Ponder Your Path
“Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” (Proverbs 4:26-27)
There are many verses in the Bible, and at least six in the Book of Proverbs that speak of walking on a “straight” path with the Lord. (Perhaps that‘s next week’s theme.) But this week, I want to concentrate on the idea that there is only one path or way of life that is the way of God in Jesus Christ. When we walk on God’s path, which is narrow (Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:24), it feels anything but straight. However, when the pressures of the world pull us to the left or the burdens of our hearts for our family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors threaten to pull us off to the right, we are commanded to stay on The Path—Jesus path—set before us when we are born-again in his Spirit.
The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah spoke of the way God would lead his people after the coming of the Messiah. “Your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:20-21; see also Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27) Paul reiterates how Christians can stay on the right path when tempted by many desires of the flesh. “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh…If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16, 25)
As the Holy Spirit works in us to glorify God in our lives, by our dedication to living according to his Word and guidance, we are to wisely “ponder the path” of our feet. We often go somewhere or do something almost automatically, without thinking about what we are about to do or how we are attempting to accomplish it. This reminds me of teaching an older person to use a mouse with a desktop computer, who has never used a mouse before, or teaching a child how to assemble a puzzle. The hands try to do that which the mind and eyes must do first—they must about what they want to do, then the hands follow. “Vital to keeping the heart formed in wisdom is the need to recognize and stay on the path that will shape it further in the way of righteousness.” *
Where are your feet going today? Will you think about how God’s wisdom might influence your plans before you take your first step? Will you stop and pray for the Spirit’s guidance today first?
* ESV Study Bible Notes, Proverbs 4:26-27, (digital edition), Crossway, 2008.