Avoiding the Scary Places

There’s a scary place in my neighborhood. When I’m walking alone, I avoid it. Especially in the dark. 
I live in a small subdivision with two long streets and lots of cul de sacs. All the cul de sacs are identical – two houses on each side of the street and a circle of three homes at the end. Except one. 

Instead of three cute houses snuggled up like kids around a campfire, this one has only one house with a big, dark patch of tangled woods beside it. A path of sorts leads into the brush. 

The first time I walked past this spot I thought, this would be the perfect place for a crime. I won’t describe all the scary details I imagined, but suffice it to say that I don’t walk to the end of that cul de sac unless my husband is with me. When I reach the point in the road where the light doesn’t shine, I turn around. 

And sometimes I glance back, just to make sure no one's stalking me. 

Most obvious to me in the pre-dawn morning or the dark of night is the very clear line between light and darkness. At the edge of the curve, a streetlight shines. Beyond the curve, all is dark. No murky, grey, no-man’s land buffers the two, just light and dark. 

Life, unfortunately, isn’t always as clear cut as the light in this cul de sac. We can’t see a visible line separating our bad decisions from our good ones. No lightbeam divides a satisfying, productive life from a train wreck.  

And although some choices are more obvious than others, sometimes the journey from good to bad isn’t a single giant step over a clearly-marked line, but a series of small steps on an increasingly-slippery path. 

If the path of life isn’t clearly marked, how do we navigate it? 

Psalm 119:105 tells us: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Because it’s easy to be deceived into thinking something’s good when in reality it’s bad, God has given us his Word to help us. 

Money isn’t bad, unless we let it become our master. God’s Word reminds us, “You cannot serve both God and money" (Luke 6:13). 

Relationships aren’t bad, unless we love someone more than we love God. God’s Word encourages us, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5). 

Possessions, power, and prestige aren’t bad, unless we make them our idols. God’s Word warns us, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). 

God's gift of family isn’t bad, unless we serve our family to the neglect of serving God. God’s Word cautions us, "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Mat. 10:37). 

On the surface, these things look good, yet without the wisdom of God to keep them in their proper perspective, they can lead us down dark paths far away from God’s best. Talking and listening to God through daily Bible reading and prayer can turn the darkness of confusion into the dawn of clarity. Like twin spotlights, they expose the lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil. 

We’ve all found ourselves in dark places, as I do on my morning walks. Thankfully, instead of leaving us to find a way out on our own, God has given us his Word to guide us in “paths of righteousness for his name's sake.” 

If you’re in a dark place, God wants to shine his light into your life. Seek God’s wisdom every day by reading his Word. Ask him to speak to you. And when he does, do what he tells you to do. 

If you’re not in a dark place, thank God and make sure you never get there by seeking the light of God’s Word every day.

Now it’s your turn. How has God used his Word to direct your path? Leave a comment below and bless us all.

What can happen when you listen and obey God's voice? Listen to NFL player Derek Carr's story. If you're reading by email, click here.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Lori. You're right. Little steps can take us across that 'line'. Obedience is the key. Powerful stuff. <3


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