“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
This proverb is worthy of much consideration.
How often do you hear the phrases "I think," "I believe," "it seems to me," and "from my experience?" More importantly, how often do you use those phrases or similar ones? It is effortless for us to speak in this way because we all have "common sense," right? However, if we base our decisions on what we think, believe or have experienced, that leads to death, unless what we think, believe, or have experienced aligns itself with God’s instruction.
To me, one of the most frightening passages of Scripture is Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Just before Jesus made that statement, in Matthew 7:13-14, He said, "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."
So there is a way that leads to death (Proverbs 14:12) and a way that leads to life (Matthew 7:14). It seems the decisions I make come down to a choice of my way or the Sovereign Lord's instruction. Am I going to choose human or divine wisdom? The wide way or the narrow way? Sight or Faith?
We all have an inclination or predisposition to the things of the world because "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT) Jesus said it this way in John 6:63, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life."
So if I base the decisions of life on what seems right to me, the inevitable consequence is death. However, the result of obeying God's will, walking in the Spirit and responding to Jesus' Words leads to life.
Author of Life, forgive me for thinking and acting as if I am the author of my own life. I want to enter the narrow gate that leads to life even though it is hard. May the thoughts and intents of my heart reflect my Father's will and not my own.
John 17 is one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture. Carol and I have an agreement. If one of us is incapacitated, the other will regularly read aloud John 17 among many other passages.
There is so much to say about this chapter; I can't wait until we reread it on December 27th. But to whet your appetite:
In the NIV John 17:10 says, "All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them." The previous verses tell us the "them" are those the Father has given the Son. Can you imagine that! Glory has come to Jesus through those who believe. Glory has come to Jesus through you and me!