Friday, March 13, 2009

There Is a Way That Seems Right

Years ago, we were headed from Disney World to my parent’s home in Kissimmee. We came to a major turn, and I did not know where to go. So, I asked my dad. “Which way?” He told me, “Dave, everything in me tells me that you should probably turn right, so if I were you, I would turn left.”

I did. I turned left. Within a few minutes, we were home, safe and sound. Dad was right. His instincts were wrong. He has no sense of direction. He once stopped for coffee and got back on the highway and drove 100 miles before he realized he was headed in the wrong direction. We got home that night because my dad realized it; he recognized that he was directionally-impaired. Had we relied on his instincts, we would have been lost.

We are constantly bombarded with the message of self-reliance today. “You just need to follow your own instincts. Listen to the truth inside of you. It can’t be wrong if it feels right to you.”

But Solomon said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death.” Let that sink in. There is a road that leads to death and destruction. It is the wrong road. Yet, to the human heart, it seems right. It feels right, but it is wrong.

Dad was wise; he knew his instincts were wrong. Too many people trust their own instincts, their feelings, their reason and logic. It feels right, but it leads us wrong. Sinful hearts and minds cannot be trusted to lead us the right way.

Solomon gave us a solemn promise in Proverbs 3:5-6. He said that if we did three things, God would direct our paths, or “make our paths straight”. In other words, we can live confidently, knowing that we are on the right road, knowing that we are making the right turns in life.

What do we have to do? We have to “trust in the Lord with all your heart.” We must place our trust fully in God. We place our lives in his hands, believing that God’s way is better than our way, that God’s Word is more reliable than our own wisdom, that his will is best for our lives.

Then comes the hard part. “Do not lean on your own understanding.” If I want God to lead me every step of my life, I cannot trust my own wisdom. Every great truth of scripture is counter-intuitive. That means it goes against our normal human way of thinking. It is not normal to love your enemy. It is not normal to rejoice in suffering. It is not normal to have peace while the storms of life rage. It is not normal, it is supernatural. God’s ways are higher than ours, and his thoughts are higher than ours. Like my dad, we refuse to trust our instincts, our emotions, our reason or even our own common sense. Instead, we seek the truth of God’s word.

Finally, we must acknowledge God in all our ways. We must submit every word, every thought, every action before God. To acknowledge God is to submit to him, to let him have authority over everything we do.

God does not want to be a passenger in your life. He wants the steering wheel. But when I slide over, and release the wheel to him, he guides me through life’s ways in joy and peace. I experience his love and blessing every day.

There is a way that seems right. And there is a right way.


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Anonymous said...

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