No man takes a long trip and not plan his route carefully before leaving home. Even in this day of GPS satellite tracking, one still has to map out the correct and most efficient way to go. If he has traveled successfully to this place before, he wisely will use the same directions. As old people used to say when I was growing up, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The prophet Jeremiah spoke on the same manner on how we should follow God: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.” Unfortunately, the people’s reaction to this seemingly simplistic advice was similar to many people today. They simply said, “We will not walk in it” (Jer 6:16). Here are some ways in which we should seek the old paths today.
Since the beginning of time when God created the family, He had a plan in place. It’s quite simple and often abused: one man and one woman for life. Jesus reflected on this when He said, “What God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt 19:6). Yet, rather than sticking to the old paths that were paved by God Himself, mankind regularly and routinely violates the law of God by suggesting that divorce for any reason is okay, that multiple, unscriptural marriages are sanctioned by God, and that even same-sex couples should be allowed to wed. As Christians, we are in the minority when we go back to the Bible and seek the old paths, but that’s exactly where we need to be! Why? Because God and His Word are everlasting and it changes not! (Heb 13:8 f; 1 Pet 1:23-25)
Consider also the religious world we live in today. Megachurches get a lot of attention. Community-based, feel-good churches are growing by leaps and bounds because of their presence of a virtually non-doctrine based social gospel, feel-good religion. People show up in droves to hear a “talented” speaker tell stories and tug at the emotional heartstrings of teary-eyed men and women. The fact is, a great church and great preaching are not viewed the same by the world as by God. Preaching about the one true church, stressing the importance of scripturally-based baptism, and relying on the scriptures for doctrine might seem “Old School” but that’s the way to go if we want to stick with the tried, true, and trusted old paths of our Lord.
Finally, we should seek the old paths when it comes to our worship of God. For countless generations, churches have had to withstand the pressures to “modernize” their “outdated” worship and are advised to “get with the times.” Whether adding mechanical instrumental music, having women preach and lead public worship, or bringing coffee and doughnuts into the worship service to make it more “appealing,” the church problems remaining focused on the things that really matter — “righteousness, peace, and joy” (Rom 14:17). The more we focus on these quality things, the more we’ll align ourselves with the paths that God wants us to follow, and doing that is a sure way to please the Lord our God. Remember this, the same gospel that saved early day Christians will save us today.