Straight Paths

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

January 10

Straight Paths

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 7:1-9  | Genesis 23:1 – 24:51 | Matthew 8:1-17 |  Proverbs 3:1-6

Today’s Scripture Focus: Proverbs 3:1-6

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; Don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who’ll keep you on track.” Prov. 3:5-6 (The Message).

Life is a journey with many twists and turns. To us, the path ahead is uncharted and often unpredictable. Yet to God, the path is seen clearly. He sees the implications of every fork in the road. He knows what is ahead and how the path ahead fits in with his purposes and plans. Like a good shepherd, he desires to lead and guide us.

Therefore we are asked to trust him with all of our hearts. The wisdom for living life to the full is not found in our limited human understanding, therefore we must ask Him for wisdom and discernment as we journey ahead step by step.

But as we seek God, trusting him and acknowledging him in all we do; as we allow him to guide us by his word and the gentle whisper of his Spirit, he goes before us and prepares the path. Indeed, he makes it straight.

Yes, he directs our paths. But more literally, he straightens our paths. This suggests that God is actively engaged in preparing the paths ahead of us. Not only telling us which fork in the road to take, but also preparing the path for our journey.

The story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24 is a prime example. God will not always follow the exact blueprint in bringing two people together, but notice how God has prepared the path of Abraham’s servant to find a wife for Isaac. Angels are sent ahead to prepare the path. Each detail is worked out to precision to accomplish the Lord’s will. God’s hand not only guides, but also prepares the way. The paths are straightened and God’s will is done in a most wonderful way.

Confused about where God might be leading? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Or as Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase says it, “He’s the one who’ll keep you on track.”

All-wise God, straighten the path before me. Direct me as I trust your wisdom rather than my own. I am trusting you now to keep me on track. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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