“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
“Thus says the Lord: Stop at the crossroads and look around you. Ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it. You will find rest for your souls.”
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path 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.”
I want to combine three very important passages of scripture about what it means to live the Christian life. In Ephesians we are called to look carefully how we walk. In Jeremiah we are called to walk in the good way. In Proverbs we are called to follow the path. They all focus on the same thing: How we live and work every day.
Here is a summary of five practical steps for walking the path of the Christian life:
- Clarify the path. Read and study the word of God. Listen to and learn from wise teachers and mentors.
- Get on the path. Obey the word. Follow the directives of scripture.
- Do the work the path requires. Trust God and train yourself in godliness. Commit to the daily discipline of musar, which is the word used in Proverbs for disciplined training.
- Say no to anything off-path. Turn away from the internal impulses of your old nature and the external influences of the fallen world.
- If you drift off-path, get back on-path asap. Be coachable and accountable. Allow God’s standards, Spirit, and people to correct and redirect you.
The absence of self-discipline makes you vulnerable. Proverbs 25:28 says it: “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” When we lack self-discipline, we fail to make the right choices at life’s decision points, we drift off-path, and we are “broken into” by the influences of the world and the impulses of our sin nature.
In response to God’s grace in our life, we must walk in the Spirit, exercise self-discipline, and learn wisdom. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” (Titus 2:11-12)
Trust God and do the work.
“Train yourself in godliness.” (1 Timothy 4.7)