When Rick and I got married he wrote this beautiful little passage that we put on our wedding programs called "The Story of Us". It described our meeting each other on a path. We were both walking on it, separately and in the same direction, looked over and saw each other. We decided that the path would be easier to walk together. (First of all, where has that poetic couple gone? It's easy to get caught up in the everydayness of life, huh?)
This week I started a Bible study with Women Living Well whereby we read one chapter of the book of Proverbs each morning (thus a Good Morning Girls study). Then we SOAK it. This is a simple process where you read the entire chapter, chose one or more scriptures that stand out to you (the S), write it down with any observations you have about it (the O), apply it to your life and particular circumstances (the A), and then get on your knees in prayer (the K). It is such a simple but powerful way to study the Bible.
I am doing this study with my friend Cheryl at Say What? She is a Navy wife, homeschooling mom of two teenaged sons, stationed in HAWAII! (Yeah, I know ... lucky!) She and I do our study each morning and then e-mail each other about what we have read and answer the discussion questions provided by Women Living Well. It's a pretty cool deal.
This week we have been reading the first five verses of Proverbs, learning about the importance of seeking and obtaining Wisdom.
On morning I asked God to speak specifically to me, to give me something practical to take with me. And boy did He!
He led me to Proverbs 4 versus 25 through 27: "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."
Evil is the snake on the path.
Are you afraid of snakes? I am DEATHLY afraid of snakes! We had lots of them when we lived in Oklahoma because we lived right off a bluff. I often told my neighbors that if they ever drove by and saw me laying in the driveway, it was because I had seen a snake and dropped dead. Terrified, I tell you!
What would I do if I was walking on a path and saw a snake? I would scream in terror, turn and RUN! I wouldn't sit and toy with it for a while. I wouldn't start to look at its positive attributes and make a pros list of why it might make a good pet. NO! I turn and run!
Proverbs 4 verse 15 says "turn from it and go on your way."
That's what I would do with a snake on my path. I would immediately stop, turn from it, and go on my way (quickly!)
Why do we toy with evil thoughts when they enter our mind and heart? Why do we start to make a pros list of why it might be something good for us? "Guard your heart because it is the well-spring of life." ~ Proverbs 4:23.
God says to "let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you." If you are looking around, taking in the sights, not really paying attention, you will step directly on that snake and it will bite you. In life, if I am not paying attention on my path, I will step right on that evil thought or attitude and it will bite me before I have even noticed it. Then the venom is in me, goes straight to my heart, and it's hard to get out.
"Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm." MAKE level paths. They don't make themselves. I take that to mean stay in the Word. Firm up your path. It is easy to recognize an evil if you first know about it and are prepared for it.
In each of our lives we have those "things" that trip us up, time and again and again and again. Satan isn't that creative. He has to use the same tactics on us over and over. You know it to be true. Think about that "thing" that just keeps coming up in your life, marriage, friendships, parenting, etc. Yeah, I know mine.
I need to be keeping my path level for my tripping feet. I need to be reading the Word and doing the Word.
Lastly, "do not swerve to the right or the left." If you are on a path and you swerve to the right or the left, you are going to go OFF the path God has laid out for you. That doesn't mean you can't get back on the path. But the way back onto the path is rocky, thorny, and usually uphill. Oh and there are lots of snakes to deal with! It is not fun to dig and climb your way back onto the path. So stay on it.
But when you come to that snake, immediately turn and go back the other way. Allow that snake to get bored and frustrated and go on its way, then you can continue onto the place where God is leading you.
Good stuff this week. The Word is such a cool thing.
I'll be linking up this article at the Women Living Well/Good Morning Girls Friday link-up.