My son loved toddling alongside me as we wandered through our wooded property. Often, though, the path failed to hold his interest, and he would dart off to explore. Living high in the Pennsylvania mountains, I knew Rattlesnakes and Copperheads loved our woods too. The cleared path allowed us freedom and safety. As I guided him to safer adventures, I thought of my own propensity to wander off the path. Life is a journey filled with twists, turns and sometimes terrors. Temptations and distractions drag us into dangers we never imagined. Sometimes we lose sight of the path altogether; fear, confusion, frustration and hopelessness blind us. The desire to do good and be good becomes a hopeless tangle that steals our hope.
Glimpsing God as our Guide and Guard, gives us courage and hope for others as well as ourselves. Living in His guidance and protection creates a legacy that leads others as well. It is a joy not to be missed! Throughout God’s Word, we find evidence of His desire to lead us. On our own, we end up captive to our sinful selves and at the mercy of the whims of the world. Jesus came that we might live in abundance and freedom. From eternity past to eternity future, God’s goal is close relationship with us so He can guide us.
Pursuing our own plans not only brings captivity–it wears us out! God is a Guide and Guard who never sleeps. Scripture reminds us that the eyes of the Lord are continually upon us and He guides us with His eye. To know the direction He desires us to look, we must seek His face and give attention to His point of focus. God’s gaze always rests upon those things that hide His glory from others and us. When we follow His eyes, eyes filled with unconditional love, we can bear to face the sins that separate us from Him. Following the guidance of his gaze frees us from the captivity of the world and our ‘self.’
God never forces us to accept His view; we can choose to focus our eyes as we wish. His love will remain and His gaze stay fixed on the area of our soul that remains chained. Rejecting Him as guide puts us on a path that takes us away from His presence. We become our own guide and guard. Mark records the sad account of the rich, young man who sought Jesus, felt His loving gaze and chose to reject it. Christ desired for the young man to see the limits of his earthly treasures and choose to trust Him. Preferring the comfort of his visible earthly treasures, the rich young man chose to be his own guide. Our world is full of folks trusting in themselves, folks chained to sin and death.
The joyful truth we must never forget, though, is that when we choose to seek Him again as our Guide and Guard, He will be waiting to travel with us. He will guide us into the transforming power of His truth and love! He will guide us and guard us to the end. Seeking God’s face and walking in His presence allows us to see more our awesome God more clearly. When we accept Him as our Guide and Guard, our lives become a window through which others can glimpse Him as well. Look to the Guide!