“I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone.” – Isaiah 42:16 (NASB)
Remember observing how a blind person manages their way around their world? It’s amazing what one can do when it has to be done. In a very real sense we are all blinded by different things at times in our lives. We who believe in Jesus also need help understanding finding the right path in our lives. When we encounter strange paths God promises to help us. In the dark places He promises to guide us and He turns on the light we need. We all face situations which are new and different or are problematic and we especially need wisdom to navigate our decision process. Now and then we just can’t see a way out and we need God to guide us, He opens our eyes and chases the darkness away. Our Father God promises to smooth out rough places and show us where to step. He promises to be our guide through times that are difficult, lonely, sorrowful, frightening times and when we have simply lost our way. During times of personal loss or when evil threatens us, God is with us. He will not forsake us. He is a lamp for our feet in the dark.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV, NASB)
We look again today at a verse we have considered in the past. It is a favorite verse for many and for many reasons. It is simple, straight to the point and a verse we can’t easily disregard. To trust in the LORD means what He has said to us is better than any conclusion from our own understanding. That’s where we start. We put our trust in God with all our heart. We turn away from our understanding as a guide when it misdirects us. What does “lean on our own understanding” mean? It’s what we do when we learn God’s will from His Word. We take it in and then refine it and revise it until we think we understand it. But we really don’t because our own understanding most times leads us astray from obedience and trust in what God wants. God’s promises can be trusted. God’s word can be acknowledged even when our own means to understand is not in agreement. God promises to make, direct and guide us on straight paths – paths to His way. They are the best and better than anything we come up with using our understanding.
“Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is impaired may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.” – Hebrews 12:12 (NASB)
The unusual visual of the language in our verse is drawn from a prophecy given in Isaiah 35. This is a picture of what will happen for the believers when the Lord comes again. The next sentence encourages those who are discouraged to ‘Be strong and don’t be afraid. This is a common experience – weak hands and feeble knees – especially as we get older. But even the young have weak faith and drooping arms with week knees. How are we to strengthen our hands and knees? Listen to the author’s encouragement as a coach. There is more of the race left to run, it is not the time to allow weakness and feebleness so, don’t quite yet. Take care to watch where we are walking and follow the path that is level. God will make our path straight (Proverbs 3:6). Throughout our lives we have choices of which paths we will walk. If we make sure to take the level path or to make our way level and straight, then all our ways will be sure (Proverbs 4:26-27). As we walk we are told to not swerve back and forth. No flip-flopping. And very important, let’s turn away from evil.