“My people have forgotten Me; they give themselves to other things (false gods); they make them stumble in their ways, leaving My road to walk side roads and muddy paths.” (Jeremiah 18: 15. My translation)
Jeremiah was talking about Israel, how they had gone after idols and abandoned God. Today, we like to think of ourselves as civilized. We would never worship an idol. But the reality is that we do the same thing. Christians so often abandon the simplicity of abiding in Jesus, and give themselves to other things: divine destiny, causes & movements, denominational dogma, gifts & callings and so on. These are the idols of the 21st century American Christian, and they cause us to stumble.
Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” Anything we give ourselves to that does not not proceed from our abiding intimacy with him ( no matter how good or noble) is but a side road, a muddy path that can bear no true fruit. He promises us that if we abide in him we will naturally produce fruit that pleases the Father. Why do we feel the need to seek more than this? Perhaps this road is not flamboyant enough. Perhaps our need to be seen as deep, spiritual and culturally relevant entices us to leave the humble path of abiding in Jesus for a side road that will fulfill our desire for notoriety.
Let us turn from these side roads, these muddy paths that lead to nowhere, and once again seek only to abide in Jesus. This is the true Kings Highway.