Sunday, March 30, 2014

Proverbs 4:25-27 -- On Walking God's Path

"Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."
Proverbs 4:25-27

I think this is interesting because of how easy it seems written here, and how hard it seems in actual practice.  If we were actually walking someplace, this is what we would do.  We would look ahead at our path, we would make sure there weren't any rocks to trip over, that we were walking on an established road or trail so that we didn't get lost, and we wouldn't go another way, because our goal was in front of us.  We learn this.  We are able to walk to the corner, to walk to school, to get to classes on time, and to attend church.  We understand the concept of walking someplace and actually getting there.  And yet, when we try to apply it to God's path, we start losing our way.  ... We've established that it isn't a lack of understanding about how to proceed or how to get to a goal.  So, what is it?  Why do we suddenly forget how to follow a path?
One reason could be that our path when following God is a little bit more abstract.  It is still a path, and it is there straight in front of us, but we get confused because it isn't just physical.  Walking the path is physical in many ways, because we still have to take actions, but we might have prayer and scripture study and church attendance instead of just walking, and those things are also spiritual.  On God's path we have to learn how to combine the two... not just focusing our physical eyes, but our spiritual eyes.  Not just pondering our paths physically, but also spiritually.  We have to stay focused on God.  We have to hold to the path, which requires obedience and study and perseverance through hardship.  Sometimes we start thinking that maybe getting to our destination isn't worth it, or wow, maybe we should just stop and rest... maybe permanently.  Or maybe the view is *actually* better from the bottom of the mountain.
Following God's path is harder than walking to the corner store.  But it also has a lot cooler stuff than the corner store.  It truly is where we can all receive the desire of our hearts, even though we often don't know what that is until God gives us a glimpse.  And the principle is the same... look at the goal, stay on the path, keep going.  The goal is more than worthwhile... it is unimaginable perfection.  And the way to get there is within reach of all of us.  We just have to continue.  We need to not give up.  Not turn aside.  Not jump into the swimming pool of evil, or even wade. :)  Just keep moving, even when it is hard, towards God.  And as we do, God teaches us, and our capacity increases, and we become better and brighter and when we get to our destination, we find that along the way we have learned to be who we wanted to be all along.  The kind of person who loves and serves and smiles, and we fit right into the perfection.  All we have to do is keep walking.  Today, let's get ourselves headed the right direction, and continue.

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