Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil…. (Proverbs 4:27).
Not long ago I was driving a short distance to get to a basketball game. On my way to the destination, my car coasting along the highway, I trailed ever so slightly off the main path, straddling the white line. You wouldn’t think, being so close to the main road and quite honestly, with 98% of my car still on it that anything bad would happen, but near the white line was a pothole and my tire hit every bit of it. Within a matter of seconds, I had a flat tire.
Thankfully, I was able to pull my car into a driveway that was only a few feet from me where a gentleman very kindly changed my tire. I road the rest of the way on a donut, making it to my game only a few minutes late.
Solomon reminds us to keep our feet from leaving the path God has for us. God’s path is full of things like mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love. Even a small diversion from it can catapult us into evil places within our hearts, leaving us destitute until we cry out for help. I’m only saying this because I’ve seen it happen within my own heart. I’ve seen a quick, fleeting thought take residency within my mind where it starts to control my heart, will, and emotions.
Until we’re willing to admit that we strayed from God’s path because we were wrong, we will never receive the restorative work our hearts need to return once more to the path of God’s righteousness. The path that is firm for our feet and good for our hearts. Can I be really honest though? There is not a day that goes by that I don’t hit a road bump or two, because of my own stubborn heart, but praise be to God that He takes flat tires like myself and fills them once again with His mercy. He is so patient with us, so loving and kind. He certainly does not give us what our deeds deserve.
Truth is, we have the mind of Christ. The power of the resurrected son of God lives inside of us to keep us on God’s path. We don’t need to despair of hope, because we have endless hope. We can rest assured that God is always working on our behalf. Working for our good and for His glory. We can have confidence that He who began a good work in us will carry it out until the day of completion in Christ Jesus. He’s just a mighty God like that. He gives us not just grace, but His power to overcome and to stay on the path He has for us.
Lord, forgive me for when my heart strays because I do not take careful thought to my way. Sometimes my mind is weak because I am not battle ready. Forgive me for how easily I allow negative thoughts to plague my heart and mind. Grant me, your grace. I choose to walk in your resurrection power, in Jesus name, Amen.