Stay on the Road!

2011 has begun with some challenging tests for my wife and me.  Ironically, these tests have come in the midst of a time of corporate fasting and prayer with our beloved Lifepoint Church.  Yesterday, I seemed to hit the “worry wall.”  As I was driving down Market Street in Wilmington I began to cry out to God with everything I had on my heart, and I said, “Lord, you have to be very clear with me.  I need to hear from You and I need to hear it in such a way that I cannot misunderstand or miss it.”  Well, if you pray this kind of prayer, it may not be a good idea to be behind the wheel at the time, because it came so immediately and impactfully that I had to pull off into the parking lot of a store along the way.  Here is what I received.

My memory was taken to a time almost 16 years ago when I was on a short term mission trip to Kenya, Africa.  Our group had completed our mission and visiting the Masai Mara Game Reserve.  Our tour van had broken down on a dirt road and we were waiting for help to arrive.  I had walked into the bush to use the bathroom in private, when I looked down and saw a very large paw print in the dirt near my feet.  I quickly retreated to the van and when I got there a park ranger had arrived.  I asked him about the paw print and he responded, “Oh yes!  There are very large lions in this district.  Please stay on the road and near the van, and if it grows dark before your repairs, stay inside the vehicle.”  I wondered why the Lord might have brought this image so quickly and vividly to my memory and how it might relate to my current circumstances.

That’s when the Holy Spirit brought certain Scriptures to my mind.  Last week I had read the following,

Strengthen the feeble hands,
   steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
   “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
   he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
   he will come to save you.” -Isaiah 35:3-4

I heard the Lord clearly saying to me, “This is what I have called and set you apart to do.  You do it and leave the rest to me.”  Okay, that’s great, but I still had the feeling that there was still more.  So, when I got home, I quickly found my Bible and went to the 35th chapter of Isaiah and began to read it in it’s entirety expecting more.  More is what I got!  My eyes filled with tears as I read…

  And a highway will be there;
   it will be called the Way of Holiness;
   it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
   wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there, [emphasis added]
   nor any ravenous beast;
   they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there, 
  and those the LORD has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
   everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
   and sorrow and sighing will flee away.  -Isaiah 35:8-10

The road in Kenya!  “Stay on the road and near the van!”  How much more clearly could the Lord have spoken?!  “You stay on the ‘highway’ I have set you on.  You continue to walk in the ‘Way of Holiness’ and I will take care of any ‘lions’ along the way.” 

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” -1 Peter 5:7-9


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January 2011
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