I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
The difficult point is that most of us don't want to come. We don't want to follow. We don't want to be led in the paths of righteousness. Somehow it goes against our grain. We actually prefer to turn to our own way even though it may take us straight into trouble.
The world we live in is full of broken homes, broken hearts, derelict lives and twisted personalities remind us everywhere of men and women who have gone their own way. We have a sick society struggling to survive on beleaguered land. The greed and selfishness of mankind leaves behind a legacy of ruin and remorse.
Amid all this chaos and confusion Christ the Good Shepherd comes and says, If any man will follow me, let him deny himself daily and take up his cross and follow me (Mark 8:34). But most of us, even as Christians, simply don't want to do this. We don't want to deny ourselves, give up our right to make our own decisions - we don't want to follow; we don't want to be led.
Of course, most of us, if confronted with this charge, would deny it. We would assert vehemently that we are "led of the Lord." We would insist that we would follow wherever He leads. We sing songs to this effect and give mental assent to the idea. But as far as actually being led in paths of righteousness is concerned, precious few of us follow that path.
There are many willful, wayward, indifferent, self-interested Christians who cannot really be classified as followers of Christ. There are relatively few diligent disciples who forsake all to follow the Master.
Jesus never made light of the cost involved in following Him. In fact He made it painfully clear that it was a rugged life of self-denial. It means I just do what He asks me to do. I go where He invites me to go. I say what He instructs me to say. I act and react in the manner He maintains is in my own best interest as well as His reputation.
Most of us possess a formidable amount of factual information on what the Master expects of us. Precious few have either the will, intention or determination to act on it and comply with His instructions. But the person who decides to do what God asks him has moved onto fresh ground which will do both him and others a world of good. Besides, it will please the Good Shepherd no end.
God wants us all to move on with Him. He wants us to walk with Him. Perhaps there are those who think He expects too much of us. Maybe they feel the demands are too drastic. Some may even consider His call impossible to carry out.
It would be if we had to depend on self-determination, or self-discipline to succeed. But if we are wanting to do His will and be led, He makes the way possible! For it is He who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
~ A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller~