It made me think of this verse in Proverbs.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.
When I have gone through time periods in my life where I have not spent consistent time in God’s Word- I have seen how the lies of the world worm their way into my mind and heart.
I start making decisions, not based on God’s Word, but based on my own abilities to think and perceive the situation. I depend on my own intellect and emotions to discern my path.
God’s Word is clear. Our view is limited and many times biased by our own temporal desires.
Only by using God’s Word to illuminate our path can we avoid the pitfalls of this world.
Our enemy is crafty- he knows how to manipulate- to deceive- even using Scripture to encourage us in acts of disobedience. (See Matthew 4 when Satan tempts Jesus and twists Scripture as part of his lies).
We need daily time in God’s Word to keep our minds renewed and in tune with God’s law. To remind ourselves of our right place in relationship to Him. We need his daily abiding presence. John 15 is clear. Apart from him we can do nothing.
The consequences for seeking our own way, or even God’s way through our own means are clear.
God cares about our motives and our methods.
He looks to our heart.
So even though others may praise and affirm our “ways,” God discerns the heart (motive) behind all our actions- we cannot hide from him.
Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account (Heb. 4:12-13).
O Lord my God- search my heart, test me and purge me of all that displeases you. May your conviction fall heavy upon me- so that I may cleanse my life of all that grieves you. You are my desire- there is nothing I long for more than to mold my life to conform to your will. Your grace overwhelms me- for I know the darkness of my own heart. Daily I fall, and you take me by the hand (Ps.37:23-24). Your promises are precious to me- yes, they are becoming like rubies and precious jewels. I cling to them. I see your leading- as I open texts and read I feel your precious presence- you know what I need and graciously provide- speaking to me through your Word. I believe that you reward those who earnestly seek you. I trust in your goodness. In all things, at all times, you are faithful. Glory to your precious name. Joy and thanksgiving fill my soul when I consider all you have done. Thank you, precious Savior and God. In Jesus Name I pray and hope, Amen.