I've heard some people stomp and rant and strut, screaming about the old paths, and not felt very convinced that there was anything going on except pride and arrogance. But when the prophet wrote about the old paths, it wasn't talking about a lot of our hang-ups and opinions, it was talking about the true old paths of God and the Psalmist says ALL of the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth.
What were the old paths really? My friends, we are rather ignorant of the true past-especially with the advent of revisionist history. But let us try to stir up our righteous memories.
Would to GOD that we could get some spiritual perspective to see CLEARLY where we actually are and where we've come from-how far we have come! How profoundly far astray we have really gone!
I remember when it was the 'other denominations' that did not respond to Scriptural preaching. When it was the worldly, carnal Churches that were full of thin-skinned people that were 'offended' by Bible preaching, whose hearts were NOT stirred by Redemption music, who hated the King James version and mocked the Preacher.
We have some who strut around screaming about the old paths---but the old paths are nowhere to be found because the singing isn't sweet, the saints aren't sweet, the altar is empty, the Preacher is frustrated,the teenagers are fakes,(if they're there at all)the tithes are down, the singing is quiet, many just lipping the words or sitting there, there's lots of complaining and those that are faithful in attendance think they're doing God some kind of favor.....I'm not saying all of this to rant or get something off of my chest. I'm not saying any of this because I'm frustrated-I am trying to explain something that I am observing...
There are 'dead' Churches and there are 'empty' Churches. the Dead Churches lack passion and enthusiasm, and the empty Churches have loads of enthusiasm (during their 45 minutes of service) but they don't have any godliness in their personal lives, no profound changes in their family,community, etc. because the enthusiasm witnessed is nothing more than a worked up high gotten from performance and entertainment.
Occasionally, there ARE folks in both of these Churches who are on fire for God and have a deep, life-changing relationship with Him which is wonderful but sadly it seems to be an exception to the rule.
So...........back to the old paths. There used to be in Bible-believing Churches--Spirit-filled, Spirit-led singing where everyone sang in unity and passionately and they sang songs with words that were full of doctrine and power not 7/11 songs and not painful droning and lip-syncing of hymns that no one believes anymore. Is there any reason we can't do this TODAY? None. We can and we should and we need to! We need to get back to 'old-fashioned' Christian worship and praise in our singing-singing that is bathed in the Holy Ghost and is passionate, alive and SINCERE. WORSHIP isn't a performance, a concert, entertainment or professional--worship is congregational, unified, Spirit-filled, simple and sincere! That's the old paths!
Years ago many people considered Sunday to be the Sabbath-now they may not have been entirely correct in thinking that because Jesus is our Sabbath--BUT their respect for the Lord's day, preparing for it, honoring it, setting it aside for nothing but God-CERTAINLY didn't hurt anyone. People used to be more than happy to spend all day in God's house and with God's people being spiritually refreshed, they didn't look at their watch the whole time because they had to get to an appointment because they didn't make appointments on Sunday! People in those old-fashioned days didn't go to the movies on Sunday, they didnt go to the beach, they didn't go get their hair-cut, they didn't even mow the lawn-they spent it with God and His people.
On Saturday night they PREPARED for Sunday. SO many, maybe most of God's people in 2013 can barely turn off their cell phones and tv's long enough to get their teeth brushed and their sunday best on (if they have sunday best)and they come mosying into Church 15 minutes late almost every week,...just barely making it there in time more the less getting their spirits ready and prepared...
Now here's where it REALLY gets "Radical"
Families used to have something called "Family Altar" They used to sit down with their children and teach them a little something from the Bible EVERY day, and sing a song with them and pray over them. So it wasn't just the Preacher or the Church that instructed the kids in their faith it was their PARENTS. Kids grew up with a strong faith, not that they got from their Church but that they got from their parents. The spiritual backbone of the Country wasn't so much the Church as it was the family! Imagine that.
Th Schools started their day reading the Bible and praying! Hard to imagine today isn't it? And they didn't try to politically indoctrinate the children.
When people got saved-they went full throttle, they were excited and happy to submit to the Preacher and to get baptized and seek Church membership.
These are just a few of the true hallmarks of the OLD Paths-and we have strayed far from it. More to come.