“Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established.
Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25–27 (NAS)
Staying on the path seems easy enough. But somehow it isn’t as easy as it seems. In John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian is met by Goodwill who explains to him the need to follow the narrow path:
“And therefore good Christian, come a little way with me, and I will teach thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee; dost thou see this narrow way? That is the way thou must go. It was cast up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his apostles, and it is as strait as a rule can make it; this is the way thou must go.”
“But,” said Christian, “are there no turnings nor windings, by which a stranger may lose his way?”
“Yes, there are many ways down upon this, and they are crooked and wide: but thus thou mayest distinguish the right from the wrong, the right only being strait and narrow.”
As Jesus taught, the gate and the way are narrow that lead to eternal life, and few find it. There are many obstacles and distractions that tempt the Christian to temporarily stray into the broad path.
The wise and godly watch their path, seeking to make corrections as they move forward. The Word of God is the guide, shedding light upon our way. It is when we stray from the path and go beyond the revealed will of God that we will find that we will find the most danger.
However, the narrow path does not promise that there will be no dangers or snares. As a matter of fact, the pathway can be a favored target of the evil one. But the Lord is not only our light, he is also our shield and comfort.
Where are you standing today with God? Have you strayed from the Lord and are you walking according to your own foolish counsel and wisdom? Have you found that your poor choices have produced painful consequences, and now you are thinking that it is probably time to return to Christ? What are you waiting for? Our Heavenly Father awaits you with open arms.
Are you walking with God, but are finding that the narrow road is also a hard one? In the days we are in, living for Christ is becoming more of a challenge. Be encouraged to know that many have walked this pilgrim path before you. Hebrews 11 serves as a great reminder of the hardships others have faced, but are greatly outweighed by the worth of the glory of heaven:
“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:32–40 (ESV):
Fellow pilgrims, stay on the path. Whether you see victories and foes vanquished or temporary suffering for Christ, in the end, we shall receive the promises of God and the journey will be over, for we shall be home!