“For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.” (Psalm 1:6 NLT)
As a young person, the paths of life we walk seem new, uncharted, almost like walking on freshly fallen snow, after all, we’ve never walked them before. Yet, the Bible says in the above verse, that God is intimately aware and has a vested interest in the paths of the godly. But what about the ungodly?
Solomon wrote a couple of times in Proverbs (14:12 & 16:25): “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” Would you choose a path you knew was going to end in eternal death – separation from God?
Many years ago, I heard someone say: “For many young people life isn’t built, it’s accumulated.” What does that mean? I grew up in a small town in West Virginia. My dad was a machinist by trade and bought and sold used cars to supplement his income. No one in my immediate family and few in my extended family, had ever gone to college.
My aspiration before coming to know the Lord was to graduate from high school, get a job, find a wife, have kids, then at some point, die. Pretty high goals, huh! But sometimes circumstances change the order and outcome of our plan. The “loftiest” goal a teenage boy in West Virginia (and I suspect in many other states) had in the 60’s was to have a girlfriend, buy a car, and survive Viet Nam.
In order to buy a car, you needed a job, so you worked at a burger joint, saved a few dollars and bought a car. Then – oops – you get your girlfriend pregnant, so whatever hopes you might have had for a decent job, turn into struggling to make ends meet. At that point your life isn’t built, it’s accumulated. More kids, more debt, more hours working, etc. Where is God in this picture?
Even today, while parents are much more proactive in helping get their children prepared for the best future possible, because we’re fallen beings, the vast majority of plans leave God out.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:13: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.”
As I think of my life even before I met the Lord, I had no sense that the path I was following was leading me to hell. Did you? But isn’t that the point? Satan lulls us into believing a lie that says essentially – “Just do the best you can. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you! Have fun, enjoy the ride!” Then the next thing you know, you’re seventy, wondering where your life went, regretting all the wrong decisions you’ve made, without giving a thought to what lies ahead, because you’ve hardly ever given God a thought.
Or worse, you do well. You make your fortune, build a great life for yourself. Your kids are doctors, lawyers, or founders of tech companies that make “widgets” that have netted them zillions of dollars. But for what? Just to die? What’s the point of life if only to die and leave everything you sold yourself to have to someone else?
As believers we know that’s true, but Satan deceives people, even believers to some extent, into believing this life is all there is, so we pour ourselves into building our own kingdom and putting the Lord on the proverbial “shelf” until such a time as we have time for Him – like 10 minutes before we die!
Am I discouraged? No, but I pass by the houses of my neighbors, or I meet people in the course of my day, most of whom don’t have a clue what awaits them in eternity, and on some levels, I feel helpless to warn them. Why?
Let’s explore this more in tomorrow’s post.
Blessings, Ed 😊