Long before the wheel was invented, man walked to get around. Walking is a basic function of human existence. Today most of us don’t normally give much thought to walking unless we’re planning on walking a long distance. For instance, we don’t make plans to get up from a chair and walk to get a drink of water—we just do it. But if we want to walk a great distance, like going for a hike, our thought processes include how long we will be walking, what we will wear on our feet and body, and what we need to bring to help make our walk the best. We think through the walk. Similarly, our walk as a believer requires thought on our part. Proverbs 4:26 tells us, “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.”
When we utilize God’s Word as our guide, then our planning, preparation, and corresponding actions will yield great results in life. We will manifest God’s will as we do His Word, and our ways will be established.
When beginning a journey or a task, it helps to start with the end in mind. What is the destination or desired result? Before beginning, try to see the finished result like a picture in your mind. Recently I had an appointment to meet a friend to discuss some meeting details, and I decided to get there by walking. Even though I knew where to meet, I didn’t just jump out of bed that day and start walking. I thought through beforehand when to begin, which way to go, what to wear, and what to bring with me for the meeting.
What if I had not thought through these things? If I had traveled a different route, I probably would have enjoyed the walk, but I may have been late for the meeting. As simple as this trip seemed, it required some detailed thinking. If I had not brought my paperwork, my walk would not have achieved the desired result. If I had not thought through my footwear, I could have gotten some very painful blisters on my feet. Because of my thinking and planning, the meeting was successful, my walk was enjoyable, and we accomplished everything we needed to accomplish.
In our walk as believers, having the end in mind yields godly results in the decisions we make. Let’s look at three things that will help us ponder the path of our feet: considering our ways, counting the cost, and ordering our steps.
The first aspect of pondering the path of our feet is to thoughtfully consider decisions according to God’s Word. We will begin our study with a closer look at Proverbs 4:26:
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
This verse figuratively refers to thinking things all the way through to the extent of removing obstacles that could hinder us from getting to our destination. To “ponder” is to “weigh mentally” and has the idea of making a path level or smooth by removing obstacles. The key to see here is: our path, or direction in life, is governed by our thoughts, and our thoughts are to be Word centered.
“Feet” in Proverbs 4:26 represents the actions we take. We are to look honestly at the habit patterns and planned actions in our lives and determine if they line up with God’s Word. The word “ways” is a course of life or mode of action. The word “established” means to stand perpendicular, to be fixed, prepared.
We are to weigh mentally the path of our feet so that our course of life or mode of action will be fixed and prepared. Utilizing God’s Word as our standard of believing and action, we decide what to do and then do it with our might. Having the written revelation of God’s Word as a priority in our thinking enables us to make proper decisions according to the Scriptures.
With Proverbs 4:26 in mind, we will now look at the revelation God gave to three men—Haggai, Paul, and Jesus Christ—to help us understand how to ponder the path of our feet. In the Old Testament, the Prophet Haggai helped God’s people with their thinking by reproving them for expending great effort to build and beautify their own homes when the Lord’s house lay in waste.
Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?
Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.
Haggai reproved God’s people and also encouraged them to think about what they were doing. His message to “consider your ways” was with the authority of “thus saith the Lord of hosts.” Haggai was speaking for God specifically to His people at that time. Since the Old Testament is written for our learning (Romans 15:4), we can learn to consider our ways also.
The word “consider” in Haggai 1:7 means to “set your heart on, or give your attention to.” This is an important part of a believer’s decision-making process. Considering is not saying, “Oh, I’ll consider that,” and forgetting about it. A simple example of considering was when I decided to walk to my meeting. The bigger decisions we make require even more thought at times, more setting the heart on, more giving attention to.
Whether a decision is big or small, many times I ask a believer in the household for help in thinking it through. A great practical key is sitting down with a fellow believer to open your heart and let them minister God’s Word to you. This enables you to believe together and set your heart on the decisions you need to make.…
This is an excerpt from the January/February 2009 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2009 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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