Looking Directly Forward

Journal Entry // May 13, 2021

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. [26] Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.

Proverbs 4:25-26 ESV

Keep your eyes and your gaze set straight before you. This is an interesting picture to convey the wisdom of keeping focused on what is most important on this journey of life. There are some key points in this picture that need further meditation.

First, as I keep my eyes and gaze set before me I will not be distracted or fixated by what is behind me. The past is exactly that, the past. With my gaze set, forward I am able to better see the path that God is leading me down. This doesn’t mean that I never think about the past or that the past never intrudes into the present, but it does mean that I don’t spend my days fixated on the past. My gaze is focused straight before me.

Second, as I keep my eyes focused directly forward I will not be distracted or fixated by what’s around me. I will not look for those things that are not on my path. I will not covet a different life or different gifts or different blessings. I will be content with where God has placed me and is leading me. The world is trying to take my attention off the path and calls for me to leave the path. But I must fix my gaze forward and focus on what God has placed before me.

Third, I need to ponder the path. It’s not enough to just focus on the path. I need to ponder where my feet are stepping along the path. There is wisdom in thinking deeply and carefully about each and every step I take upon the path. There should be thought of into each step along the way, but there should be an examination after each step as well. Deep reflection and meditation about the soundness of each and every step.

So what is the practical outworking in my daily life? Keeping my eyes and my gaze directed forward is clearly done by living in the word of God. Saturating myself with the truth of his word. Drinking deeply from the stories and teachings that the bible uses to communicate the excellencies of the Lord. Not just reading and taking it in, but meditating and reflecting on my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Letting the word of God not only inform me but change me. Thinking and praying about each and every step to ensure consistency with God’s purposes. Reflecting and meditating on every step to ensure that no stray moment has interrupted or misdirected.

There is a healthy soundness to these words of wisdom. It’s like I am walking through an old forest dense with trees and darkness. I am able to see only what my single flashlight illuminates. It’s beam focuses where I direct it. My only understanding is that I am on the single path through this old dark forest. I have been assured that this path is the only path and it leads to the only true and safe entry into my destination. If I become fearful of what’s behind me, I will turn and shine the light behind, losing my focus. If become intrigued by what lies off the path, I will turn my light out into the dark forest. The only safe way through the forest is to keep my single flashlight pointed directly in front of my to carefully watch each and every step along the true right path.

This is hard work. It’s easy to become tired or scared or lonely. Yet Jesus is with me. He has promised to walk this path alongside me. My comfort is in knowing that my savior is with me.

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