DVO April 17, 2019

Title: What Direction Are You Going In?

Scripture: Proverbs 14:12/Proverbs 16:26 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

The scarecrow in the Wiz felt lost in his initial predicament, stuck up on the pole. Hoisted high on that pole he had a good view of everything he couldn’t have. Hoisted high on that pole was supposed to be a place of power; he was, indeed, the sole protector of the crops. However, the very things he was supposed to lord over mocked him. He thought if only I could get down off this pole, I could be something. While on the pole he wallowed in self-doubt. He just needed to get down and everything would be better. You’ve been there before, right? Finally, someone helped him down, helped him get on his feet (literally), and sent him on his way. Once down, he realized he didn’t know which way to go. He had no direction—he was still lost. There were multiple ways he could go, but what would he choose? The scarecrow was at a crossroad. Like many Christians, he lacked direction, yet he had to make a choice. Choosing can be difficult when the end is not known. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is a great example of how having to make a decision can be difficult and how once that decision is made you probably won’t get a chance to choose what you didn’t initially. See it below. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear, Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. R. Frost (1916)

Christians often feel lost. Sometimes, they don’t know which way to go, but the Lord has given us clear directions. He has given us clear consequences for going in a way that opposes His Word. Proverbs 14:12, says there is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death. Did you read that? There is a way that SEEMS right (which means it isn’t right) and going that way leads to destruction. Matthew 7:13-14, says enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. There again we have clear direction – take the road less traveled. Let’s not be confused, ALL Christians have lost direction at one time or another. Even the “best” Christian, the most seasoned saint, has either literally or metaphorically been lost. The good news is God is a God of direction. He gave us His Word to guide us. As Pastor Cockrell says, don’t take my word for it read it for yourself. Psalm 119:105, says, thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Can you get more literal than that? The psalmist said that God’s Word guides Him like a light. The entire Bible is the Lord’s instruction for the Believer. The believer can not go wrong if those instructions are followed. Isaiah 30:21, says, whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it”. Isaiah 58:11, says, The Lord will guide you ALWAYS; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land (that’s provision), and He will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Whew! Guidance, provision, strength, and endurance are all given to the believer – you better praise Him! Understand, that man was created to follow, he needs direction because he tends to stray. However, the believer does not need to worry because the Lord knows all and therefore has prepared for that as well. Proverbs 16:9, says, A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Failure is impossible when we follow the Lord’s direction and when His word is heeded. Despite our short-comings, the Lord remains with us. The Bible tells us that the steps of a good man are ordered by Him, and he delights in His way. Although, he (the good man) falls, he shall not be utterly cast down (overwhelmed) because the Lord upholds him with His hand (Psalms 37:23-24). By now, you should be shouting! The Lord will guide you, He will provide for you. He will strengthen you. He will give you endurance. All you have to do is follow Him. Again, the Word is clear, Trust God with ALL your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He SHALL direct your path (Proverbs 3:5&6). The problem is the believer doesn’t always trust God with their entire heart. The believer often leans on his/her own understanding. The believer, at times, fails to acknowledge God, and as a result finds himself lost. While in this state, the believer, feels what he thinks he knows is right; but it is written clearly, there is a way that SEEMS right to a man and that way leads to death/destruction.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us for taking the wide road. Forgive us for tossing Your word aside and going our own way. Forgive us for forgetting that we are prone to stray and need guidance. It is during those times of cockiness that You humble us, and for that we thank You. During the times we are lost, You still stick with us and for that we thank You. Lord, help us to remember that Your word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, and we should follow that light. Lord. Help us to remember that our way will surely lead us to destruction; because it leads to sin, and sin leads to death. Lord, we thank You for Your patience, Your direction, and Your prodding during the times when we sought out on our own and got lost. Lord, thank You for the lamp that never left us — even when we tried to leave it. You are a great God, a worthy God, a God deserving of our praise. Thank You, Lord! Thank You, Lord! Thank You, Lord! Thank You! In the matchless name of Your Son, Jesus Christ – Amen.

(by Pat Towns)

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