Imagine beginning your day knowing that it would be a good and productive day. This doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be any challenges or changes in direction, just that you had a clear path on what it is the Lord wants you to do, and how to move forward. Many books have been published that promise such productivity, but one simple verse from the Bible explains how such a day can occur:
“But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18)
While this verse may be simply presented, it is not easily understood or accomplished. As my pastor likes to say, let’s unpack this verse.
What does it mean to be on “the path of the just”? It means to be on the right path, instead of going down the wrong road. There are times when we find ourselves on a bad road by mistake or even by our own intentions. God does not intend for us to live a life of chaos or confusion. He has promised to give us heavenly wisdom, and that is what Solomon writes about in his proverbs. God’s plans for us is one of clarity and order:
“Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:3)
Isaiah was showing Israel what life would be like if they would establish themselves two ways. First, they needed to go to church. It is in church you hear the Word of God preached and taught through a pastor’s sermon and by attending Sunday School. If you give up one or the other, then, as my pastor is wont to say, “It’s a mighty thin pancake that can be cooked on one side.”
Second, it is Christians who are to bring certain clarity and order into society. We do so not by what we think is best, but in what the Word of God instructs us. We learn “His ways” and we “walk in His paths” when we allow the Bible to be our teacher.
God’s Word “is like the shining sun,” meaning it is literally a light for us to follow. Whenever I am confused on which direction I should take, I should always turn to the Bible for guidance. It is through meditation and prayer that I find the wisdom I so desperately need.
For me to experience that, I have to be on the right path. Too often Christians try to find their way through this dark world, but they forget to use their “spiritual flashlights.” God’s Word is that light:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
So, Brother Dave, if I go to church and read my Bible, God is going to show the way each day and my day will be perfect? Yes, but maybe in not the way you’re thinking of perfect. In the New Testament, the word “perfect” is translated from the Greek teleios, which means “brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness.”
The word perfect in Proverbs comes from the Hebrew verb kuwn (sounds like “coon”). This word has a similar meaning as teleios, however it gives the idea of completeness through being firmly established or stable. Solomon is teaching us that when we are following the path of righteousness, we are on solid ground. Our steps are established and our day is securely determined because we are obeying God’s will for our lives.
Can you imagine such a day? Even more fantastic, can you imagine such a life? Beloved, it doesn’t take imagination. It takes determination, observation, and submission. We must be determined to seek God’s guidance for our lives by observing His statutes and wisdom offered freely in His word.
But then comes the hard part. We must submit ourselves in complete surrender to allow God to have sovereignty over our lives. We must give up our will to do our own thing and follow “the shining sun…unto the perfect day.”
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Copyright © 2017 David Jeffers