“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12.1-2)
The metaphors of “the path” or “the way” or “walk” or “the race” are found throughout scripture, and are fitting descriptions of life in Christ.
In the book of Acts, “the way” is mentioned multiple times in connection with the early followers of Jesus: (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22).
In Ephesians we are called to walk in a way that is worthy of the Lord’s calling. In Jeremiah we are called to walk in the good way. In Proverbs we are called to follow the path. The Hebrew word for “path” is derek, and it occurs 620 times in the Old Testament, with 68 of those occurrences in Proverbs. It can be translated “way, direction, journey, or path.”
It is used in the Proverbs 4.26-27: “Ponder the path (derek) of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”
It is used in Jeremiah: “Thus says the Lord: Stop at the crossroads and look around you. Ask for the ancient paths, where the good way (derek) is, and walk in it. You will find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6.16)
The word “walk” occurs more than 200 times in the bible. The apostle Paul uses it throughout the book of Ephesians: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5.15-16)
The picture that scripture paints is clear. By means of His revealed principles and standards, the Lord has given His people a path to follow. Let us walk the path and run the race the Lord has laid before us, and let us help others on the path.