– Winkie Pratney
Taking Your Own Path
If you read the Book of Judges, you keep hearing the phrase “and every man did what was right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Sadly, everything right in their own eyes was everything wrong in God’s. They went through a vicious cycle: prosperity, laziness toward God’s law, idolatry, captivity, bondage, and crying out to God for another judge to deliver them. Taking one’s own path is always a bad idea. I would rather follow God’s path. I want to resign as the chairman of the board of my own life and let Jesus sit there!
Famine of the Word
God sent us our owner’s manual–it’s called the Bible. When we fail to pick it up, we fail to allow God to guide our lives. The psalmist says of God’s Word, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). So why starve our body of the Bread of Life and put our feet at risk for tripping on what we don’t see on a darkened path because “the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23). And why? It is “to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress” (Proverbs 6:24), which is what the psalmist meant by writing, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
Pride of Life
Pride is very, very sneaky. It comes up from behind and enters our hearts by accolades, success, or accomplishments. Just like Israel, when prosperity comes, they forget about God. Instead of criticizing Israel so much for doing that, I ask myself, “How am I like that?” Let Paul’s words become burned into our memory bank: “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it” (1 Corinthians 4:7)? I did the math on myself, and I came up with zero things to boast about. Whenever someone compliments me, I tell them to point up because it’s God Who deserves the glory.
As Mr. Pratney said, God does not guide those who want to run their own lives. It’s like trying to take the steering wheel over when someone else is driving. What better way is there to make the way smoother than by following God’s guidance and the book He gave us: the Bible. Then there is the commandment which will light the path to make it easier to walk on. And think about this: God will never use anyone who is not humble (James 4:6).