Summary: #2 in Proberbs & Parable Series Proverbs 3&4, God gives direction and protection if we acknowledge him.
Proverbs Series #2 CHCC: 01-18-04
Along Straight Paths
SCRIPTURE READING: Proverbs 4:5-11
I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. The city was carefully planned from it’s founding. Because of that the streets are all laid out in a grid. It’s easy to find your way from one place to another. When we moved to San Antonio, someone warned us that is NOT the way San Antonio is laid out. They said the streets must have been plotted by a drunk guy riding an even drunker horse. We’ve been here almost 20 years, so I don’t give it much thought any more … until I try to give directions to someone else!
The verses __________________________ read today show us that God wants to plot out your life in a way that makes sense. He promises,
I will guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. Proverbs 4:11 When God gives your life DIRECTION, He makes the way straight.
1. Direction Proverbs 3
Listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 7: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Notice that the Wide Way leads to Destruction, but the Narrow Way leads to Life. Try visualizing it this way. Think of two funnels. One has the narrow end toward you. The other has the broad end toward you.
The narrow choice seems constrictive at first, but if you enter that way, it gets better and better. The further you go along that path, the broader it gets, and the more freedom you enjoy.
On the other hand, you can easily enter the funnel at the broad end. It seems open and free and full of options. But as you walk along that path, the walls start closing in. Your options constrict and get tighter and tighter until you had no choices left and nowhere left to turn.
That is a good way to visualize the difference between the broad and narrow way. The narrow way may feel like a tight squeeze. It is restrictive and very explicit. In fact, the door is only as broad as ONE MAN. Jesus called himself the door. He told us that “No one comes to the Father except through me.” There is only one way, and that way is Jesus Christ.
Some people decide the way is too narrow. They want more options. So they choose a wide path that makes claims like these: All roads lead to God. Truth can be found anywhere you look. Follow the path that feels right to YOU. It reminds me of a song that was popular back in the 60’s: Many the paths, leading us all to ONE GOD!
Well, there are many ways, but only the narrow way leads us to the One True God. All other ways lead to the same place: Destruction.
One of the most well known passages of Proverbs is found in vs.5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him , and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 This is a powerful promise, but if we want it to be true in our lives, we need to ask: What does it mean to acknowledge God in all we do? Proverbs 3 gives us some answers.
· Learn God’s truth Proverbs 3:1-4
Verse 1 says: My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart … Proverbs 3:1
It isn’t enough to carry the Bible in our hands, we must let the Holy Spirit write it on our hearts so that the word becomes a part of us. I’ve seen people’s lives changed when they get serious about studying God’s word. I’ve seen the transforming power of God’s word my own life, and in so many others. I know that _________________ is a person who has given himself to the study of God’s word, so I’ve asked him to share with you this morning.
(Testimony by _______________________________________________________)
Knowing what God requires is the starting point, but it is not enough.
· Obey God’s will (vs.5-8)
Proverbs 3:7 says: Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. Proverbs 3:7 God cannot direct your path if you refuse to follow His directions. We must trust him with all our heart and obey him in all our ways. God’s will is not revealed to the curious, but to the serious.
The next step in trusting God may surprise you. If we’re going to acknowledge God, we need to learn to SHARE GOD’S BLESSINGS: