Paths - Part 1
The Bible talks a lot about paths. The Psalms and Proverbs especially have lots of verses about following paths, about God's paths and the paths we often choose. When you're outdoors, paths can be quite important to let you know where you're going. Other times they're absolutely essential to protect you and keep you safe in dangerous places.
Psalm 23.3 - (God) refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
The picture below was taken in North Devon in England. It shows a clear path on a spring day, winding its way from the road down to the beach. It's an easy path to follow. But life sometimes throws up different choices and we need to make sure we go to God first and most of all, to find the right path.
The Bible tells us that God does guide us in the right paths. Sometimes when we're out we take a wrong turn. One time we got lost coming down from England's highest peak because the fog was so intense around us. We can also get off course in life sometimes - accidentally or even deliberately. But God cares for us so much, he won't leave us off course and always guides us back!
But there are ways that we can go to God and stay on his paths - as this is always for our own benefit anyways! Check what the Bible says...
Psalm 25.4 - Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths.
Proverbs 3.6 - In all your ways submit to (God), and he will make your paths straight.
So what are the ways we can stay on God's paths? First of all, we go to God and ask him directly - "Lord show me what to do in this situation..." Second, we make a choice to submit to God in all things. This simply means that we do what God says and follow his instructions in the Bible!
A Prayer: Lord, you know the right paths and ways for me to take. I thank you that as I submit to you and as I ask you for help in all my decisions, you promise to make my paths straight and to guide me on the right paths. Thank you. Amen.
Paths - Part 2
If you've ever been outdoors on a proper walk, you'll know that in some areas, paths are very clear and well marked. But at other times, the path may not be totally clear. In these times, if you have a map, you can use it to see where you are and where you need to go. Or you can look at the ground around you and think about what is the way.
In some ways, these give us some guidance as to how God leads us. First of all, God has given us his Word where he promises to lead us and gives us specific or general direction as to what to do in any situation. Secondly, he has given us his Holy Spirit who gives us wisdom, prompts us about what to do and gives us common sense!
Proverbs 4.18 - The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
This path is on the River Dart in Devon and ahead you can see the light shining on the ground. Just as in Proverbs 4.18, God promises that the life of those living right with God should be shining ever more brightly every day. Question - can you see God at work inside you, guiding and leading you into more Godly characteristics?
Psalm 19.7-9 (Message) - The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God's reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree.
Psalm 19 gives us more instruction and backs up Proverbs 4, letting us know that the signposts of God are clear and will always point out the right road. We sometimes need to work, think, pray, study and seek God for direction when it's not always clear. When we seek God and want to do what he wants, he leads us and sometimes gives us the choice to take one path or another. But we know that the life-maps of God (The Bible) show the way to joy as God's decisions are always right, always good, always accurate and always for our best!
A Prayer: Lord, thank you that your way is the best way, your Word is our life map and you've put your Holy Spirit in us to guide us, bring things to remembrance and lead us to Jesus. Your directions are clear and lead us into the ever brightening light of your life, way and presence. Lord, lead me today in (insert something here where you need God to lead and guide you). Thank you. Amen.