There are times in my life when only a walk in the woods will do. I regularly need to get out and will seek out trails nearby to walk or run on. Usually the parks I visit have paths that are well marked with signs or colors. There is safety in keeping to the marked path. If I leave the well worn trail, I need to know where I am going or I may have trouble finding my way.
I find the same to be true concerning Scripture. If I need direction or confirmation about a decision, I can always find it in the Bible, but the key to using Scripture correctly and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit is to see it in the context it was written in. If I take a verse out of context then it’s like leaving the marked out path.
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.'” (Jeremiah 6:16)
If I use God’s word to mean something other than what was intended, then not only can I be misled, but I could possibly mislead others as well. A wrong understanding or scripture out of context can be as dangerous as wandering off through the woods alone. The farther I go in the wrong direction, the longer and more difficult the journey back to where I need to be. The Word of God in combination with the leadership of the Holy Spirit mark out the path for us.
Paul told Timothy, “Correctly handle the word of truth”. (2 Timothy 2:15)
I was hiking recently on Pilot Mountain near Winston Salem, NC and there were places in the path that were steep and narrow. As I carefully chose my steps, I wondered if anyone had ever fallen off. The knowledge that one might not survive such a fall should be the same way we look at life. The more knowledge I have not only of God’s Word, but of my Heavenly Father’s heart will keep me on the right path and therefore keep me in a place of safety and blessing, going forward in the right direction. Even when God is working to change my direction, I can be assured that He is with me.
Is there an area of your life or a decision you are facing where you need God’s guidance for the path you are on? Is He pointing towards a change of direction?
(c) Robin Lawrimore, Oct. 2010