The Unpaved Path: Only in Jesus, Part 23

by | Apr 22, 2020 | Eternity, Only in Jesus, Trust

“Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:14, NIV2)

We had explored the paved paths of Jake’s Rock Overlook in Pennsylvania thoroughly last June. A sign clearly read: “Stay on the paved paths.” We had read some outstanding reviews about this lookout. We had read that you could see a beautiful view of the Kinzua River and its dam, and that there was a beautiful path leading to the bottom of the cliffs. However what we saw was nothing like the reviews. Maybe the trees had grown a bit since those reviews, and they now blocked the view of the river?

We thoroughly explored the paved path anyway, but other than the beautiful flowers that lined the trail, nothing spectacular stood out. There were no paths leading to the bottom of the cliffs, no stunning views, and no rigorous hiking trails. How disappointing!

Four months later, we returned to the same spot. We reasoned that since it was fall, we should be able to see the dam, and the view was indeed, breathtaking. Especially with the colourful fall foliage surrounding us.

As we were leaving, I noticed something on the left: a path literally covered by a carpet of colourful leaves. It wasn’t paved, at least not that we could tell, which probably explained why we hadn’t seen it on our trip four months earlier. But the path had clearly been made for tourists like us, as the steps down the cliffs were manmade. We hiked along the base of the cliffs for a while until we came to a multitude of adventuresome caves. My favourite one looked like a whale, and we were gratefully “swallowed up” to discover all of its nooks and crannies. It was truly the highlight of our trip. Other than our adventuresome experience in a local restaurant…But that is another story!

We thought we had been in control of our situation when we first explored Jake’s Point. We had stayed on the paved trail, just as the sign said, but never once during our trek did we take the opportunity to experience the area fully. Distracted by the signs, we hadn’t paid attention to what all there was to offer.

The same can be said about those who are involved in ministry, but have not taking the time to truly discovering the One they serve.

“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’” (Matthew 7:22, NIV2)

This plea from desperate believers is an indication that they are relying on their own actions to reach the unfathomable place named Heaven. And believe me, that place is a million times better than Jake’s Point!

Interestingly, they know about the power of Jesus’ name, just like we knew through reviews that somewhere at Jake’s Point there was a way to go to the bottom of the cliffs. But neither they nor we had a complete understanding of what it really meant. How can we use the authority of a name, if we don’t personally know the One wearing that name?

“Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:23, NIV2)

These believers thought they were in full control. They had remained safely on the paved path of their own understanding, but they had no idea what that road was really for: experiencing God to the fullest! After all, serving God does not always mean we personally know Him!

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, NIV2)

I wonder where that path leads.

Let us follow the voice of God and experience Him like we have never done before. Only then will we discover the less traveled path that leads to paradise.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV2)

Rob Chaffart

(To access the entire “Only in Jesus” devotional series, please click here.)


The Unpaved Path: Only in Jesus, Part 23