The Path of Least Resistance

January 24, 2016

Stetson Memorial UMC

Fourth Sunday of the New Year

All Scripture is from the AMP Bible

Luke 4:21-30

Psalm 63:1-8

Jeremiah 1:4-10


“The Path Of Least Resistance?”


Prayer for the Spirit’s leading…


A reading from the prophet Jeremiah chapter 1, verses 4-10 entitled “The call of Jeremiah”…listen to the Word’s of Life from God to you and me, His voices in the wilderness…


Do you know someone who just seems to have to take the easy way out all the time? They may seem to have an easy life but is it really? Sometimes, they may seem to have it all but do they really? Sometimes, when we take the easy way we kind of get ourselves in a real pickle. We think we are on easy street but we seem to have entered onto the freeway of disaster. We may even envy what those who have taken this path of least resistance, unfortunately…a lot of times…the grass is on the other side is greener because there is more manure over there…


Now I myself usually take the hard way of doing things. I know…hard to believe… but I find that sometimes…ok a lot of times…when I take the hard way I forget that “I” made this choice and forgot to check in with the One who is really charting the course of my life. So…which is better, the “path of least resistance” or the “path of resistance”?


OK…recap time, we have had epiphanies, those moments when we really understand and get a glimpse of who God is. We remembered our baptism with Jesus at the shore of the Jordan River. We have sat by the well of God’s never ending goodness and love and have even drank deeply of it…boy that was a nice time huh? Just sitting at the well while God poured out His grace upon us…there really is no end to God’s love and providence is there? …and in the times of trial God is still there working out His plan even if we don’t perceive it…


So we have been on this journey into the New Year and it has been pretty fun so far don’t you think? Now we are at a “fork in the road”…a choice in the pilgrimage? Which road are we going to chose? The one where there seems to be no trouble ahead…it’s all groomed with the lines all painted nice…some may call it the road or highway of the world…or that road that doesn’t seem to bad but we can’t really see what’s up the road and if we look real hard there seems to be a lot of mountains and valley’s that we will have to traverse…I like to call it the road of least resistance because it may be rough but God goes with me…


But how do we know what choice to make? I have read two answers to the “call of the road” so to speak…the path of resistance that is the least oppositional when it comes to those who follow the path…the way of Jesus. OK…spoiler alert…we are going to be taking some of these different “paths” different “ways” that we can walk our journey of faith as we pilgrimage to the Cross this Lenten season…


Let’s first look at Jeremiah’s call I just read. Now God had chosen Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations before he was even born. When Jeremiah’s call came he was very young and he felt that he was just too young and no one would listen to him because of it. God’s answer to him is so inspiring to those who feel they are “not worthy or “schooled” enough to be used in a certain way by God…God said and I am paraphrasing:


Don’t say that because I called you. Do you really think I would not qualify the one I have called? Do you really think that age really matters to me? I am the one who is Creator; do you not think I know what I created humans for? I am going to be with you so just trust me because I am going to do great things through you. Oh and don’t worry about what to say because as long as you trust in Me and listen to the words I whisper to your heart you will do just fine…” Even when we feel that we would rather follow the path of least resistance we can be use that even the hardest path for and with God will be better than any other path that seems to be an easier way to go…


And then we have the story of Jesus in the synagogue. Now let’s get some back story. Jesus had just come from the desert where He was tempted by Satan. Now this part of the story is a story of paths’ of least resistance in itself. Jesus could have taken the easy path and just bowed down to Satan. He would have been all set on the easy path. But He chose the path of resistance knowing that in the end it was truly the path of least resistance because He was in His Fathers will… So here we are in the synagogue. Jesus has just gotten the praises of those there and He could have stopped there but He went on and followed the road of resistance that led Him to the cross. He began the radical hospitality of the Good News…Jesus included others who were not of the Jewish faith…they were gentiles…gasp! They were going to throw Him off the highest hill but He slipped by them.


Jesus knew that God would be with Him…as He was with Jeremiah. Jesus knew that the road He had chosen was not going to be easy but “the hardest day with God is much easier than the easiest day without Him.” (Repeat the statement…) Is the path of least resistance truly and easy path or is it a much harder road than what it may appear to be?


We all are on path’s…on a pilgrimage of some our lives. The issue is this…which path are we on? Are we on a path that is just so easy…no resistance at all…are we choosing a path that in the end could lead to destruction? Or…are we on path that at times seems to be a roller coaster ride but we know the Maker of the track. Now I don’t know about you but I hate…I mean hate…roller coasters. They make me nauseous from the very first small hill. But…but…I would rather be on a roller coaster with God than on one of my own making all alone.


Speak from the Spirit about Jeremiah and Jesus and the choice they made…what we gain or don’t gain from our choice… Which will you choose? Which will you choose?




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