Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Walking the Straight Path - Martin Wiles

Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Proverbs 4:26 NLT

Somewhere between time and eternity lay a path. 

Not a lengthy one, but an important one. One connecting my grandparents’ house with my aunt and uncle’s.

I’ve walked many paths in my lifetime, but none as amazing. The sights from this trail didn’t compare to some I’ve seen from other footpaths, but this path ingrains itself in my memory, unlike the others.
Paths are formed by heavy foot traffic, and this one had its share: my grandparents, my aunt, my uncle, my three cousins, my family when we visited, and anyone else who happened by. My aunt, uncle, and cousins imprinted more steps than anyone else.

But one by one, the hundreds of footsteps meandering over the path diminished. When my aunt died, the long line of family members who had walked the path disappeared.

The path connecting these two homes was fairly straight—like the one wise King Solomon suggested people walk. But for him, straight had a different meaning.

Straight paths have nothing to do with whether the path has curves. Of course, the shortest distance between two points will occur when the line connecting them is straight. But straight in a theological sense has to do with morality—what’s right and wrong. A straight path follows God’s commands and principles.

Straight paths lead us to holiness—God’s desire for His children. Our bodies temple His Spirit. He wants us to represent Him well in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions.

Walking a straight path takes effort. Perhaps the reason why Solomon issues the command in an imperative sentence. Our sinful nature—with which we’re born—will lead us down a crooked path of disobedience. Only with intentionality will we mark out a straight path. 

The path connecting my relatives’ house was well worn and stayed that way until people stopped traversing it. God will make His path for us evident if we ask. His Word gives direction, yet distractions are ever present on this righteous path. They were on the path I walked. The main one was two grape arbors that called me to stop and consume.

Life’s distractions aren’t always sinful—just not in God’s plan for our lives. With the leading of God’s Spirit, we can avoid the distractions that lead us from the path God desires we walk.

Mark out a straight path for your life—and follow it.

Prayer: Father, show us the path You desire us to walk, and then give us grace to follow it. 

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