Hope for Living: Choice of path makes big difference

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By Lance Stevens

As I watch the latest news ( which at times I have to walk away from) I see folks living their lives in a very unwise fashion. It is heartbreaking to see those who lives are destroyed because of wrong decisions.

Now, I realize that we all at one time or another make a decision that is not in our best interest. I am writing about those whose lives are characterized by walking unwisely.

In Ephesians 5:15-21, the Bible says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly (meaning accurately or precisely with great care) , not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God…”

Let me begin by saying that there are two ways to walk in this world, wisely or unwisely.

When one walks the wise path they see the fruit of their life — and sadly, when one walks the unwise path, they too see the fruit of their life. As we just read in verse 15 we should carefully choose the path that we travel.

Let me if I may describe a few “wrong paths”:

-Easy path: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (Matthew 7:13).

-Disobedient path: The Bible speaks clearly of those “Who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness (Proverbs 2:13). Also, “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble (Proverbs 4:19).

Things that were at one time shameful to even speak of are paraded in plain view today; this is how far we have strayed from the path God intended us to follow. The Bible speaks of those “Who rejoice in doing evil, And delight in the perversity of the wicked (Proverbs 2:14).

-Destructive path: “For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead” (Proverbs 2:18).

-Deadly path: You may be saying at this very moment, “I know what I am doing.” But God says, “There is a way the seems right to a man, But the end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Now how about when we choose the “right path” — carefully determining what you do: “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Next, be careful to choose what we think: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

Be sure to carefully watch what you believe. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Then carefully guard your heart: “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Do any of the things that have been mentioned describe you? When I write for this column, I write to help point someone to the only one who can save, heal and direct for eternity: Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, has a way of convicting a man or woman. There is never any doubt when He points and draws one to Jesus. You see this is why God sent Him, as it is written, “No man (or woman) can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).

Friend, if you feel that tug on your heart this moment, this is God’s Holy Spirit drawing you to the Son. Another name given the Holy Spirit is the “Comforter.” He comes alongside us and indwells us when we admit that we have sinned against God and call out to Jesus for forgiveness and for eternal salvation through the blood Christ shed to pay for our redemption.

My prayer is that you turn to Him today, because I learned along time ago not to presume we have tomorrow.

Lance Stevens pastors at Huntsville Evangelical Community Church in Pendleton. He and his wife, Judy, are formerly of Greenfield. 

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