Friday, April 5, 2013

Proverbs 16:18,25 "I did it my way!"

I found two verses in Proverbs 16 this morning that seem related and which are the kinds of verses that your great grandmother would have embroidered on a pillow, because they are so true:

Pride goes before destruction,

    and a haughty spirit before a fall. (v.18)

There is a way that seems right to a man,

    but its end is the way to death. (v.25) 

If there’s one thing our culture seems to admire, it’s a self-made, self-sufficient man! The kind that sings with Frank Sinatra at the end of his life, “I did it my way!” This is the song of the man who never considers God in his life. He is convinced that he alone is responsible for his fate and for his accomplishments. So, when he achieves some success, his pride swells. When he makes decisions, he only considers what HE thinks is right and good. He never measures his actions against God’s Word, because he doesn’t need the “crutch” of faith! [I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a crutch - I need a wheelchair!] He sees believers as weak people who need “fables” to bolster them. He, on the other hand, needs nothing and no one! That kind of pride surely leads to destruction, because the one thing this man cannot prevent from happening is death! It’s guaranteed! And without God, it means complete destruction.

Now, I’ve chosen an extreme example, yet we all know people, family, friends, who may not have the outward appearance of pride, yet inwardly they do actually deny that God has anything to do with them. They believe they are responsible for making their own way. And without a foundational faith, they make their way through the world with no absolutes and no true compass to guide them. They THINK they are being “good” and they try to be righteous - but by their own faulty measure, not by God’s. They may not shake their fists at God, but they certainly don’t give Him a thought.

And there are certainly times when ALL of us seek our own way over God’s - even in ministry! We have fixed in our minds what we want to do for Him and how He can best use us. And we resist His pull in a different direction. I know I did that when He called me to work with children many years ago. I so did NOT want to work with kids, and I was sure I could be more useful working with women instead. So I resisted all of His clear signs He was giving me that His plan was to have me work with children. Even when I finally submitted to His call, I did it with gritted teeth! It’s called pride. What blessings I would have missed had I gone my own way!

There is a way that SEEMS right, but it leads to death. We want our way. Jesus says HE is the way. And His way is narrow - but it leads to life! If you are at a crossroads in your life, wondering which way to go, let God direct you! Don’t rush in the direction that YOU think is best. Wait for God to make His way clear. It’s always the best way!  

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