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Proverbs 5:8 says, “Keep to a path, far from her, do not go near the door of her house.” Though this chapter is about staying away from adultery, I think we can apply this principle to all temptation. I remember, in the first year of meeting my now wife, at Bible College, God had called us to remain single for various reasons. This was one of the hardest years of my life. We both realised we liked each other, and we were navigating the practicalities of studying together, eating together, and worshiping God together – because it was community living. So how do you remain in someone’s presence, with a desire to get to know them, a deeper desire to honour and obey God, and all the difficulties that comes with that? You pray, apply, and the last thing to do is pray. There were moments to celebrate because of obedience, and other moments we purposefully grew something we knew wouldn’t help us honour God.
However, in those moments of obedience, I noticed this principle so clearly. I could have taken the paths which my heart wanted me to take, giving in to that desire to go and see her, pass by her, talk to her, all with the simple intent of forming something God had told us not to. But it was in these decisions not to do that, that I felt such a joy and lightness knowing I was obeying God. I chose a path away from the one of temptation.
The narrow road and gate aren’t easy to follow but it leads to life! Don’t let the enemy trick you into thinking you can get anything of value easy and quick.
You might be in a similar position, or it’s something totally different. You know in your heart if you’re allowing yourself to be pulled along on a path that isn’t the one God is calling you to. It’s tough. It’s really tough. I get it. It hurts and it feels unfair, and it doesn’t make sense that God is a God of love but is allowing you through this. BUT there is a joy, a contentment, a wholeness in your spirit, that only comes as you follow God’s path in obedience through the pain. Just look at Jesus Christ. All He endured in obedience to the Father, led Him through pain and suffering and into glory and light.
It’s so easy to follow the wide path and enter through the wide gate. Others are doing it, you’ve got a lot going on, and it’s crazy appealing. Jesus said that that’s the gate that will lead to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). Wisdom tells us, that path leads to ruin.
The narrow road and gate aren’t easy to follow but it leads to life! Don’t let the enemy trick you into thinking you can get anything of value easy and quick. He tried that with Jesus (Luke 4:5-7). Surround yourself with brothers and sisters who are choosing God’s path. Surround yourself in Scripture. Pray. And apply wisdom to your life.
What path do you need to take, to avoid going near the door of temptation?