He Shall Direct Thy Paths
By David J. Stewart
Proverb 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Over the years I have had the privilege to counsel with a multitude of people concerning their marriage and relationship problems; many people in difficult situations. They are confused are don't know what to do. They want someone to tell them exactly what to do; but most often in life things aren't that easy; the answer seems vague if not impossible. Sometimes it just seems like a situation is hopeless.
The Bible in Proverb 3:5-6 gives us the answer, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” These are powerful Scriptures, teaching that God will help us with the unknown if we'll obey the known. God promises to direct our paths if we'll regard His opinion in ALL our ways. So if you want God to help you with difficult decisions in your life, then seek out God's will for every area of your life. It is from Scriptural principles by which decisions are made.
I never tell people what to do, for they must ultimately make decisions for themselves; but I share Scriptural teachings with people to help guide their thinking in the Lord. This is why the Bible tells us to “study,” rightly dividing the Word of truth (2nd Timothy 2:15). Most people wrongly divide and butcher the Bible, such as those who say it's ok to divorce.
God has promised to DIRECT our paths if we'll acknowledge Him in all our ways. What does it mean to acknowledge God? It means to seek out, consider and have respect for God; applying Scriptural principles by which we can base our decisions. This is the knowledge of God. If we'll obey God in the small areas of our life, applying the Scriptures, then the big areas will fall into place. For those who do not care about serving God in their daily life, there is no promise of divine guidance. God promises to guide those who regard His Word, respecting Him in their life.
Most people do everything backwards. Most people have a child and then get married; instead of getting married and then having a child. Many women forego having a family to pursue a career; instead of making a family their career. Most people do good works to be saved; instead of doing good works because they are saved. And most people expect God to direct their paths; while they have selfishly chosen to go down their own paths in life. Most people seek God's guidance only in a certain area; but the Bible promises divine guidance to those who in ALL THY WAYS acknowledge God.
Oftentimes we are faced with a major decision in life, and we don't know what to do; but we can use Scriptural principles as guidelines to show us what to do, or if nothing else to show us WHAT NOT TO DO. God promises, PROMISES, to direct our paths in life; but only upon the met condition that we do things HIS WAY. That means to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES as Jesus commanded us in John 5:39.
Piecing it Together, Step By Step
Oftentimes a person won't be able to envision step B, until they have first done step A. If you're assembling something, you can't skip over a bunch of steps and then expect to see something recognizable. That's what God is saying in Proverbs 3:5-6. If you'll do steps A and B, then God will direct you in steps C, D, E and so forth. You can't skip steps. If we'll do step A that God tells us to do, then step B will become visible. And step C in God's plan won't become obvious unless we first take step A and then B. If we'll acknowledge God each step of the way, on steps A and B, then steps C and D will become visible and we'll know what to do. Before you know it, you will have accomplished the unachievable, and overcome the impossible through Jesus Christ!
In fact, this is the way that God has ordained life to work. This is God's method. God won't show us step B unless we first do step A. Most believers get upset with God because they can't envision steps C and D; but they refuse to obey God by performing steps A and B. God will Guide us through the seemingly difficult and impossible situations in our life, if we'll simply take the first steps.
Noah couldn't envision the rain and floods coming down, but he nevertheless moved with fear, obeying the voice of God, building the ark day-by-day until it was complete. It took Noah 120-years to build the ark. Considering that it had NEVER rained before, that took Noah A LOT of faith.
God fed the wandering Jews in the Wilderness with manna from heaven on a daily basis, for 40-years, to teach them to trust God daily. This is why in the Lord's prayer (which is really the disciple's prayer) we are directed to pray, “Give us this DAY our DAILY bread.” Jesus didn't tell us to ask for monthly provisions, nor to pursue being financially secure for life. This is what carnally-minded people seek after; but God wants us to trust Him on a daily basis. As a person grows in the Lord, they learn more and more to take life one day at a time, living each day as if the Lord were coming back this noonday. Jesus may come today!
Thus, Biblically we ought not seek for God's guidance beyond today; for tomorrow may never come. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus mentions daily necessities. Someone has rightfully said that Christianity is not measured in months or even years, but in decades. Although that is certainly true, the Christian life is lived on a daily basis, one decision at a time.
Don't Seek the Advice of People to Make Your Decisions
The Bible plainly teaches for us to acknowledge God in all our ways; not people. The fastest way to ruin your life and do everything the wrong way is to counsel with carnally-minded people. Ninety-percent of the public is wrong in everything they do. Think about it. Most people are in debt way over their heads, have destroyed their children by abortion, have ruined their marriages by divorce, and continue to vote for the worst human beings on the planet. Do you know why? It's because they have the wrong attitude about everything!
2nd Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” That simply means you do things God's way and not your own. How many people CARE enough to obey God? Not many! Notice the phrase “the knowledge of God.” That is the Bible. 2nd Corinthians 10:5 commands us to destroy any thought that exalts itself contrary to the Word of God. Ninety-nine percent of society are going to Hell, because they THINK they know better than God.
If you want to live for God, then you must think like God. This is why Philippians 2:5 tells us to have the mind of Christ, which verse 4 says is to look upon the things of others. This is the opposite of selfishness. So many of the decisions people make are based upon what's best FOR THEM. God isn't directing their paths, because they are directing their own foolish paths. Proverb 14:14, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with HIS OWN WAYS: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.” The woeful sin of our day is people doing their own thing, having no regard for the Bible.
Isaiah 53:6,“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Sheep are really stupid animals with no sense of what's going on around them, and so they are easy prey for the cunning wolf. Satan is the wolf. We are the sheep. Jesus is the good Shepherd (John 10:11,14). It is sad that most people spit on the good Shepherd, and instead choose to follow the wolf to be destroyed.
Tragically, most people seek out what someone else thinks about the Bible to make their big decisions in life. This is a dangerous way to do things. Instead of acknowledging God in all their ways, they have acknowledged people. Instead of considering what the Scriptures say, they only care about what people have to say. Literally, every decision that a person makes should be tested by the Bible, to see whether that decision agrees with the Scriptures or not.
When it comes to divorce, the answer is clearly outlined by Biblical principles, “NO!” Matthew 18:22 teaches unlimited forgiveness. Those foolish people who teach that Jesus permitted divorce are completely ignoring Matthew 18:22. They are also ignoring Matthew 19:8 where Jesus said divorce was never acceptable throughout history. Jesus NEVER said it was permissible to divorce; He simply addressed whether or not it was the sin of adultery to remarry. People horribly twist the Words of Christ to mean something different. Divorce is a sin, a sin, a sin!
The worst thing you'll ever do is ask for other people's advice at the difficult times in your life, because most people are living in rebellion against God. It's the carnal nature to seek vengeance, want to get even and hurt others, and to form an agenda. I have found that many women recommend divorce to other women, out of hatred for their own husband, and based upon their own failed marriage. They are feminists! As the saying goes... “Misery loves company.” Divorced people nearly always recommend divorce.
Nearly every woman who files for divorce does so because someone coached her into doing it. This is why women file for divorce at more than TWICE the rate of men in the U.S. And a faithfully married Christian person will usually tell you to pray, seek God's wisdom, and hang in there! Those of a pure heart, who truly love Jesus Christ, will acknowledge the Scriptures in everything they do.
What Saith the Scripture?
We all need to have the attitude of the Apostle Paul in Romans 4:3, “For what saith the Scripture?” What does the Bible say? What is God's opinion in this matter? What would Jesus do? Don't ask people what they think about the Bible, because they will often twist and pervert the Scriptures in an attempt to fit their own sinful agendas. People can't be trusted, not when making major life's decisions. You need the Word of God, and you fortunately have it in the trustworthy King James Bible! God has spoken, and He speaks to us in these Last Days through His dear Son, through the written Word of God (Hebrews 1:1-2). The question is are you listening? Do you have ears to hear and eyes to see?
Most churchgoers have their heads buried in the sand these days, preoccupied with so-called Christian TV, radio, books, magazines, seminars, videos, DVD's, courses; while their Bible sits on the coffee table unopened. Look at the type garbage being propagated by ChristianityToday. No wonder people are so messed up!
What did Jesus tell us to do in John 15:7? Jesus said to abide in Christ (the Living Word), and let the Scriptures (the Written Word) abide in us! Literally, live in the Bible! Most people won't even open the Bible. The problem is that people wait until tragedy strikes before seeking God's advice, and then it's a panic situation. This is when most people run to other people, and are taken advantage of by Satan. Ephesians 2:2 teaches that Satan works through the spirit of unsaved people. Satan has a certain, varying, degree of control over unsaved people.
Ephesians 6:12 says that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of Satan working in other people. Satan is a spirit, and so are all the demons, which influence one's spirit if they have not the Spirit of God within them, and yield not to God's Spirit (Romans 8:9). Satan works through people. This is why you instead ought to trust the Lord by searching the Scriptures for answers, comfort and guidance in life. Jesus taught that the Comforter, i.e., the Holy Spirit will GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH (John 16:13).
The Bible should be your best buddy. Sleep with the Bible clutched in your arms. Read the Bible when you awake. Think about the Bible as you lay your head down to sleep. Keep a copy of the Bible in your car, in your desk and everywhere you spend time. Make the Bible your companion! Show God that you mean business and want to do His will in ALL YOUR WAYS as Proverb 3:6 teaches. The Christian life is not an accident; it's lived on purpose.
All that matters is what God says; not the Catholic priest, not the Lutheran minister, not your coworker, not your neighbor, not your family, no one except God.
The Will of God NEVER Goes Against the Word of God
God has PROMISED to direct our paths, but only if we acknowledge Him in all of our ways as a born-again Christian; abiding in Jesus Christ with our love, gratitude and affection; allowing the Scriptures to abide in us by searching daily and mediating therein as David did day and night (Psalm 1:2).
Psalm 1:1-2, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
Most people meditate upon the television as mindless morons day and night. Soap operas by day and Late Night Comedians by night. There's 86,400 seconds in each day. How many Bible verses did you read today? None? And then you wonder why God seems distant when you run to Him with your problems in a time of panic. The Bible is so rich in truth, and that's what the Bible is... TRUTH (John 17:17). Our minds should be saturated with truth from the Bible.
The newspaper is filled with manure, that will rob you of your joy in the Lord. So many people thrive on reading bad news every day in the newspaper. It is human nature to desire to see, hear and dwell on all the bad things of life. They are walking garbage pails. The man who reads nothing is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers. Most people spend MUCH more time reading newspapers than they do God's inspired Word. It is so sad. Do you know why? It is because they don't want the knowledge of God. They want the knowledge of evil, smut, filth and all the gory details. The newspaper cannot be a Lamp unto your feet as can the Bible. Oh, how people need the Light!
Whatever decision you may be facing in life, the Bible has the answers. A lot of people don't understand that statement, because they are ignorant of the Scriptures. If you have a problem and don't see the answer in the Bible, then it's only because you are ignorant of the wealth of Biblical teachings and principles that God has provided to help us make life's decisions. God's promises are so much bigger than life. No matter what burdens you may have, this life will soon be over in the blink of an eye, and then the Judgment (Hebrews 9:27). The moment you die, it will be Heaven or Hell.
Proverb 3:5-6 promises that God will direct our paths in life; if we'll include God in everything we do, which means obeying the Bible in everything we do. Even if you do not know what to do in a particular situation, God has promised to direct you if you'll respect His Commandments, His opinions and His teachings from the Bible in every area of your life. The principles of the Word of God, if sincerely considered, will direct the big decisions of our life.
You don't need to ask God if it's ok to wear a miniskirt ladies. The Bible already provides an answer in 1st Timothy 2:9. That goes for you men as well (Deuteronomy 22:5). You don't need to ask God if it's ok to have an abortion, because Exodus 20:13 commands us not to kill. You don't need to ask God if it's ok to divorce, because Matthew 19:8 says it was never God's will to divorce. You don't need to pray for God's will in areas where the Bible already tells us God's will.
People are such liars, and have always been, attributing to God their wickedness. Adam blamed God when he sinned, saying in Genesis 3:12, “The woman whom THOU GAVEST to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Jeremiah 17:9 teaches that the heart of man is desperately wicked and deceitful above all else. Jeremiah 7:9-10, “Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?” It's bad enough that people violate God's Laws, but then they actually blame God and claim that He gave them permission to divorce, have abortions, get drunk, and commit all forms of wickedness!
Conclusion of the Matter
The Bible tells us that God has promised to direct our paths if we'll acknowledge God in all our ways. We ought not lean upon our own understanding, nor be wise in our own eyes (Proverb 3:7). God wants us to trust Him by believing the Scriptures and resting in His promises.
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