Have you ever been on a path? I remember just a couple years ago, some students and I went to on a Bible study retreat. We had free time one afternoon, and some of us wanted to hike to a waterfall nearby. It would take us about 2 hours total. One of the counselors would guide us along because the path hadn’t been cleared of overgrowth yet to be ready for summer activities. We’re traveling pretty good, winding our way through the woods, crossing over the creek half a dozen times, and the minutes keep passing by. At one point our guide turned us around, and said we need to double back. We were somewhat lost, just took a few wrong turns. We eventually made it to the waterfall after about an hour and a half! I remember students seeing tourists visiting the waterfall, and going back to their cars. You mean we could have driven here?! Needless to say, some of us went back, got the vehicles and picked the rest of the group up.
That was a path I won’t forget. Great memory! There are a lot of different paths in the world. There are hiking trails, sidewalks, roadways, aisles in the grocery store, maybe even footpaths across your backyard. Even computers have paths to locate files and websites.
Paths have common characteristics: They are designed with clearly marked boundaries to move us to a determined location.
Often the Bible compares our lives to a pathway, a journey we are on. And like other paths, our lives are designed to move us to a determined location – to fear the Lord and obey His commands. Solomon drew this conclusion at the end of Ecclesiastes, and the book of Proverbs continues this thought saying, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge…” As you read the book of Proverbs, you learn quickly that God has given us clear signs to keep us on the path toward a greater, holy fear of God. Proverbs 3 for example, exhorts us to learn God’s Word well (3:1-4), let God lead with every step (3:5-8), honor the Lord with our wealth (3:9-10), and not to despise the Lord’s discipline (3:11-12). If we keep in step with these, not as occasional pieces of advice, but as a deep, heart transforming way of life, God promises us great blessing now and forever.
So, are you following the path God designed for you well?