A popular song from the 1970’s began with the question, “Do you know where you’re going to?” A seemingly simple, yet profound question to ask. Yet this question, and the answer to it, has confounded humanity for millennia. It is the difference between wandering around aimlessly, or having a real purpose and goal that you are striving for. But before we can seriously consider the answer to this question, we must first address the answer to a related question, “Do you know where you currently are?”
The common view among most is that mankind, as a whole, is getting better and better. The perception of most is, “Sure, we’ve had our share of problems in the past, but we’ve learned from our mistakes, since we’re such voracious students of the annals of history.” Many believe that we are quite capable of solving our own problems, and that, overall, our situation is improving. Through extended dialogues, negotiations, humanitarian assistance, financial aid, and, above all, patience, we will – eventually – come to a place in our existence where we can all live together, in peace and prosperity. The politicians and intellectuals firmly believe that their particular solution-of-the-week, if implemented precisely, would solve mankind’s problems.
But even the most casual observer cannot help but notice a host of problems with this viewpoint. One need only take a simple look around and observe the fruits of our current situation. Our once pristine waters are becoming more and more polluted. Our once fertile soil is rendered more and more depleted of its nutrients. And our once healthy food supply is so deficient in vitamins and minerals that we often need to use supplements to make up the difference. Actions truly speak louder than words.
An honest assessment of the situation would leave us to conclude that we are currently in a degraded state, with an outlook that leaves much to be desired. Our past actions are embarrassing, our present situation isn’t much better, and the outlook is grim. It should be obvious to all that our natural inclinations are in opposition to God (Romans 8:7), and it seems that, no matter how hard we try, we never really learn any lessons from history.
If this is where we are, then which way should we be going? It would seem that there are a multitude of options, viewpoints, and ways. Everyone is right in their own mind, and everyone is an expert. Perhaps you are not quite sure of which direction to head. If so, then you are in good company. Even the Apostle Thomas, with the other apostles in attendance, inquired of Christ, “How can we know the way?” Please note that none of the others who were present to hear the question volunteered an answer. All were waiting to hear the answer from Christ, not an opinion from someone else. And what was His response? “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:5-6).
Jesus Christ stated that He was the personification of the Way – that Way of life which leads to eternal life in God’s family. He clearly demonstrated, in word and deed, an example by which we were to follow, pointing us in the right direction. And while the significance of His ministry is incalculable, He purposely didn’t do everything for us. If Christ did do everything for us and there was nothing left for us to do, then His disciples who went back to their former occupation of fishing after His death and resurrection were correct in their actions. Why do anything, if everything was already done? But they soon found out that there was much more to it than they had previously thought, and that it was never Christ’s intention that they go back to “business as usual” (John 21:1-25).
Mankind’s current path simply isn’t working. There is a need to turn around and go the other way, get on the right path and head in the right direction, but we cannot do it on our own. God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, according to His plan, knows that we need help. He, therefore, gives us a portion of His power – His very essence – also known as the Holy Spirit. And while it was given out very selectively in times past to certain individuals who bore significant responsibilities, it is now given out in general, to any whom God calls, regardless of rank, responsibility, or background. This Holy Spirit was first given out in a grand way to the church on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-42), and it is this very same Holy Spirit that is working in the lives of those who are a part of the church in these last days.
There is a way out of the degraded state that mankind has been in. And mankind has been in this state for many, many years. The way out of our degraded state is by simply following the laws, principles, and guidelines of the Bible, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit. Far from being a burdensome, intrusive, inconvenient way, it is a Way of life which will result in peace, joy, and happiness.
Do you know where you’re going to?