Thursday, September 6, 2018

Staying on the Path - Martin Wiles

My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you. Psalm 17:5 NLT

Some paths lead nowhere.

My brother and I once hiked in Panthertown Valley, just outside of Cashiers, North Carolina. Although a beautiful place, it is confusing. The map I purchased at a local hiking store didn’t help. The trails through the valley are evident, but they aren’t blazed as most places we had hiked were.

Choosing the trial we wanted to hike, we launched out for a day of enjoyment—until we summited a mountain and the trail suddenly ended. Going back the way we came was an option, but a long one. I consulted the map and my compass and selected another way. The way involved bushwhacking down the side of a mountain—and a lot of uncertainty about whether we were going the right way—but we finally made it back to the main path that led out.

Walking on a well-worn path where tree blazes are evident is more comforting. Having a book that describes the trail and what I should observe along the way is an added help. Wavering from the path leads to getting lost—not something I’m interested in doing. Neither was the psalmist. His steps remained on God’s path. He had no desire to waver from it.

God’s main path leads to heaven. He wants everyone on it. The way to get on it and stay on it is simple: believe Christ paid for my sins, ask for His forgiveness, and obey His commands. Seems simple enough, until I face temptations and trials that attempt to cover the path. But God is faithful and will keep the path in plain view if I remain close to Him.

God’s path for my specific circumstances is not always so clear. Following what He wants me to do at any given time—in relationships, employment, career, college, finances—challenges my faith.

While the path to heaven never changes, the path for what God desires I do may change numerous times over my lifetime. Staying on the path takes effort, but God provides the means to do so. By praying—not just repeated words I toss out before I go to sleep—by knowing biblical principles, and by listening to the opinions of spiritually mature friends, I can remain on God’s path for me.

God never intends to hide His path from you. Just ask, and He will always make it plain.

Prayer: Father, make Your path clear for us, and then give us the faith to walk it fearlessly. 

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