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  • Renée Coventry

A Holy Path, Pt. 12

Next to healing, divine guidance is one of the most requested prayer requests I have received. We all want it. Nobody purposefully goes through life hoping to misstep, but a sacred path characterizes a holy life. Continuing in Proverbs 4, verses 26-27 state, "Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or to the left; remove your foot from evil." The word ponder here means to weigh and make level and even so that your way becomes fixed – not just your actions, but your way, the entire journey and how you travel life.

Consider another verse, Psalms 24:3-5. "Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation." Interestingly, the term lifted up his soul to an idol means carrying and sustaining lying vanities, emptiness, and worthlessness. This parallels what we have been studying in Proverbs 4.

Notice, too, that there is a particular order to see holiness manifested in our lives, and it has to do with ourselves, not others. First and foremost, it begins with our motives, moves to our heart, then our tongues, speaking truth, eyes, and finally our paths. That's because our way is determined by all that has come before it. That's why people abandon their breakthroughs. We get close, but then we sabotage the work of God by agreeing with the work of the enemy, and then our path becomes skewed, and our tongues won't speak the truth without first our motives and heart being rightly aligned with the motives and nature of God.

We live in a world where we receive things instantly, from fast food to overnight delivery, and then we often try to apply that to our spiritual lives, as well. When God doesn't provide an answer as quickly as we think He should, we stop going to Him, figuring we can do things faster ourselves. But we all know that fast food isn't healthy for us, and we could get into a discussion of the economic repercussions on small business owners by always shopping those who can accommodate our desires immediately (we won't though😊 No, God's creation bears witness to the time, space, and matter He so graciously provided for us.

The garden takes time to grow. We don't see the roots forming beneath the soil, but they are. Eventually, green stalks sprout, but it is months before we see fruit, let alone can enjoy it, and in between, it all is hard work. I've come to believe that often when we don't know the direction we should take, it is because we have gotten something out of order, whether our motives and heart haven't been dealt with or we're listening to the lies of or being distracted by the enemy. When these things have been purified, in my experience, the direction becomes crystal clear.

God has never been a God of chaos and fear. His desire for us has always been love and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). If it seems like I am speaking in absolutes, I am. This is the character and nature of God, and it should reflect ours, as well. Fear has no place in our lives and certainly not regarding the future God has for it. We're told in Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." There it is again, our motives and heart.

Interestingly the world acknowledge here means to know Him, not to say, "I recognize You have a design here for me, God;" it's not just a verbal assent that He is present. It is to discern Him and perceive His workings. When we know God intimately in His holiness, He directs and makes smooth our path before us. When our eyes are focused where they need to be, it makes it all the easier to follow Him. When we avoid the distractions of the enemy, our path is made plain before us.

There is one last thing we are told in Proverbs 4:27. We are commanded to remove our feet from evil. We will explore this tomorrow because holiness does not abide in its presence, and we shouldn't give it place, either.

Let's Pray:

Father, I recognize that I have often asked for direction without first dealing with my motives, heart, truth, and distractions. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that You desire to lead me in the way everlasting, and so I ask as David did that You search me and know all my anxieties (Ps. 139:23-24). I want to walk in Your ways. I want to walk a holy path that refuses the attempts of the enemy to detour me. Holy Spirit, I know this isn't possible without Your intervention. Please help me to weigh each step according to Your holy will and make room for You to make every path straight before me as I follow You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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