I rarely, almost never, tumble unexpectedly into sin. God usually gives me ample warning. That ugly comment I blurted in an unguarded moment can usually be traced to a root of bitterness I fed the week before. That burst of pride that soured a ministry event probably arose from days where busyness overshadowed my Bible reading time. That half-truth came from self-protection that came from unchecked and unrepentive pride. I'm routinely "tripping over" the cracks of sin, deceiving myself into believing I'm a victim in the warfare of life, when in reality, most falls arise from neglected pathways.
Proverbs 4:26 says, "Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure" (ESV).
We live in the midwest. We get blizzards, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and have hot, humid summers. We’ve also got the beautiful deciduous trees with thick trunks and branches. Which means, we’ve got roots–the ones that wiggle beneath sidewalks, uplifting big chunks of cement. These ruts and raises turn an easy jog into quite an obstacle course.
Most times I navigate over the bumps and crevices with no problem, but every once in a while, when I’m tired or lost in thought, the raised cement catches me off guard and sends me flying. Not a pretty sight. In fact, I’ve been known to stop traffic, and not in a good way. (Nothing like seeing a thirtysomething howl like a toddler before falling prostrate on the cement. Yep. Attractive.) So I pick myself up off the ground, tell the gawkers I’m okay, and glance back at the mammoth boulder I tripped over. Heat sears my cheeks as I realize I stumbled over not a boulder, but the tiniest of cracks.
After one particularly embarrassing fall, I decided to choose my route a bit more carefully. I forewent the raised slabs of cement, opting for a smooth roadway instead.
I think our spiritual life is like this sometimes. Often we can traipse through life without a bump or a stumble. During those times, it’s easy to get over-confident. Sin will never happen to us. We’re strong. But then, when we least expect it, we trip over a bump in the road. Might not even be a big bump. But it’s big enough to send us flying.
God knows this about us and has provided warnings in His Word, like the one quoted at the beginning of this post. He wants us to choose level paths–to live with intentionality. This level path we choose might look different for each of us. If we struggle with drinking, it means no hanging out in bars. If we struggle with impure thoughts, we probably need to avoid many of today’s secular novels, movies, and television shows. If we struggle with disinterment, we might need to toss out those clothing catalogs. If we struggle with gossip, we might need to be selective about who we spend our time with. I know. Sounds restrictive. Perhaps even unnecessary, but take it from a fellow pavement-eater, choosing level paths is much more pleasant than loosing skin.
What about you? Any rerouting God might want to do in your life? Maybe you’ve already made a hard right, veering on a new, smooth course. We’d love to hear about it. Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about ways to avoid that rather embarrassing fall.
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Here's more about the story:
She left belief behind…
Yet this family could change her mind
With two boys to raise, a fledgling contracting business to run and a family ranch to keep afloat, widower Drake Owens finds his hands aren’t just full—they’re overflowing. When Faith Nichols is hired to help him renovate the church, he’s drawn to the beautiful artist, but he can’t fall for a woman who isn’t a believer. Can love restore her faith…and his heart?
And make sure to check out Wholly Loved Ministries' latest release, Drawing Near, a 90-Day Devotional designed to help you deepen your faith and draw your relationship with Christ.
Each day, God beckons us to Himself, calling us to rest in His love and grace. As we do, He heals our hurts, overpowers our fears with love, and restores us to the women He created us to be. This 90-day devotional, written by women who are learning themselves to live anchored in God's grace, will help you deepen your faith and grow your relationship with Christ. You can grab your copy HERE.