peace.