During the first year of life most babies begin to try to take a few steps. Walking is a big accomplishment for them, and once they master it they are off in every direction imaginable. The job of the parents is to try to direct their little steps so they will not get into trouble.
This problem of making sure we are heading off in the right direction continues long after we are babies, and we all need to be guided by our Heavenly Father to walk in the right way. Solomon tells us what to do if we don’t want our steps to get us into trouble: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Babies do not understand the perils of walking in dangerous places, like busy streets or near stairs or pools of water. This awareness of danger only comes with age and experience, coupled with wisdom, and so it is with us. Although we all have experiences as we pass through life, the question is, how much wiser are we? We cannot see what lies ahead for us in the future, and if we rely on our wisdom or that of our fellow man to guide our way, we will fall into trouble. Jesus explains, “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?” We need always to ask the Lord to direct our paths. Solomon said twice, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” We dare not lean then on our own understanding anymore than we would allow a little child to play in the street, even though it might seem so right to him. God really does know what is best for us.
It is amazing how many worldly-wise people nowadays simply do not know God’s way. They speculate as to whether or not Jesus was married, or what happens when one draws his last breath, and they honestly do not know the answers. They are not aware that our Maker, the Creator of the universe, has provided an instruction manual that has the answers to these types of questions. If we want to know anything else about how to live wisely, we can go directly to the source and humbly ask God, as did David in the Psalms, “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth.”
It is a wonderful thing that we can communicate directly with our God and ask Him anything we want simply by praying to Him. Sometimes the answer to our request is “No”, and we may not like it, just as children may not like being refused the candy they want even though it might not be good for them. However, there is one prayer that we can all pray, for which we are guaranteed a “Yes” from our Heavenly Father. The request God has promised to fulfill for anyone who asks is the request for wisdom. But God will fulfill the request only on one condition.
James explains, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” So the good news is, if we ask God in prayer to give us wisdom to walk in His ways, then He will say “Yes” to that prayer IF we believe and do not doubt.
After making that prayer, let us then get up and get moving, walking in the way of the Lord. We cannot walk if we are sitting down and resting, so we have to be up and going. Paul tells us, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil.” Doing nothing and wasting time are not what a wise man does.
Many times Jesus said the simple words, “Follow me.” Just what is it we are doing when we are trying to follow Jesus? On one occasion Thomas was confused and asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” A few verses later Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” So the key to following him and walking in his way is keeping his commandments. Paul gives us encouragement by showing us the benefits of walking in the way of our Lord when he tells us “there is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
May we choose our steps wisely so that in the Day of Judgment we will not be among those who are condemned, but rather be given an invitation to participate in life eternal. Micah sums up the subject nicely for us when he tells us what the Lord requires of us. “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Robert J. Lloyd