Where I live in Saskatchewan, highways run straighter than an arrow shot on a calm day. They are a good illustration of how the Word of God is able to “cut” a straight line, preparing us for better things.
In contrast, Guatemalan roads are scariest I have ever been on. They twist their way upward in snakelike fashion. When our van going down met a truck coming up, we barely stayed our course, scraping adjacent mirrors with the oncoming vehicle. The rocky outer edge of the road gave way under the weight of the tires. I was thankful for the darkness of night that hid the true depth of the precipice beside us.
Cut a Straight Line
Straight is what Paul was describing to Timothy.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,
a worker who does not need to be ashamed
and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15
This term “correctly handles” literally means “to cut straight, to cut a straight road, or to keep a straight course.” We need the Word of God to accomplish that!
It reminds me of another verse referring to the Bible,
“For the word of God is alive and powerful.
It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword,
cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.
It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
The word of God is alive and powerful! It is sharp, cutting deep and cutting straight.
Separating “soul and spirit, joint and marrow, as well as thoughts and desires” is precision work. God has been using His word as a cutting tool in my life continually.
My life will appear to be flowing smoothly, until I hear his voice, “MaryAnn come closer.”
He is calling me to separation. God’s Word does the cutting and revealing; it is up to me to do the separating.
At the sound of his voice, He creates the dividing line, the straight path, for each of us to walk unashamed, acceptable, and pleasing to Him.
It may be separation from
- entertainment choices
- from time wasters
- an occupation or specific workplace
- a relationship
- a dream or preconceived notion of what I think my life should look like
God’s word does the cutting! I have opportunity to choose the way of separation! Separation unto Him! He never forces such separation upon us. It is a beautiful invitation for something better!
In reality, separation is the path, the straight road, of preparation.
Abraham was called to leave his home and family and go to some unknown place, before God allowed him to be the father of many nations. Moses spent 40 years in the desert to prepare him for his leadership over the people of Israel. Elijah spent time in isolation by a brook being fed by ravens to prepare him for Mount Carmel and the prophets of Baal. David lived in caves for 15 years on the run from King Saul before sitting on the throne.
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit,
left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.”
Separation is never easy! It comes at a price!
The bible makes it clear! Preparation for the work of God requires some degree of separation. The greater the ministry call, the greater the invitation of separation to prepare for what is ahead.
Many people want the honour of ministry! Few welcome the process of preparation!
“Those who cleanse themselves…
will be instruments for special purposes,
made holy, useful to the Master and
prepared to do any good work.”
2 Timothy 2:21
God is calling every one of us to His special purposes! He is purposefully preparing us for His good work! Separation always has a wonderful purpose and design! When the preparation is finally over and we step into His special purposes, we will all nod our heads in agreement, “It was worth it!”
God is faithful to cut the straight path. We follow, trusting the course He has marked for us.
We rest in the process knowing the beginning is His! The outcome is also His!