Reprinted from The Baptist Standard
God has a path of life for believers in Jesus. Are you on that path of following Jesus or heading down a different one?
8-28-2023 – By Patti Greene
Do you feel you are on the right path of life, following your Lord as closely as you know how? Or are you slipping slowly down the wrong path?
God has a path for believers in Jesus Christ. The Bible calls it the path of life.
As a child, I used to grab 10 to 15 Little Golden Books at a time and read one after another. One that always attracted me is Scuffy the Tugboat by Gertrude Crampton.
Scuffy was an adventurous little tugboat who believed he was meant for bigger things. He leaves his home, the man with the polka-dot tie, and the little boy who cared for him and sets off to explore the world. After his daring and treacherous adventure down a brook and then a raging river, Scuffy realizes home is where he’d rather be.
Twice during his adventure, Scuffy said, “This is the life for me.” The first time, he was leaving the reasonable, sensible path of his prior life to seek adventure. The second time was when he realized he already had been right where he needed to be all along—at home, safe in the arms of the man and boy who loved him.
Our goal should be to reach the point where we say right where we are, “This is the life for me.”
God wants us to understand we can know our path. Hopefully, it is the one he has set apart for us, but we must choose it.
In Psalms 16, King David declares he wants refuge in the Lord. In his communion with the Lord, he writes:
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy: at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 ESV).
What path does God want us to be on for him?
In his Tyndale Old Testament Commentary on Psalms 1–72, Derek Kidner defines a person on the right path of life asone whose affections are centered on God. This person finds satisfaction in God’s ways and does not pursue other gods. God’s protection and instruction bless him.
We have two choices we can make in life: (1) accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and (2) follow God’s path for us leading to total joy in his presence.
We know we have eternal life, but sometimes we experience spiritual struggles. David trusted the Lord would show him the righteous path of life.
Righteousness and unrighteousness
As believers, we continually must choose between righteousness and unrighteousness. We want to walk in victory, but sometimes we find ourselves desiring things God has proclaimed unsuitable for us. We have that struggle between our flesh and the spirit, so we must ponder the path our feet are on.
We cannot experience God’s true purpose for life when we travel the destructive path. We may find ourselves in a continuous cycle of repeatedly sinning and confessing. To break that cycle, we must deny ourselves, take up Jesus’ cross and follow him.
“And he was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me’” (Luke 9:23 NASB95).
“In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway, there is no death …” (Proverbs 10:28 Amplified Bible).
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, so that he will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NASB).
Reroute and redirect
A navigation system is an instrument that determines the position of a vehicle and the route to a particular place. The car’s navigation system tells the driver to turn left or right at a specific junction. The navigation system uses GPS signals to determine the vehicle’s location and direction.
It is a valuable tool with many benefits, such as helping people reach their destination, guiding drivers through congested areas, tracking packages, locating vehicles and more.
It is similar to the way God directs us in our lives. He shows us which way to turn, signals us on which way to proceed, helps us reach the destination and call of our lives, and guides us continually through the rough times in our lives.
Our navigation system must take its orders from the Lord. He will reroute and redirect our thoughts or actions if we genuinely want to follow his path.
‘This is the life for me’
Scuffy’s path of life allowed him to travel in a way that was not good for him. In the process, he enjoyed some of life’s simple pleasures, but as he kept traveling along the river, he was jammed with logs and became scared of the river moving faster and faster. Then the flood waters came, and the little tugboat desired the warmth and safety of home.
God can do the same for us as we travel our path of life.
Just like the man with the polka-dot tie who scooped Scuffy out of the water after his journey away and brought him home, God will do the same for us when we choose to live for him, decide against following unrighteous living, and allow him to reroute us when we stumble.
Let’s live victoriously in his presence along the path he has prepared for us.
Patti Greene is a graduate of Baylor University and Dallas Baptist University, a member of Second Baptist Church in Houston, and the author of seven books. The views are those of the author.