Don't Stray to the Wrong Path

The fact that you are reading these Scriptures and devotional thoughts is a good indicator that you desire to “walk a path” that will lead you closer to God. His path will lead you to know and love him more, and he will help you reflect his goodness.

Monday–Psalm 119.104-106 It’s hard to stay on the right path without a map. The Psalmist tells us that God’s word is the light for our path. Dallas Willard says of all the spiritual practices, memorizing scripture might be the most important. Because without the scripture, without a “map,” it’s difficult to find our way. Pray and ask your Father to increase your desire for his word. Would you begin to memorize a block of scripture that speaks to you? Some suggestions: Colossians 3:1-17, Philippians 2:5-11, I Corinthians 13:4-7.

Tuesday–I Timothy 6.11-12 If you want to stay on your financial path, create a budget and stay out of Target or Home Depot. If you want to stay on a healthy eating path, avoid Braum’s and All-You-Can-Eat Buffets. If you want to stay on the path of kingdom living, where/what do you need to avoid? It’s different for all of us. Perhaps it’s an overcrowded schedule where there is no time to experience God. Or is it comparison, noticing all that others have and being blind to what we have? Ask God to show you where you might be tempted to leave the path.

Wednesday–John 4.4-14 One of the keys to staying on the path is to be so satisfied with our life in God that other paths lose their attraction for us. “Those who experience moral failure are those who have failed to live a deeply satisfied life in Christ. If I have a strong temptation, it will be out of my dissatisfaction. The surest guarantee against failure is to be so at peace and satisfied with God that when wrongdoing presents itself it isn’t even interesting. That is the living water” (Dallas Willard). Spend some time today simply enjoying God…in nature, with a child, through music. Allow His living water to wash over you and revive your love for him. Experience his goodness.

Thursday–Proverbs 12.26 If we want to stay on the path, one of the best tools we can have is a group of like-minded travelers. Imagine trying to hike the Appalachian…or any trail… with people who want to play golf or tennis or with folks who are constantly trying to find a way off the path to the closest course or court. It would make staying on your path difficult…and lonely. It’s hard to pursue God when you are surrounded by those who are not interested. If this is a need in your life, ask God to help you find some traveling companions who are walking the same path you’re on…through a small group, a phone call, or for coffee. If you have such friends, give thanks.

Friday–James 1.13-15 According to James we stray to the wrong path “when we are dragged away” by our own evil desire. The key is not to do away with desires, but to transform them. Jonathan Edwards said, “We always do what we most want to do.” As with all matters of transformation, it begins in the heart, not with behavior. Anything we desire more than a life with God has potential for becoming a wayward path for us: success, having our own way, looking good, money, fun, even love. Father, increase my desire for you and your kingdom; decrease my desire for these poor substitutes.

Saturday–I Corinthians.12:27 Dr. Henry Cloud says that in areas where we repeatedly struggle to stay on the right path, we often need an outside structure: think Weight-Watchers or Celebrate Recovery. These outside structures act as sign posts to point us in the right direction, encourage us, and celebrate our progress. Invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate any area in your life where you could use a support system to help you navigate your way along the path…His path.