Many years ago, when I first started attending church regularly, (I was 18, maybe?) a woman came up to me after service and said she felt God wanted her to share a verse with me: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7) Over the years, I've always valued that verse, of course, but I never really had a deep down in my gut, "this is it" feeling about it until I recently came across another verse from Jeremiah.
"This is what the Lord says: 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.'" (Jeremiah 6:16)
For almost 25 years I've wrestled with His word, trying to make sense of some things, trying to really "get" it. It's only recently that I feel I'm starting to have a real breakthrough into those "ancient paths". I've begged God for years to show me truth and lately, the more I've stepped away from the teachings of man and let my mind clear from all the traditions and distractions and trappings of "church life", the more I can clearly see the meaning of His word to us. Lately, as I read the Bible for myself and allow Him to interpret it for me as He designed it (as much as my feeble little mind can understand --- He is a pretty big God, after all!) I find that He truly has never changed. His ancient paths are His today paths. His truth is for all generations.
I tapped for a really long time on that door---it's a big door with many layers of revelation of understanding and He was faithful to open it just enough to throw me a bone now and then. After many years of tapping, one day I started pounding. I started pounding and shouting and pleading and crying out---"I WANT TO KNOW YOU!" Desperation was deep down in my guts now and I was at a crossroads -- I was considering giving up. I was wondering if it was all even true. There were SO MANY unanswered questions, so many voices, so many options. I needed to know His truth.
And then one day, it was I who felt the tap. It was a still small voice, a whisper, and it spoke sort of sing-songy like my Mom used to before daylight on fishing mornings, "Sarah, it's time to wake up."
"Do you really want to know Me?" it said. "Then look to the ancient paths. You've asked, you've knocked, now seek and you will find me."
So I did. I went to the most ancient thing I knew to be true---the beginning of the Bible---and when I did, He began to reveal Himself to me in a brand new way. He began to show me His plan for His chosen people, Israel---that they were to be a light to the nations, His chosen missionaries that would reveal Him to every soul. He showed me how these ancient truths still applied in the New Testament when He confirmed the purpose of Israel through the words of Jesus, recorded by Matthew and other writers. He showed me that it was always His plan that the foreigner could be grafted in and adopted into the family of Israel by committing to follow their God and His ways. This was a concept I understood to be something Jesus brought, but didn't realize God had been doing that clear back in Moses' time and before. He showed me that because I have been adopted in through my faith in the Messiah, Jesus, I am now part of the family of Israel. Therefore, all the beautiful, wonderful promises God gave to Israel and all the loving and life-giving instructions He gave to them through the first five books of the Bible and through the prophets---that was all for me too!
I have an inheritance! This concept has overwhelmed me for over two years now. All that God set up for His chosen people, the ones He chose to proclaim His truth to all nations, all that is for me, also! Not for me, instead, but for me ALSO!
It is my belief that if one really wants to know God, one must look to the ancient paths. He tells us over and over that He never changes. The traditions and teachings of men have brought all kinds of changes to how faith is walked out over the years, but God and His ways have never ever changed---and they never will.