“Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.” Psalm 119:33-35 (NIV)
The Bible often describes life as a path. Like the psalmist, we find our greatest joy walking with the Lord, side-by-side. Why then do we sometimes get side-tracked or pause along the way? Problems often arise because we choose a path and ask God to go with us. The Lord, however, invites us to walk with Him. It’s an important distinction to make. Today’s passage points out three ways to stay on track.
We generally move in the direction our feet are pointing. Walking with the Lord requires pointing our feet toward “the path of [His] commands (v35). We begin to move in the wrong direction anytime we turn from biblical teaching. Believers seldom make an about face all at once; we tend to pivot slightly. But since God never alters his course, any adjustment in our direction pulls us away from His side.
“Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain” (v36 NIV). When our hearts pull us toward worldly happiness our affections become self-centered rather than God-centered. The Bible tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV). So, even though it sounds poetic to say, “Follow your heart,” it’s terrible advice!
“Turn my eyes away from worthless things” (v37 NIV). The danger in pointing the wrong direction is that we start looking at the wrong things. What starts as a glance becomes a stare, then develops into a longing. But the world’s glitz and glamor is fake, like worthless costume jewelry masquerading as precious stones.
Do you see the connection? Your feet go in the direction your eyes are looking; and your eyes look at what your heart desires. Read back through today’s stanza of Psalm 119. Have you pivoted or turned your back on the path of God’s commands? If so, then your feet are pointing the wrong direction. And staring at the wrong things means you’ll begin to care about the wrong things.
Walking with the Lord is a day-by-day decision. We each choose whether we’ll take the wide, crowded road; or whether we’ll walk with Jesus down the narrow path (Matthew 7:13-14). But remember, we’re not walking toward the Lord or even following at a distance. He invites us to walk right beside Him so He can direct us and point out what we need to see along the way.