Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WFW - Using Wisdom on the Pathways of Life



Traveling long God's straight path...there's a wonderful vision of hope. Do you envision God's path like I do? I'd like to see it as a straight shot, clean and shiny, no clutter, no pot holes, no speed bumps, no S curves. The fact is that my path is not always like that, and I suspect yours may not be either. The path we travel in life has construction zones everywhere. Obstacles are on that road, slowing us down as we try to press on.

The Path of Wisdom

Using the wisdom God gives us will keep us on a straight path. The Hebrew word for wisdom here is chokmah. It means:

1) wisdom
a) skill (in war)
b) wisdom (in administration)
c) shrewdness, wisdom
d) wisdom, prudence (in religious affairs)
e) wisdom (ethical and religious)

God has given us wisdom in every aspect of life we face. Sometimes we lose sight of it or don't even realize it's there. During those times we are told to ask for wisdom.
He Guides Us

Putting our hope in God will make the path more manageable and easier to travel. Warning signs of obstacles ahead will become more visible the more we follow His guidance.

The Hebrew word for guide is darak. This verb means:

1) to tread, bend, lead, march
a) (Qal)
1) to tread, march, march forth
2) to tread on, tread upon
3) to tread (a press)
4) to tread (bend) a bow
5) archer, bow-benders (participle)
b) (Hiphil)
1) to tread, tread down
2) to tread (bend with the foot) a bow
3) to cause to go, lead, march, tread

Because He guides us with wisdom, we can see the speed bumps before we hit them, and with God's leading, more often than not, what we perceive to be hairpin curves straighten out in front of us. In fact, the word guide implies that He bends them down before us.

The Straight Path

The Hebrew word for straight is yosher. It means:

1) straightness, uprightness
a) straightness, evenness (moral implications)
b) rightness, uprightness
c) what is right, what is due

The Hebrew word for path is ma`gal. It means:

1) entrenchment, track
a) circumvallation, entrenchment
b) track

This straight track He leads us on is one of high calling. We must choose to stay on this path, never straying, though temptations may come. Often our paths are entrenchments, and I love to perceive the walls of the trench as protective. An entrenchment offers protection from enemy fire, after all. And circumvallation means (a) The act of surrounding with a wall or rampart. (b) A line of field works made around a besieged place and the besieging army, to protect the camp of the besiegers against the attack of an enemy from without. (source: http://www.dictionary.com/)

God promises to honor us and give us wisdom to make our paths straight. What are some ways we can honor Him in staying on the path He has set before us?

Making Prayer a Priority

Try to let it be the first thing you do in the morning and as often in the day as you can. I'm not talking about spending four hours in prayer with God the minute your feet hit the floor each morning or scheduling prayers for certain times, although if you feel so called you should do that. I think it's important to breathe a prayer and a promise to God frequently throughout the day, letting him know your hope is in Him and to keep you mindful of what He wants you to accomplish.

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." ~ Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

Spend Time in His Word

As soon as you can, get in some time with His Word. It's refreshing, it's recharging and it will give you the fuel and light you need to travel the path He has for you.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." ~ Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

Change Your View

View obstacles in your path as opportunities. Don't let them throw you track. Remember to ask God for guidance. He'll let you know how to tackle it. Assess the opportunity, then use the wisdom God has given you to follow His prompting.

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." ~ Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)

Praise Him

Praise Him. Thank Him. Honor Him throughout the day and at the end of the day for leading you down the path you traveled today. Thank Him for being your hope and for promising to honor you for staying hopeful in Him. Praise Him for the things you saw and the lives you touched along the path you walked.

"O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago." ~ Psalm 25:1 (NIV)

Wrapping It Up

Questions for Reflection: Do you ever find yourself rushing ahead of God's guidance and find the path not so straight? What is one thing you do to get back on the straight path of wisdom?

Verse of the Day: "I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths." ~ Proverbs 4:11 (NIV)

Prayer: Father, as we travel along the path You have set before us, may we continuously seek Your wisdom. May we use the wisdom You have given us in the thoughts we think, the words we say and write, and the thing that we do. Thank You for the protection Your path affords us. Open our eyes to see the way You have set before us. Help us to remember to view the obstacles in our paths as opportunities to honor and glorify You. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

P - Pray daily to stay on the path God has prepared before you. "I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer." ~ Psalm 17:6 (NIV)

A - Abide close to Christ, who will never lead you astray. "When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." ~ John 10:4-5 (NIV)

T - Take others onto the path with you. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." ~ Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)

H - Hide God's Word in your heart daily so that you do not stray from His path. "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." ~ Psalm 119:11 (NIV)

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. e-Lisa, from Extravagant Grace, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.

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27 comments:

LAURIE said...

Love that scripture and great picture to depict the meaning of a straight path....love, Laurie

SmallWorld at Home said...

Love this post!

Beth in NC said...

I love the picture with that scripture Laurie! Great job & happy WFW!

Beth

Joan said...

Thanks for sharing your heart with us every week.
Great WFW post.
Blessings

Jenifer said...

Great job Laurie Ann! I love all the extra you give us. Happy WFW!

grey like snuffie said...

Wow...your post is like a Bible study---I will have to come back later today when I have more time to soak in your thoughts. I kind of laughed inside at the thought of straight paths....certainly not there yet...mine can wind in circles sometimes. So thankful for His love. Hope you have a grand day!

Samantha said...

Beautiful scripture and picture, thanks for sharing !

Falling Around said...

A straight and clear path would be nice but that wouldn't require us to have faith & trust in our Father.

I love the acrostic you did with path... awesome.

Amydeanne said...

God never changes only my path that falters... may I work on that!

Cathy said...

Thanks for that great picture and wonderful verse. I enjoyed your post.

Leslie said...

This is wonderful!! Love the verse and all the resources you added- (you always do:) definitely something i needed- i tend to want to jump of the path & run in circles if you know what I mean.

Blessings~

BTW-- what font did you use for "straight"?

Melanie said...

Love this verse and praying always for God's wisdom.

Happy WFW, Lauri Ann!

Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie Ann...Just what I need WISDOM for a safe trip home & a straight path! I needed every WORD here. Thank you for searching, researching, sharing, caring & listening to the Holy Spirit as you guide us through this Proverb. Great photo for this verse! Need to be on His path...many times I rush ahead, I try to stay in His Word & pray throughout my day but getting back on a straight path seems to be my biggest detour and problem which feels like an eternity trying to get my life back on track. Not good in LISTENING I guess, and WAITING!
Working on it though! Thanks for the reflection & prayer & PATH!!!

He And Me + 3 said...

Great post Laurie Ann. I sometimes rush while on the path. i need to give more time to things important. Spend more time in the word.

Joyfull said...

Beautiful post. May we always seek the path of wisdom!

Brooke said...

Great post! Thanks for all of your sweet WFW comments too!

eLisa said...

You are full of such wisdom and are such gracious to faithfully share it through your blog! THANK YOU!

crittyjoy said...

Wonderful thoughts and great verse. So Glad for His Wisdom because mine is not so good sometimes :)

Happy WFW!

Donetta said...

Good to meet you. Nice study as well.
Good Day to you.

ellen b. said...

Hello Laurie Ann...
Pray-abide-take-hide...I like that..
Blessings!

alihsee said...

Oo'h, I wish I had a straight path - always being able to see whats up ahead! Fantastic that I have God to trust in, when I don't see the solution or the way! Blessings!

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Amen! What a great post! I try to stay on His path. But there are some days when that is very difficult. I am so very glad for His amazing grace!

ozjane said...

Straight paths are very relevant here. My road is being re made. No idea why but that is beside the point. There are days when to get out I would need to park my car elsewhere. Given I cannot walk far that does not work.
I am hemmed in with virus, infected tooth and on antibiotics and anti imflamatory medications.
I should have gone out today, tomorrow night and Sunday.
But God is good...right when I am hemmed in with illness, my driveway is being poured. Apart from the footpath, this should almost mean the worst is over. Unless I am held in while the final road is poured I should be free. I just stand amazed at God's timing and His peace that has allowed no frustration.
PS: unless we count the noise of machinery.....LOL.
God is good. He makes my paths, and my driveway straight.

Denise said...

Such an awesome WFW.

laureen said...

Thanks for sharing.God bless!

lori said...

Laurie Ann....I'm a day late...a dear friend of mine lost her mom yesterday....I've been blessed as always by stopping by here!

peace to you!!
lori

Rita T. said...

Great post as usual! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.