The Well-Trodden Path

“He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.”

Proverbs 2:8 (NLT)

This past weekend at a mother/daughter retreat, my daughter and I, along with seven of our friends, found ourselves trying to stand together on a swinging log for ten seconds without anyone touching the ground. As much as we tried to accomplish this feat, by the time the ninth person climbed onto the log, half of our team inevitably wound up falling off. Our ropes course instructor finally gave us a piece of helpful advice. She said, “Think about this verse: ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.'” (John 15:5, NIV)

What she was telling us is that each of us had to position ourselves on the log in the way that was most natural for us, like a branch that is grafted into a vine. From this, we realized we did not all have to stand or sit on the log in the same fashion. The goal was simply for everyone to be on the log at the same time. So we arranged ourselves, some of us standing and some of us sitting, and accomplished the task by following our instructor’s wisdom. By listening to her directions, we were able to get on, and remain on, the log.

Have you ever struggled with a problem, not knowing the right thing to do? If so, consider Proverbs 2:8, which tells us that God is our life instructor. When we follow his ways, we are protected. So, when you don’t know what to do, go to the Lord in prayer and seek answers from his word because he alone guards the path of those who are just and seek him faithfully — the path that is truly good.

The Hebrew word for path in this verse is ‘orach, which means a well-trodden road. In other words, this just path has been well-travelled and it is tried and true. Even more so, it is guarded by God, so we can trust him as we walk it, knowing that he has been down the path and knows it well.

When we follow the just path, that is, God’s ways, we find protection. He is our defender and shield (Proverbs 2:7). With God as our shield, why would we want to be anywhere else? It is easy to seek counsel from worldly sources – we can find advice for just about any topic on the Internet, in self-help books, or from other people. But, while some of these can provide helpful advice, ultimately we must test everything against God’s word. His word is the just path and if something does not line up with that, we should rethink that advice.

Any Christian will tell you that walking with God does not mean that you will always have an easy life, but you will have hope and peace, which are part of God’s protection. The rewards of walking with God far outweigh the consequences of straying away from him. Seek life instructions from God, and enjoy the blessing of the well-trodden path.

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