Life is a journey. As we travel the road of life, we discover that the journey can be long, arduous, and sometimes confusing. There are many signposts along the way; but if those signposts do not originate with the Lord, they will serve only to misdirect us. As Solomon speaks to his son about navigating the journey of life, he gives clear directions. He greatly desires that his son’s journey ends at the right destination.
Unfortunately, the signposts we need to follow are not always obvious. They take intentional forethought to see and understand. In contrast, the signposts that can misdirect us are large, easy to see, and inviting (Proverbs 2:10-19). Therefore, if one is to successfully walk with God, they must do so with great thoughtfulness. Each step taken in life must be intentional.
To see correctly, the first act of thoughtfulness is to allow the commandments of God to navigate one through life (Proverbs 3:1-2). The Bible says that, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7). The word “Law” is not meant to be understood as simple ordinances like a speed limit posting. Exceed the speed limit and you will get a ticket. Instead, the Hebrew word means “instruction” and carries the idea of allowing God (through His Word) to teach us what is right in His eyes.
I am reminded of the many times (before GPS) I embarked on a road trip without properly consulting a map. After driving for a while in unfamiliar territory, the map became a necessity. On more than one occasion I became lost because I did not allow the map to instruct me on the proper direction for the journey. Only God has the perspective of seeing the entire landscape at a glance. And from His perspective, He can lead us in the right direction.
As we allow God’s Word to direct our journey, the next act of thoughtfulness is to allow God to teach us. We often look at the landscape of life and believe we understand what we see. But due to our own sin, we are prone to misread our surroundings. Hence, we are confronted with a remarkable challenge. We are called to relinquish any claim to self-understanding. We read, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). God wants us to understand life as He does.
Therefore, not only do we need a map, we also need a guide. God desires to be our guide on the journey. He guides us through His wisdom. The Bible says, “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deut. 31:8). In dangerous territory, a guide can mean the difference between life and death. The sobering reality is that there are many dangerous obstacles, and even fierce enemies, on the journey. The devil is “like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Our Lord greatly desires to lead us through life. And when we allow Him to both lead us and teach us, we learn that He can already see our final destination. When we faithfully follow Him, our arrival is a certainty.