As an outdoor person, I enjoy trekking up a mountain or down beside a forest stream. Something about being amongst the trees and pushing onward toward a destination rests softly and welcomed in my soul. There is an interesting chapter of Proverbs that stuck out to me because of how it spoke of our paths. Not hiking trials, but our path in life. Many of us question if we are going the right way. Others may be trying to trust as they take one step at a time. And yet another may feel as if they have it figured out.
Wherever you find yourself planted, Proverbs chapter two holds great keys and truths for us to hold onto. It’s like a roadmap, promise and warning rolled into one. God guides and directs the many paths life has to offer, but we need to relax and remember what those paths can look like for believers…or unbelievers.
1.) Our Course Is Guarded
As we walk down some trails, we may find ourselves face to face with a grizzly or snake that makes us want to jump out of our boots and high-tail it out of there as fast as our legs can carry us. But in life, we can also meet our fair share of “grizzly bears” or “snakes”. Maybe this comes as imposters or people we once thought we could trust. It could even be an enemy or someone that is out to harm us or speak against our God given mission.
Our own fears and lies we believe can wrap us just as quick as a snake, too.
But as I was combing over this chapter, we are told this: (vs.7-8) “He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.”
A shield. He is my guard. And He protects. None of those verbs are past tense, but the action is present. God does this for us today. But we must dug deeper into those words. Yes, God guards our course and paths, but it speaks of what we must do.
Strive to Live Blameless
As we walk and live among others, we can probably recall so many verses on having compassion, kindness, gentleness, meekness (strength controlled) and so many other marks of one we consider “blameless”. And as these are true, we are not called to perfection. We are called to daily strive to live for Christ as Philippians 1:27 says. Our calling is to also stand up for justice and those that are oppressed. (Proverbs 31:8-9) There are so many other things that are filed right beside those things.
But I want to stress that God knows our weakness, He does, but this “blameless “He speaks of comes from our heart and the way we desire to live. Not to mention our motives. 2 Timothy 1:9 puts it beautifully by saying this, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,”
It’s not merely ourselves, but the grace of Jesus covering us. He gave that to us as believers. It is nothing we can ever…ever…do on our own.
Our Life Must Be Faithful
Many times after or before performing a miracle, Jesus told the person their faith was what healed them, their faith was string, or the reverse; “ye of little faith.” We need to have faith that God does guide and direct us places. This type of trust in our Savior is what leads us to a life well lived and well guarded by God.
2.) We Decide If We Want The Path Of Life
In Proverbs chapter two, verse eleven and twelve, we read that discretion will be given to us to protect us. Then, further down, we see that wisdom will save us from the ways of the perverse and wicked. Now, we have read and understand that God protects our course and path, but now we are reading about someone entirely different in verses thirteen – nineteen.
Those who have left straight paths.
People who are devious.
Ones who use seductive words and lies.
Men and women who break oaths and love darkness.
Well, we would be talking about the wicked. And if any of us turn to look at our world today, we seem to feel the pulsating darkness that cloaks so many souls. This section illustrates what the opposite of having God guide us would look like, what happens when we don’t stay with Him and seek His ways in our lives. And the consequence is very scary.
Verse nineteen says this of those who pursue evil, “None who go to her return or attain the paths of life.” We can choose to forfeit life and true freedom by not pursing God. We must cling to Him so He will guard us, and so we receive eternal life free from the clutches of the wicked.
3.) Our Paths Lead To The Land
God not only guards and leads but His last promise is to bring us to the land. I have heard some people say this could be our eternal home but some others say that “the land” is each of our own special destinations that God intends for us in our lives.
But here is verse twenty – one and twenty – two: “For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.”
These are the final two verses from Proverbs two, and I think they are the most stirring from what we have read. Our lives all depend on the choices we make because of our freewill. And if we live for God, we receive guidance and life, whereas if we choose to turn to evil, we get darkness and are ripped from “the land”.
I want to feel that protection and live in the land with my Father.