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YOUR DIRECTION DETERMINES DESTINATION

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INTRODUCTION
Proverbs 7:7–27 NIV
I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who had no sense. He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. (She is unruly and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen face she said: “Today I fulfilled my vows, and I have food from my fellowship offering at home. So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you! I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love! My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey. He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon.” With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life. Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.
YOUR DIRECTION DETERMINES DESTINATION
INTRODUCTION
We are starting a serine today, that I will complete when I return September 23rd.
We are starting a serine today, that I will continue when I return September 23rd. The question we will seek to answer is:How can I get from where I am, to where I want to be?”
The question we will seek to answer is, How to get from where you are to where you want to be.
We will spend 6 weeks in Proverbs. If you want to know how to live life well, how to walk with God, how to be successful and maintain good consistent moral values, then Proverbs is where I would send you to study the wisdom provided by many writers.
The next two weeks, I challenge to read the entire book—31 Proverbs.
If you opened Proverbs to Chapter 1, you would find the reason the book was written in the first 7 verses:
If you opened Proverbs to Chapter 1, you would find in the first 7 verses, the reason the book was written:
Proverbs 1:1–7 NLT
1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. 2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. 3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. 4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. 5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance 6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. 7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
knowledge and discernment to the young.
5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
Let those with understanding receive guidance
6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
In ancient Israel, there were three groups of people who communicated on behalf of God.
1. The Priests – interpreted The Law
2. The Prophets – provided direction and correction
3. The Sages – gave counsel
The book of Proverbs, as well as the books of Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon—are books by the sages. Scholars called these books, “Wisdom Literature.”
Having knowledge means you know things. Having wisdom means you know what to do in various situations—WISDOM is the right application of knowledge.
So a person can be both really smart and really stupid! A person can know a tremendous amount of information and still lack the wisdom to apply it in real life!
Wisdom literature was written to teach us how to apply knowledge to life situations.
I personally find Proverbs to be a great deterrent from sin—when I find myself struggling with a sin problem, I go to Proverbs and reflect on the wisdom provide by the sages.
The book (Proverbs) was written primarily by King Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived. The Bible says of Solomon:
1 Kings 4:32–34 NLT
32 He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. 33 He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish. 34 And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.
He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.
Solomon died in 931 B.C., so most of this book was written by then. But Solomon didn’t record all the proverbs during his life. We believe he wrote chapters 1-24, but chapters 25-29 were compiled 200 years later by men in the day of King Hezekiah.
Proverbs 25:1 NIrV
1 These are more proverbs of Solomon. They were copied down by the men of Hezekiah, the king of Judah.
P
(We know that because says... These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah.)
Chapter 30 was written by a man named Agur son of Jakeh, and chapter 31 was written by King Lemuel. We have no idea who those two men were; we just know they were very wise as well.
[PAUSE]

When I read the “Wisdom Literature” I find a common theme. The books are about examining WHICH ROAD you are on and how to get on the right road.

When I read the “Wisdom Literature” I find a common theme. The books are about examining WHICH ROAD you are on.
Back in 2011, Pastor Andy Stanley wrote a book about proverbs and said, “The road you’re on determines where you’ll end up.”
Back in 2011, Pastor Andy Stanley wrote a book, called, “The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” He said, that Proverbs is about “The road you’re on determines where you’ll end up.”
He said, “The road you’re on determines where you’ll end up.”
That’s true, isn’t it?
ILLUSTRATION
If I was on Highway 1 in California and headed North, it ends in Leggett in Mendocino County.
If I was on I35 I could start in Laredo, Texas and drive 1,568 miles to its end in Duluth, MN where the highway splits Northeast and Northwest.
The road I am on determines my destination! Whatever road, whatever highway, whatever path I’m on will determine where I end up.
If I start in the housing area and walk South, I can WANT to end up on EMON Beach, but I will never get there because I am walking in the wrong direction.
I can pack my beach towel, my sunscreen, and my book with every intention to spend a day on Emon, but if I head south instead of north, I’ll never end up Emon!
Proverbs reminds us: YOUR DIRECTION, NOT YOUR INTENTIONS, DETERMINE YOUR DESTINATION. We either follow the advice and get wisdom or ignore it to our destruction!
[PAUSE]

3,000 years ago...

That principle ought to be obvious…
In our family life, financial life, marriage or dating life, the way we raise our kids, our physical fitness, or our professional life, this principle should be obvious… DIRECTION, NOT INTENTION, DETERMINES DESTINATION!
Teachers and parents, how many times have you talked to students who didn’t get the grades they were hoping for or didn’t make the team or wasn’t selected for group, or didn’t get the scholarship they were hoping for?
Then you step back and can clearly see they failed because they thought intention was the same as direction!
Solomon told a story in the 7th Chapter that demonstrates this principle:
ALL BECAUSE THEY FAILED TO DETERMINE THEIR DIRECTION!
TOO OFTEN, people think they can stay on the road of good intentions while they travel down the wrong road. Then they finally see their destination is the wrong place, so they try to jump off at the last moment and take their own shortcut to the right road, and its too late!
How many failed to see the road they were not the right road? Or perhaps they thought they could jump off the wrong road and the shortcut to a different destination!
Proverbs 7:7–27 NLT
7 I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense. 8 He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house. 9 It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell. 10 The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart. 11 She was the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home. 12 She is often in the streets and markets, soliciting at every corner. 13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said, 14 “I’ve just made my peace offerings and fulfilled my vows. 15 You’re the one I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are! 16 My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. 17 I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses, 19 for my husband is not home. He’s away on a long trip. 20 He has taken a wallet full of money with him and won’t return until later this month.” 21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. 22 He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, 23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life. 24 So listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words. 25 Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her. Don’t wander down her wayward path. 26 For she has been the ruin of many; many men have been her victims. 27 Her house is the road to the grave. Her bedroom is the den of death.
Proverbs 7:6–8 NLT
6 While I was at the window of my house, looking through the curtain, 7 I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense. 8 He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house.
Proverbs 7:6–9 NLT
6 While I was at the window of my house, looking through the curtain, 7 I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense. 8 He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house. 9 It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell.
Let’s take this principle one pace further. It is so much a part of life on planet earth that it trumps, or overcomes almost everything else (besides God), that you’ve got going for you. You can have the best of intentions and end up in the worst of situations. And that can happen to you even if you’re the smartest person on the planet – or the best looking, or the biggest, or the strongest. This principle is true no matter how strong-willed you are, no matter how pleasant you are, no matter how much your momma loves you or how much your daddy leaves you in his will. When it comes to every area of life, your direction—not your intentions, not your strengths, not your weaknesses, not your hopes, not your dreams— your direction will determine your destination. The path you take will determine where you end up.
3,000 years ago Solomon told a story that demonstrates this principle. As he tells the story, he’s standing at a window, looking down at the street.:
Proverbs 7:6-8
6 At the window of my house I looked out through the lattice.
7 I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment.
Can you see that something’s coming? 8 He was going down the street near her corner,
walking along in the direction of her house 9 at twilight, as the day was fading,
as the dark of night set in.
You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to know where this story is heading...
The story continues...
Proverbs 7:10–12 NLT
10 The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart. 11 She was the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home. 12 She is often in the streets and markets, soliciting at every corner.
Remember Solomon says he was observing from a window. He knew the young man was falling into a trap.
Prov 7:10-
The young man thought he was heading to an exciting night—a night DISCONNECTED from every other event in his life. But Solomon knew better.
That alone should have stopped him in his tracks. But it didn’t. In fact, that was the very reason he was headed in her direction.
The night was not an isolated event disconnected from all the other events in this young man’s life. The decision to follow the woman was a step onto a path. A path, like all paths, that leads somewhere!
Meanwhile, back at the window, Solomon was watching this young man, and there was a soundtrack playing in his head as well: the music from Jaws. Why? Because there was a marked contrast between what this kid was expecting to experience and what Solomon knew was in his future. Why? Because the older, wiser man understood from experience where this path would lead. The adolescent was preoccupied with what he believed would be an exciting event—a night of passion. A night disconnected from every other event in his life. But Solomon knew better. This night was not an isolated event disconnected from all the other events in this young man’s life. This night was a step down a path. A path, like all paths, that leads somewhere. This particular path had a predictable destination. But you don’t need to be the wisest man in the world to know that. You could predict the outcome of this encounter with nothing to draw on but your own experience or the experience of someone you know. Funny how that works. What’s so obvious to those watching often escapes us.
This particular path had a predictable destination. But you don’t need to be the wisest man in the world to know that. You could predict the outcome of this encounter with nothing to draw on but your own experience or the experience of someone you know.
Funny how that works. What is so obvious to those watching from the outside, often totally escapes the person on the inside!
The story goes on...
Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. (She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) (vv. 10-12).
Proverbs 7:13–15 NLT
13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said, 14 “I’ve just made my peace offerings and fulfilled my vows. 15 You’re the one I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are!
When this woman said she had just made her “fellowship/peace offerings”
Prov
The word is really “sacrifices.” It means she had paid her dues to her god. (i.e She was all prayed up, forgiven in advance, and now she was ready to play!)
When this woman said she had fellowship offerings at home, she was essentially saying, “Look, I’m not a hooker. I have plenty of money at home. I’m not after your money—I want you!” She was also implying that she had been to the temple and had everything squared away with God. Having already taken her sin-bucket and dumped it out at the altar, she was ready to fill it up again...with him!
BEFORE WE BECOME TOO JUDGMENTAL—how often DO WE plan a sin, and ask for forgiveness for we are ABOUT TO DO, then do it!
Listen to the story unfold...
This young guy is thinking, If my friends could see me now. At that point, he pumped up the volume of his soundtrack to a ten and pinched himself to be sure this wasn’t a dream. Even if Solomon called down from the window and warned him, the kid wouldn’t have heard him over the seductive words that came next: “I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. I have perfumed my body with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, let’s drink deep of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love!” (vv. 16-18).
Proverbs 7:16–20 NLT
16 My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. 17 I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses, 19 for my husband is not home. He’s away on a long trip. 20 He has taken a wallet full of money with him and won’t return until later this month.”
Prov 7:16
Prov 7:15-
That clinches it! The young man thinks, “I don’t have to worry about her husband, I could hang around for breakfast. Watch a little TV; I could spend the entire weekend without getting caught!” From his perspective he’s thinking, it doesn’t get any better than this!
Proverbs 7:16–18 NLT
16 My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. 17 I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses,
Prov 7:
If you’re over 30 say, “Wow!” If you’re under 30 say, “Whoa!” And just in case he was wondering, she added:
“My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey. He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon” (vv. 19-20).
Well, that pretty much clinched it right there. Not only did he not have to worry about her husband catching them, but he could hang around for breakfast. Watch a little TV. Heck, he could spend the entire weekend. This just kept getting better—from his perspective, that is. But Solomon saw this situation in an entirely different light. Listen to his take.
Well, that pretty much clinched it right there. Not only did he not have to worry about her husband catching them, but he could hang around for breakfast. Watch a little TV. Heck, he could spend the entire weekend. This just kept getting better—from his perspective, that is. But Solomon saw this situation in an entirely different light. Listen to his take.
Well, that pretty much clinched it right there. Not only did he not have to worry about her husband catching them, but he could hang around for breakfast. Watch a little TV. Heck, he could spend the entire weekend. This just kept getting better—from his perspective, that is. But Solomon saw this situation in an entirely different light. Listen to his take.

But Solomon saw this situation in an entirely different light... Listen to what he says:

Proverbs 7:21–22 NIV
21 With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. 22 All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose
Proverbs 7:22–23 NLT
22 He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, 23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life.
What? An ox heading where? Wait a minute, Solomon. Don’t you mean “like a celebrity heading into a club?” An ox to the slaughter? It certainly doesn’t look that way to the casual observer. And it certainly didn’t look that way to our young friend. But Solomon was not finished with his creative use of language. He had two more animal analogies for emphasis.
With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter (vv. 21-22).
Proverbs 7:22–23 NIV
22 All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose 23 till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.
What? An ox heading where? Wait a minute, Solomon. Don’t you mean “like a celebrity heading into a club?” An ox to the slaughter? It certainly doesn’t look that way to the casual observer. And it certainly didn’t look that way to our young friend. But Solomon was not finished with his creative use of language. He had two more animal analogies for emphasis.
Prov 7
... like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life (vv. 22-23).
The slaughtered ox, the captured deer, the bloodied bird—all images of CLUELESS animals being slaughtered and consumed!
OLD SAYINGS: “Sin always takes us farther than we are willing to go, and costs us more than we are to pay!”
“A wise person looks at the second and third order effects of their steps, while a fool steps without looking!” (MUNSON 2018)
Proverbs 7:
Proverbs 7:24–27 NIV
24 Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. 25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. 26 Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. 27 Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.
Prov 7:
Or how about this: Solomon says this kid was like a clueless bird caught in a snare. From his vantage point, Solomon knows that this young man was throwing away his future. Possibly his life. Of course, were the young man able to read Solomon’s mind, he would have shouted back, “You sound a lot like my dad! Besides, what does an old man know about love and passion anyway? This isn’t just a date. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. I’m not an ox, a deer, or a bird. Mind your own business.”
From Solomon’s window view, he sees the young man’s poor decisions leading him onto a path of destruction! He says:
Proverbs 7:24–26 NLT
24 So listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words. 25 Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her. Don’t wander down her wayward path. 26 For she has been the ruin of many; many men have been her victims.
Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths (vv. 24-25). There’s our word. Paths. This was a path, not an event. Pay attention to this next observation: Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng (v. 26).
NOT A FEW, BUT MANY! Solomon debunked the idea that there was anything unique about what this young man was doing.
Solomon debunked the notion that there was anything unique about what this young was doing.
It may have been unique for him, but this experience represents a well-worn path: a path that leads to death despite what the naïve amn may have wanted to argue. If Solomon could have called a time-out in the story and gotten this kid’s undivided attention, he might have said something along the lines of, “Listen, buddy. I hate to break it to you, but there’s nothing unique or special or rare about this. You may have never felt this way before, but a lot of other people have. And if they were here to tell you their stories, you would think twice. You’re part of a crowd. A herd. A flock. There is nothing new here. And the outcome is all too predictable. She’s done more than capture your imagination. She’s writing a script for your future. You are a dead man walking!”
Driving home the point, Solomon adds...
Proverbs 7:27 NIV
27 Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.
Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death (v. 27).
There’s nothing new about this. Nothing unique. Just another young man who has chosen a path that will take him precisely to where he doesn’t want or plan to be.
The young man failed to see that his INTENTION was a ONE-TIME night of fun—but it put him on a path that INFLUENCED the rest of his life!
THINK ABOUT IT! How many one-time decisions have affected your life? How many times have you taken the wrong path and end up where you didn’t want to be? And regretted it?
How many time did you take the wrong path and end up where you didn’t want to be?
I have! Have you?
ILLUSTRATION
I’ve seen it often in the business world. One
The disconnect in Solomon’s scenario is easy to see, at least for us. A young man who wanted his life to be relationally richer chose a path that would ultimately undermine his relationships. A young man who yearned for something good chose a path that led to something not good. A youth striving to prove his independence chose a well-worn path that had the potential to strip him of his independence. There was a disconnect. Solomon saw it from his window. I’ve seen similar disconnects from my imaginary window as well. And so have you.
Did you ever think about how much better you would be if you had learned from the mistakes of others rather than having to make them firsthand!
Examples:
A single man or woman says, “I want to meet and one day marry a great Christian man or woman who’s really got their act together.” ...but they date whoever asks them out, because they’re cute.
A man or woman says, “I want to have a great relationship with my spouse.” ... but they make work the real priority!
A man say, “I want my children to respect me.” Then they openly flirts with other women.
A person says, “I want to grow old and invest the latter years of my life in my grandchildren” ... but then he neglects his health.
“I want to get thin and lose weight.” ... so, supersize that!
A couple says, “We’d like our children to develop a personal relationship with God and choose friends who have done the same” ... but then they skip church every weekend and head to the beach, or sleep in and watch football.
A person says, "I determine to be financially secure by the time I reach my parents’ age.” ...then adopt a lifestyle sustained by debt and leveraged assets.
A says, “I want a high GPA to increase my potential for scholarships.” ... then they party rather than study!
EVERY DECISION HAD GOOD INTENTIONS, but every person took the wrong path to reach them!
EVERY DECISION HAD GOOD INTENTIONS, but every person took the wrong path to reach them!
The list could go on and on. And the people my list represents have legitimate goals and oftentimes every good intention of reaching them. But like the naïve young man in Solomon’s story, the paths they choose eventually bring them to a destination that is entirely different from the one they intended. And this isn’t rocket science. We shouldn’t need someone to connect these dots for us. If your goal is to drop two dress sizes, you don’t eat lunch at a donut shop. If you desire to remain faithful to your spouse, you don’t linger in an online chat room with members of the opposite sex. Those aren’t pastimes. Those are pathways. They lead somewhere.
As I’ve already said, it is much easier to see these dynamics at work in other people than it is in ourselves. In fact, right now you’re probably thinking about several people who you wish had been here today and heard what we’re talking about. But before you start putting names to the faces in your mind, take a minute to think about your life and let me ask you this:
Are there discrepancies between what you desire in your heart and what you are doing with your life? Or are your intentions aligned with your directions?
• Are there disconnects in your life?
• Are there discrepancies between what you desire in your heart and what you are doing with your life?
• Is there alignment between your intentions and your direction?
The path we choose at those critical junctions doesn’t just determine our destination the following year, but for the following season of life.
THE PRINCIPLE OF THE PATH is operating in your life every minute of every day.
You are currently on a financial path of some kind.
You are on a relational path.
You are continuing down a moral path, an ethical path, an entertainment path.
EACH PATH HAS A DESTINATION!
Are YOU satisfied with your road will end?

CONCLUSION: SOLOMON STORY RAISES A QUESTION...

SOLOMON STORY RAISES A QUESTION
Why did the young man in Solomon’s story walk down such a path? How come he didn’t see what was coming?
ANSWER: He didn’t think it was a path. He thought it was ONE SOLITARY EVENT!
When the truth is, God says your life and its destination isn’t about the immediate, it’s about the ultimate. You can’t trump the principle of the path with good intentions.
hinks it’s an event, a one-time occurrence. When the truth is, God says your life and its destination isn’t about the immediate, it’s about the ultimate. You can’t trump the principle of the path with good intentions.
AGAIN: Your direction, not your intentions, determine your destination.
Some of you have been brokenhearted at various times in your life. You even cried out to God, “Why did YOU let this happen to me?”
Do you want the real answer? He didn’t. He wanted to stop it, but he couldn’t stop you.

LET ME ASK YOU TWO BIG QUESTIONS

What direction are you headed in today?
- Morally
- Relationally (with your family, with friendships) - Financially
Where are you headed Morally?
Where are you headed Relationally? (with your family, with friendships)?
Where are you headed Financially?
These are the biggies. We could probe into many more areas. I can’t answer these for you. Only you can.
You might want to assess others as well. I encourage you to take some time before you go to bed tonight to think about this and talk with your spouse about it if you’re married.
If you’re on the wrong path, how can you get on the right path?
2. If you’re on the wrong path, how can you get on the right path?
For that, I want to give you a few answers.
Get wisdom. Reading Proverbs will increase your wisdom. There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs. Read one chapter a day for the next 31 days. Then keep repeating the readings until the truth sinks in!
Become accountable to someone older. What if young man in Solomon’s story had a friend looking out the window after him, instead of a man he had no relationship with? What if his friend had run down the stairs and warned him and rescued him before he ever got to the woman’s house? His whole life would have been different.
Make choices based on the long-term, not the short-term. See your life the way God sees your life! Look into the distant future and determine where you want to end up and don’t cheat yourself by stepping off the path!
See your life the way we see your life and the way God sees your life by thinking about it like a path, a series of steps, not a bunch of unrelated events.
- Think about what will happen if you eat that brownie every day. What’s the next step after you eat the brownie once? - Think about what will happen if you balance your checkbook and save and tithe every month. What does your life
Proverbs 1:5–7 NLT
5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance 6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. 7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
look like, step by step, if you do that every month? – Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? - Think about what will happen if you pray each morning and say nice things to your spouse before work every day.
Proverbs 7:5–7 NLT
5 Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman, from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman. 6 While I was at the window of my house, looking through the curtain, 7 I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense.
Make choices based on what will develop if you do something over a long period of time, because that’s the path you’re on every time you make a one-time decision.
The reason I gave you the fork is because every decision is a fork that will lead you down one path or another. Which fork will you take? For the next several weeks of this series, I hope you’ll use this fork to remind you of that. So we put a string on it so you can tie it to something you’ll see often, like your rearview mirror, or tape it to something you pass often, like your refrigerator – or if you have pierced ears, you can string this thing through it and wear it for the next month.
If you decide that you’re going to change paths or make a course correction, you’ll probably encounter some challenges as well. So I want to pray for you, because, like Jake Taylor, I think you’ll find that as you pursue the new and better path, the momentum you build up on the new path will not only help you but will help a lot of people you really care about as well.
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