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8/5/14 – “STAYING ON THE STRAIGHT PATHS”

05 Aug

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Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.
Prov. 3:6 Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.

Think about what it would be like if everywhere you needed to go you could just take a straight path to get there. It would sure save you a lot of time and you would then of course reach your destination much quicker. There is a similarity of this that relates to us reaching the destiny God has for our lives. I am not actually talking about heaven, but obtaining and walking in what God has for us here on earth. When we are not on the straight path God has for us it can takes us longer to obtain what God has already purchased for us. I want to share some insight in how we can get on the straight paths God has predestined for us to take in life.

Our foundation text gives us some great insight into how we can do this no matter what we are trying to reach in God. We have many great promises that God wants us to walk in, and He has provided a way for us to get there. The first key to doing so is found in verse five of Proverbs three. We are to trust in the Lord with all our heart, not some of our heart, but all our heart. The heart of course is referring to our spirit man. To trust God with all our heart means we must learn how to walk by faith and not by sight. That is why verse five goes on to say we are not to rely on our own understanding. Our own understanding comes from us reasoning things out from the natural perspective of life. If this is how we make our decisions we are going to miss the straight path God has for us.

Acts 20:22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,
Acts 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

The apostle Paul here in Acts 20 was talking to the leadership from the churches of Ephesus, and in speaking to them he had known for some time that when he got to Jerusalem that things were not going to go well in the natural. God had revealed to Paul that he was in fact to go, so Paul knew it was God’s will to go, he had God’s Word on it. This is a key to trusting in God with all our heart and not following after what we think or feel based on our natural human reasoning. Doing so is not how scripture teaches us that God leads us. When we make decisions in walking out what God has for our life from the realm of the soul and not hearing from our spirit man, which will be in line with the Word, we will ultimately miss the paths that lead us to God’s promises for our life.

2 Cor. 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
2 Cor. 4:18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

What if Paul would have gotten totally focused on what he only knew of the natural realm? If he would have this could have obviously changed his mind and led him a different direction. As a matter of fact he was being told by others that he should not go up to Jerusalem. If Paul would have made this decision out of his soul, his reasoning and human feelings based on the natural realm only, he would have obeyed false counsel and would have been out of the will of God. He would have been in violation of what God had said to him. So we need to make sure we are not leaning on our own understanding, what we think about our decisions based on what we may or may not see in the natural.

This is exactly what Paul is telling the Corinthians here in the above verses of scripture. Paul had been through a lot while preaching the gospel. He had been beaten with rods, stoned, whipped, and yet he kept on going, and he called these things light afflictions. Paul learned that when you walk by faith things that you face in the natural will not bring you down nor get you discouraged and therefore headed down the wrong paths. He went on to say that we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen for what we currently see in the natural is temporary and subject to change. But what we don’t see with the natural eye is eternal, which we will talk about in a minute.

Not looking at the things which are seen is a vital key to walking in the straight paths God has for our life. In the natural you can see plenty, but what are we to do about it? This is not Christian Science where we act as if what we see is not there, because burdens and cares can really get you weighed down and are for real. What are we suppose to do then? Ignore them. That may seem hard, but that is what walking by faith is all about. Paul had to ignore the reports and the counsel of others to turn away from Jerusalem. Paul was walking in line with two things. God had revealed to him he was to go to Jerusalem, and he knew that in his spirit, and therefore he was following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

We have the Word of God now written for us, which is our greatest guide that we can look to as a sure and steadfast path for our life. We must make sure we are not saying God told us to do something that then goes against what scripture teaches. In Paul’s case he was a mature believer who was coming to the end of his life who had learned how to accurately hear the voice of God, but Paul had also heard the same word not just from any prophet, but trusted a prophet he had ministered with and he knew he was true prophet of God that confirmed what was in his heart. This prophet was himself a proven minister whom he had known. We are not to look to prophets today to find out what God wants to do in our life. We are to follow the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit in line with His Word. Prophecy from proven ministers can confirm what we already know is true in our heart and in line with the Word of God.

Rom. 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So if we are to ignore the natural circumstances, not looking to what we see but what we don’t see, what are we to look too? This is why the Word is so important. To walk with God we must walk by faith, and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. What we are to look to instead of the circumstances is the Word of God. When we focus on what God has said and we keep hearing it that will help us maintain faith in our heart, that we must then speak and act upon. Paul knew what God had said and whenever others would try to get him to not go to Jerusalem he would declare the Word he had from the Lord. He wouldn’t allow himself to get caught up focusing on the natural realm, but instead chose to walk in the realm of faith.

Rom. 4:17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 

Notice from our text in Proverbs 3:6 we are told to acknowledge God in all our ways and He will make our paths straight. So what must we do to acknowledge God in all our ways? God and His Word are one. To do this takes our confession and our actions lining up with what God has said. Take a close look at the end of this verse in Romans 4:17. It is referring to Abraham having received a promise from God to be a father of many nations. It then tells us that God who gives life to the dead calls those things which do not exist as though they did. This is an important key to acknowledging God in all your ways. Notice it did not say we are to call the things that do exist as though they didn’t.

We must learn to focus upon the Word through our confession and actions as well. If we for example were dealing with the cares of life we are told to cast those cares upon God for He cares for us. If we have done that then you don’t have them any more. You wouldn’t then talk about your cares as something you were getting rid of; you would declare you don’t have any cares for scripture tells us we can cast them upon God. If we have done so we begin to speak of whatever we may not have manifested at the time as though we already did. For example you would declare that you have no care because you have given them to God, and you are walking in perfect peace, a peace that guards your heart and your mind. You would declare that your heart and mind are filled with the peace of God, even if you didn’t at that moment feel like it was true; it is because God’s Word said He gave you His peace. It is already there, you just have to appropriate it by faith, and act as if it is so.

When we acknowledge God in all our ways, speaking and acting in line with His Word, then He is directing our paths. His Word will always lead us down the straight paths He has for our life. Declaring His Word and acting on it will keep you from following after your understanding and you will therefore be putting your trust in God.

See You Again Soon For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

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Posted by on August 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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