Inspired by “Lovely Avenue” by CoastalRise
“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” –Proverbs 4:25-27
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” –Matthew 7:13-14
Have you ever noticed that almost all cartoons share one thing in common: the idea of good versus evil. All of my favorite cartoons always seemed to have a good guy and a bad guy. Take for example, Tom and Jerry, Tom was portrayed as the bad guy and Jerry was portrayed as good. Or, let’s take a few more examples, Tweety and Sylvester, Popeye and Bluto, Roadrunner and Wile e Coyote, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. As you watched each show, you clearly knew who was good and who was bad and what they stood for. But, cartoons, are not the only portrayal of the idea of good versus bad. Take movies for instance, in Star Wars, the force had a good side and a bad side. In the Lord of the Rings, you were either on the side of good or the side of evil. Movies like Robin Hood, Toy Story, Princess Bride, etc. all had a hero (good guy) and a villain (bad guy). Comic books, WWE wrestling, even sports all have elements of good versus evil.
The idea of good versus evil makes me think of a choice every person has to wrestle with. God has given us the freedom to choose our own destinies. As we travel down the paths of life we constantly are faced with the question do I follow what is right and true and follow the path of the straight and narrow or do I chose to walk the broad path? When we take a look at what the Bible says about these two paths, sometimes this decision can be difficult. On the one hand, if we take the straight and narrow path, we know that we can expect the path to be full of trouble (Matthew 7:13-14). We also know that not many others will chose this path and ultimately go the way of destruction. Why? Because people want the easy way out, the least difficult, the one that requires the least amount of sacrifice. However, if you continue to study what the Bible says, you see that God’s original plan for us, was not designed this way.
God’s road includes pain, struggle, tribulations and trials. And though, from a logical prospective it seems crazy to walk on a path where you know there’s going to be trouble, when you take a closer look, you soon realize that it’s through these trials and tribulations that you grow, mature, and become a strong and powerful man or woman of God. Just like peeling and onion, God strips away layers until we are perfected and molded into something beautiful. We might not like the process, but the end result is what makes it all worthwhile.
The Bible says that to walk this road with excellence, we need to keep our eyes straight and focused on Christ. Just like when Peter was called out of the boat, he was able to stay on top of the water as long as he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus. It was only when he second guessed himself and began to doubt through looking at his surrounding, he began to sink. When we pay attention to the things around us, the things outside of our path, the more we begin to find ourselves drawn to them. They begin to slowly pull us off our destiny and move us in other directions.
So, today, my challenge to you is to not allow yourself to be pulled away or persuaded by the things of this world. Instead keep your eyes straight. Do not sway to the left or to the right and walk the path that God has set before you. Though it’s not going to easy, the Bible promises that this path will lead to true prosperity, excellence and things better than you could ever dream or imagine. Walk in integrity with the joy of the Lord and know that God’s plan, and road is the best.
CoastalRise is a six piece contemporary Christian group based out of Phoenixville, PA. “Lovely Avenue” is from their sophomore release “Call of the Sea” which can purchased on iTunes, CD Baby, or from their website. For more information on CoastalRise visit their website at: www.coastalrise.com
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