Isaiah 44:20, "A deceived heart has turned him aside."
Have you read the story of Pilgrim's Progress? If so, do you remember when Christian was tempted to turn into Bypath Meadow? Faithful and Christian were weary and the King's Way was rough and stony. They were tired and their feet ached. They came to a stile where the fence divided the King's Way from Bypath Meadow. Bypath Meadow was a smooth, grassy path instead of the rough stony one--but best of all; it ran right alongside the Way of the King. They wouldn't be going in the wrong direction. They really wouldn't be turning away and they would be able to jump back over the fence if it veered in the wrong direction.
They turned aside to the easy path. But eventually a storm came and flooded the path, darkness came and they could not find the way back to the King's Way. They fell asleep and were seized by Giant Despair and his cruel wife, Diffidence. They were cruelly beaten and imprisoned for some time until God provided a way to escape.
This is how the enemy tempts us too. We would never veer right away from the Lord. Of course we want to obey and follow Him. But we are often tempted to take the easy path. We are tired of the sacrifice, heartaches and sleepless nights. We are tired of taking up our cross. We want it easy. We want everything to go our own way.
"Have another child? Help! Too much work. I want to take it easy. I want some rest." But does it really make life easier? More children results in more blessings, more entertainment in the home, more diversity, more built-in helpers and built-in friends.
"Do I really have to stop eating all that sugar and all those carbs? I love them. They're my comfort food." They may be the desirable way, but not in the end!
"I'm overwhelmed with all this homeschooling. I can't take it any longer. I'm sending them back to public school." Sure, it's the easier way. But what about the ungodly influence on your children? What about the subtle humanist brainwashing? What about the ungodly friends they may make? How will it affect their destiny?
The easy path takes us further and further away from the truth. If we take the easy way in our family, we'll begin to take the easy way in other areas too. We'll begin to rely on government, rather than being a free people and taking responsibility for ourselves. We'll become weak and no longer people of strength of character. And the long term result is bondage to dictatorship.
I was talking to a friend about a couple who are having marriage problems. "It's no use her going back to him until her heart wants to go back," my friend commented. "Oh no," I replied. "If she waits for her heart, she may never return!"
What does the Bible say in Jeremiah 17:9? "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Our heart can so easily deceive us. We don't stay in a marriage because our heart is happy and wanting to stay. We stay in a marriage, or go back to a marriage if we have left it, because it is the right thing to do--because of obedience and commitment.
No wonder there is so much divorce today. Everyone wants to take Bypath Meadow. They want the easy way out. Their focus is on looking after themselves. Everything revolves around self. "Poor me. He's not meeting my needs. He doesn't understand me." The excuses keep coming. But Marriage is not all about "me." Marriage is forgetting about myself and concentrating on how I can serve my husband and family. It's commitment to my vows. It's not giving in to deceptive feelings but sticking to the vision of building a godly generation. It continues in the face of hardship and frustration.
Marriage is more than two people. Marriage affects our children. It affects the extended family. It affects the church and everyone around us. It affects the generations to come--and eternity.
When we turn aside to the easy path, we enter into deviation, delusion and deception. It is only when we get back on the King's Highway of truth that we will be safe, even though we may face challenges and difficulties.
Don't be deceived by the easy path.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL, ABOVE RUBIES
"Oh God please save me from being deceived. Save me from taking the easy path that looks good, but is not your way. Give me discernment to recognize the bypaths. Amen."
I will not be deceived by the allurements of the easy way.