Book: Proverbs 4
“Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.”
The words, “Mark out” gives the sense that both thought and a decision need to be made in advance,so that the safe path will be followed. J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit) said,“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” There is one being, and his counterparts, who want to destroy us. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan is looking for those who have not chosen or who are not following the safe path.
What is the straight path or safe path? It is choosing to follow and obey God and His wisdom. The verses just before the warning to “stay alert” says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” The safest place to be is humbly “under the mighty power of God”. Why is this true? Because God is almighty, and all powerful! There is none who can outsmart, outwit, out know or even out muscle Him. No one will be able to successfully destroy us when we are in His safe arms. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10:27-30). Choosing to stay under the protection of God is the safest place to be.
Once the straight and safe path has been identified, following and obeying God and His wisdom, it is important to stay on that path. It is not just a one time decision but a daily decision of seeking Him, hearing from Him, talking with Him and humbly relying on Him. There have been those who have said to themselves, “Now that I am a Christian, I can do whatever I want as I am saved from Hell.” This has led them down a path of destruction and unhappiness. But those who have walked daily with the King have enjoyed all that He has prepared for them.
How have you “marked out a straight path” in your life to keep you safe? How has that plan been worked out in your daily life? Ask God how He sees it and if there is anything He wants you to change.