Proverbs 4:18 (ESV) … “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”
When you receive God’s truth into your heart, God renews your mind (Rom. 12:2) and enables you to think wisely. This helps you make right decisions and experience the guidance of God day by day. God in His loving providence directs us and prepares the path for us. Augustine said, “Trust the past to the mercy of God, the present to His love, and the future to His providence.” But King David said it better long before Augustine: “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11, NKJV).
If you are willing to do God’s will, you will have God’s guidance (John 7:17), but if you treat God’s will like a buffet lunch, choosing only what pleases you, He will never direct you. As I’ve said before, the will of God isn’t for the curious; it’s for the serious. As we look back on more than forty years of marriage and ministry, my wife and I can testify to God’s providential leading in our lives in ways that we never suspected He would use.
But God’s children can’t expect God’s leading if they shuttle back and forth between the path of wisdom and the path of the wicked (Prov. 4:14–17). Stay as far away from that path as you can! Don’t enter it! Avoid it! Don’t go near it! Go as far from it as you can! Certainly we must witness to unsaved people whom the Lord brings to us, but we must never adopt their lifestyle or imitate their ways. God doesn’t guide His children when they’re walking in darkness. When you’re living in the will of God, the path gets brighter and brighter, not darker and darker (1 John 1:5–10).
The danger is that we let the lessons of wisdom slip through our fingers and we lose them. “Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go” (Prov. 4:13). Hold on to wisdom the way a child holds a parent’s hand and trusts Mother or Father to guide and protect. God is able to keep us from stumbling (Jude 24) if we’ll keep ourselves in His wisdom.