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Devotional - Top 10 Searched Verses - # 7 & 6 - Proverbs 3: 5-6 - Everyday Is A Fork In The Road

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. Trust in the Lord with all your heartand lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight. - Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NIV)

    As we continue in our series on the most searched Bible verses as per biblegateway.com; we come to the seventh and the sixth most searched verses. Instead of doing them separately, it makes more sense to exposit them together. Even in this chapter of Proverbs the verses are grouped by two, so these two verses are meant to be taken together. Renowned baseball catcher Yogi Berra once famously quipped that when you come to a fork in the road, you should take it. If it only it were that easy! If only there were clear signs directing us which way to go every time we face a decision in our life. The good news is that there are clear signs, every time, but we have to be willing to listen.

    Our first mistake is in believing that the forks in the road are an occasional thing. We trump up the major life decisions to the forks while the reality is that we face forks in the road of life every single day. Every decision we face is a chance to draw nearer to God or pull further away from Him. What we choose to watch on television for example is a fork in our road. Will it be something that will reinforce who God is or something that will assault our senses? Who we choose to be friends with and spend time with. Are they people who edify our walk or are they people who will mock the things of God while we laugh innocently and turn our heads? I realize that alone, these little forks may not seem like such a big deal but collectively they can start to erode our faith and turn our paths away from God. I remember when I was first saved and I was seeking advice from an elder statesman of the faith and he advised me that I needed new friends. I needed friends who shared my new found faith. It is not that my old friends were bad influences as the world rates such things but they simply did not believe what I believed and as such they were unintentionally drawing me away from God.

    Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? - 2Corinthians 6: 14 (NLT)

    This verse is often correctly used when it comes to relationships and marriage but it also applies to all of our relationships. The advice I received was correct. Over time, whether my old friends intended it or not the only result is I would have been pulled further and further away from God. Sometimes as Christians we think God is only the God of emergencies. We wait until our lives are in disarray and then we run pleading to the Father to fix the mess we placed ourselves in by taking the wrong path at the fork we had to consider. Here is today's deep theology; God wants to be the God of our decisions not just our consequences. The key verses today are the recipe God has given us for how to accomplish this in our lives. Will we be perfect? Never. But it is something we should be striving for.

    There are four parts to this recipe. The first part is to trust the Lord with all of your heart. That may sound easy enough but the truth is that we probably fail at this more than we care to admit. We like to think that we trust the Lord but in the day to day grind we often end up trusting the world. The medical report is bad and we believe it over the report of the Lord. We date someone who doesn't share our faith even though the Bible says not to. We say we trust God to provide but we play the lottery more religiously than we go to church. Trust in God must transcend our little sound bytes and pious Christianisms. Note also that the command is to trust God with all of our heart. There is a reason why God instructs us as such:

    “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,and desperately wicked.Who really knows how bad it is? - Jeremiah 17: 9 (NLT)

    Beloved the world system we live in is opposite to the faith we profess. The logic the world uses is anathema to the things of God. The world tells us we need to trust our heart. Just follow your heart! The Bible teaches us that our heart is the MOST deceitful thing and desperately wicked. Following our heart often leads us away from God and directly into tribulation. Following the heart of God however - that is where our spiritual GPS needs to be programmed to. That GPS is not found on our dashboard but rather, in our Bible.

    Trusting in the Lord with all our heart is critical because we like to hold some things back from God. We like to hold back some of our fleshly desires. We like to hold back our secret sins. We have some Christians only partially invested in the kingdom. Sunday morning Christians whose faith falters the other six days of the week because church is largely a social exercise for them. We have purpose driven Christians whose faith is built upon serving in ministry and their service assists them in turning a blind eye towards the sins they still harbor in their lives. There are any number of partially invested Christians who sometimes take the right path at the fork in their road and other times they do not. Then we wonder why we never seem to be able to find victory over the strongholds we face. Or why the enemy seems to have a field day with us. There is power for the lives of believers but it lies down the narrow path that leads to life - not the broad path that leads to destruction. The is limited power available for limited Christians.

    The second part of this recipe is that we cannot lean on our own understanding. Logically this goes hand in hand with trusting the Lord. Every decision has only two options for us to choose from - what we want to do and what God wants us to do. Like we have to face down the heart within us, we often have to fight against our mind. We like to think that we know it all far too much. We treat God like He is in the advisement business instead of the Lordship business. We face the fork in the road and we rationalize it. We bargain with it. We rely on our own resources, wisdom and logic. If that is not enough we turn to worldly experts in psychology, medicine, or any other number of earthly disciplines. We may eventually turn to the church but even then we are still hoping for something that will agree with our own understanding. Sometimes we trump doctrine up into this deeply spiritual and complicated matter when the truth is we know the right answer all along. We know the right path to take but we simply do not want to take it! Do we realize the God we serve does not think as we do?

    “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,so my ways are higher than your waysand my thoughts higher than your thoughts, - Isaiah 55: 8-9 (NLT)

    Yet so often we still think we know better. Or that we simply disagree with God. He is never mocked however and we always reap what we sow. If we sow to the Spirit of God inside of us we will reap righteousness and blessing. If we sow to the flesh we will reap the heartache of this world. These two precepts go hand in hand beloved. We cannot say that we truly trust God if we constantly lean on our own understanding. As mentioned, it is about Lordship; a concept that is sparingly preached anymore. Yes God wants to be friends with us but not friends as we think here on earth. Lordship must always come first. As Lord - He gets to decide the path we take. This should be a source of great comfort but our flesh and pride makes it a point of great contention.

    The concept of Lordship is summed up in the third part of the recipe from the key verses. In all our ways we are to submit to Him. The first part to consider is that God expects to be Lord of our lives in totality. In all of our ways. Not some of our ways. Not just for the ways we already agree upon. Not just for the ways that make us feel all warm and comfy. All of our ways. Solomon was considered the wisest man who ever lived and in the majority of his ways he had God as Lord. Unfortunately however, not in every way.

    Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, ‘You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.’ Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord. - 1Kings 11: 1-3 (NLT)

    I want us to focus on the phrase - "Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway." this really cuts to the heart of the issue. We claim to want to seek the will of God so often yet remain so willfully disobedient in many areas of our lives. If we were to be honest, we simply insist on having it our way. We insist on being disobedient. Just as the Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel He has likewise instructed us as well through His Word. Do not let any preacher downgrade any portion of God's Holy Word. The do's and the don't's are vitally important for us. Jesus did not die so we could have it our way but to show us that He is the only way. We cannot allow anyone to cheapen the grace He died for by pretending how we live out this life makes no difference to Him. Beloved, I understand that it will always be difficult to consider His Lordship in every decision we make. We ought to be striving though. I have seen people taking the wrong path at the fork in the road and watched it destroy their lives.

    The second part of this point is the word "submit." I think sometimes we "consider" the Lord in all of our ways but not actually submit. The word submit means to yield our power and authority to Him. I know that is a difficult thing to do because we are such prideful creatures and because the world works on the opposite system. It is simply not enough to merely consider what God has to say. The friend of God theology however reinforces this notion that God is just your buddy there to give profound advice. He is supposed to be our Lord, ruling over our lives with all power and authority. There is a popular Christian song called "Jesus Take the Wheel", which should serve as a reminder that we are not supposed to be driving to begin with. If Jesus is your co-pilot then you are in the wrong seat! Do not listen to the do-it-yourself world and the false preachers selling a gospel of self help. If we could help ourselves then we wouldn't need a Savior!

    The final part of the recipe from the key verses is the outcome if we adhere to what is being taught here. He will make our paths straight. This actually means that He will make our paths known. That fork in the road will no longer appear ominous because we not only will know which path to take but we will be properly submitted to Him to actually take it! It only takes one bad decision at one fork in the road to lead us down a path of ruin we could never have expected. King David faced that fork when he saw Bathsheba bathing. He knew the Word of God. He knew what he wanted was wrong. He knew adultery was a sin. Yet he still insisted on having it his way. It would be years before the dust settled from this decision. It cost him his kingdom and the lives of two children. His own son rebelled against him and turned the hearts of the people away from him. I am sure if he had a chance to do that decision over again he would have ignored Bathsheba. Or Samson with Delilah. Or Ananias and Sapphira lying to the Apostles. The Bible is filled with examples for us to avoid. As well as some to emulate:

    So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn’t worry about a thing—except what kind of food to eat!Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded.But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” - Genesis 39: 6-9 (NLT)

    This is a teenage boy refusing the sexual advances of a woman because he knows what God says on the matter! Faced with his fork, he deferred to the Lordship of God over his life. It is true that he ended up in prison because he was falsely accused but realize that God was preparing Joesph for so much more. His wilderness lasted 13 years but he then reigned over all Egypt in peace for 80 years and it all started back at the fork where he had to decide to let God be Lord or to insist on having it his way. When he saw Potiphar's wife he saw the path laid straight before him by God and he took it. That is what we need to be striving to do every day.

    Because every day we will face these decisions. Life is a series of choices. I am sure we all know people who remain miserable or in bondage today because of poor choices they made decades ago. Even Christians who Christ set free stay in shackles they clamped on their own feet back at that fork they faced years ago. Beloved we must trust God with all of our heart and not think we know the answers. We must submit our entire life to His Lordship because He knows better than we do. Then the paths become smoothed out before us and we will walk under the power and authority of Jesus Christ.

    Reverend Anthony Wade - November 25, 2013
    KingJ likes this.
  2. Thanks Anthony, very good!

    I was one of those that searched Jer 17:9 ;).
    anthony wade likes this.

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