Ways & Paths (In Hot Pursuit Check)
I’m on a quick tour through Proverbs. I started seminary this semester (finally, after being accepted a year and a half ago), and I’m taking Old Testament History & Theology. We started with Psalms and Proverbs, and although I like to read slowly during my study time, the syllabus requires me to fly. But it’s fruitful flying. In one sitting this week, I was struck by key words and phrases repeated throughout the book—like “ways” and “paths.” Here’s a sample:
Her [wisdom’s] ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. Proverbs 3:17
I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. Proverbs 4:11
Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Proverbs 4:26
For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He watches all his paths. Proverbs 5:21
Do not enter the path of the wicked and do not proceed in the way of evil men. Proverbs 4:14
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. Proverbs 4:18-19
Those words caused me to think about being In Hot Pursuit. It’s been a year since our study, but the pursuit continues always . . . and it’s good to do a collective check from time to time to see how we’re doing. I thought about how easily a wrong choice could lead one to the wrong way or path . . . away from the hot pursuit of Christlikeness.
Verse 26 above cautions us to “watch the path” of our feet. And there’s this caution: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). With a single step, we can enter that wrong path, drawn by what entices or by what may seem easy or harmless. And the enemy is more than willing to lead us.
Thankfully, though, we are not without wisdom in making right choices. Wisdom not only calls to us, she takes a stand “on top of the heights beside the way, where the paths meet” to be sure we hear (Proverbs 8:1-5). And there’s this power verse:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).
And if that’s not enough, there’s this: that in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). We have everything we need to walk in the right ways and paths.
How’s your In Hot Pursuit going? Have you been watching the path of your feet? Are you listening when wisdom calls?