Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him. In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them. Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour. The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness. The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.Proverbs 14:1-14

The Path of Least Resistance
Let's focus our attention on verse 12 of our scripture text above: There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Sadly, this is the story of too many supposed-to-be Christians today. The way they are walking seems right; the way they are walking looks like the most logical way; the way they are standing appears to be the way and place to stand, but is it? I am glad we can walk in a way that not only seems, looks, or appears to be right, but is right in the eyes of God.

We can stand in the place where God would have us to stand. It may not always seem right to us, but we can have the very presence and approval of God upon our lives so that we know we are being what God would have us to be.

There are many people walking in a way which seems right to them. They feel that their ideas and the way in which they live is the way they ought to live, yet could it be that their friends and associates have put their approval on their ideas? They may feel a particular move is the best move to make. However, we need to consider how God views the way we are living and the stands we are taking, along with that which we do.

In too many instances, we have allowed our own feelings to lead us and we have let our carnal thoughts work on us and cause us to believe that our way is God's way. There are many situations in which we allow our own ignorance or carelessness to override what God would have us to do. Thus, we walk in a manner that pleases our flesh.

One writer said, "The easiest way is the path of least resistance." Another writer said, "The path of least resistance makes both rivers and people crooked." Today, it seems that so many people, including Christians, are looking for a path to follow on which they will never have any problems and no one will ever disagree or differ with them. If we are going to be what God would have us to be, we will face resistance. There are going to be people who will stand against us. There will be people who refuse to go along with the Word of God and what it says to do. Some people want to cut it short; others want to add a little bit to it; still others want to take it off in this or that direction. We need to walk just the way God would have us to walk!

Relying on Human Reasoning
Human reasoning is definitely working on the minds of people of God today. People are trying to rationalize the things of God: precepts that have been handed down in a divine manner--things that only the children of God are supposed to understand through divine revelation. The worst aspect of this situation is that they may get by with it for a while, but in the end it leads to tragedy and destroys them. Most of the time, human reasoning not only destroys them, but it also captivates others.

Many times when people get their own way because of certain events that happen, they think that they are in the right and they begin to influence others. We must allow God to lead us in HIS way. There may be times when people are wrong, but we need to leave them with God and go on being what God would have us to be. Let God work out the situation affecting others. When we involve our own reasoning, when we lean entirely upon our own understanding, we are out of the order of God. If we rely on our own human reasoning, we iwll become discouraged.

Verse 14 of our scripture text says, The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways... When human reasoning takes control of our minds, we begin to consider God's ways as being no higher than our own. We then start doing things the way we feel they should be done, and forget what God has told us, and forget the plan that God has laid out for us to follow. We begin doing those things that suit us the best and seem to help us the most, forgetting all about God and everyone else. We look at ourselves and we seen only number one.

We need to understand that when human reasoning starts affecting us, unless God helps us, the end is very tragic. When this starts affecting our thinking, it blinds us to the real need of giving our minds to God and allowing Him to show us exactly where we stand.

People do not say things that are not down in their hearts. They have thought and meditated on it. If we have good treasures stored in our hearts, that is what will come forth. Just as Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

The logical way is not always the way that the Christian is to follow. When we start looking only at the logical way, we need to check our Christian experience. We must be where God would have us to be, and we must be operating under HIS authority, not that of our own. God knows how we are going to react to a certain situation before He shows us the way we need to go.

There are many ways that people feel are right, but we need to follow the One Who sees the end from the very beginning. We may think that we can see how things will turn out, or that we can predict the outcome, but there is only ONE Who can. He has the whole picture laid out if we will just depend upon Him, give up our wills to Him, and let Him control us, instead of us trying to control Him!

Self-Deceivers Become Self-Destroyers
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7. Often, when human reasoning affects people, they begin to flatter themselves in their own eyes and say to themselves, "Look what I have done." We need to look at ourselves, all right, but not through our own eyes or through someone else's eyes, but through God's eyes and see exactly who we are as opposed to who we think we are!

If we are not diligent, we will think we are something, or we may accept the accolades of those who think we are something, but let us be wary that we do not fall into the "flattery trap". We need to let God reveal to us exactly who we are and where we are at in our walk with Him. It will take God to open our eyes once we have allowed human reasoning to affect our thinking. If you are living free from such influence as this, you need to be very careful lest your own rationalization should start working on you. Some folks may feel that human reasoning would never affect them, but in too many cases, it has already got a foothold in their lives. Many are they who have been led astray because they allowed themselves to become elevated in their own eyes and foolishly believed they were "untouchable" by sin.The only way to remain "untouched by sin" is to maintain a close and fervent walk with God, examining ourselves critically through His wisdom and not through our own human reasoning.

When human reasoning takes control of our minds, we are following the way that leads to death--separation from God. No matter what our actions might be, God cannot work in and through a person who is filled with his own ways. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. Isaiah 55:8. There cannot be two leaders in our lives; there can be only ONE. When human reasoning takes over, we soon become self-deceivers. We begin to think we are something we are really not. Sadly, that never seems to extend to the fact that we are not where we should be with God.

If that were all that resulted, perhaps we would not fare so badly; but in the end, the self-deceivers will also be self-destroyers. Their very work(s) will take them down. Not only will they be destroyed, but on the way down they will affect those who may have been foolish enough to listen to them. Here and there, they will affect certain ones who perhaps felt sorry for them and went along with them. It is aptly described as "The blind leading the blind" with the end result simply as scripture puts it: ...If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Matthew 15:14.

A Pleasure-Mad World
In the day and age in which we are living, people will tell you how much they have had to sacrifice for God. Let us take a look at Moses. Moses did some sacrificing to become a child of God and to be named with the saints. He made more of a sacrifice than most of us would ever be willing to make. You know, his position was rather like that of a spoiled child: he could have anything his heart desired, anything his eyes looked upon, had he been willing to remain the son of Pharaoh's daughter.

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Hebrews 11:23-27.
Did you read it there? Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. We are living in a pleasure-mad world today. Notice that Moses gave up the possibilities of more pleasure than most of us will ever know--in so far as worldly pleasures go. He had available to him the pleasures of all that could be obtained through the resources of his position as that of son of the Pharaoh's daughter! Yet, when we have to give up the least of things, we complain and moan and groan and throw some serious pity-parties! It is very hard for us to come clean with God. To some, a little bit of pleasure seems to be too much to forego in order to meet God's conditions and allow Him to come into their hearts and direct their lives.

Moses gave up all the king's riches to become a child of God and walk in the way that was right, the way that God had ordained him to walk. Please understand, it was through his own reasoning that he got into trouble to begin with, but because he was willing to humble himself before God and accept the ways of God, Moses was used mightily of the Lord. Too many never get to that point. They continue on in their own reasoning, and wonder why they cannot attain great things for God.

In today's world, there are so many who are enjoying pleasures that are tainted by sin. How about you? Are you enjoying the pleasures of this world that are tainted by sin?

Esteeming Our God-Given Heritage
Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt... Let's look at the treasures found in this world that so many are so desperately trying to lay up for themselves. We all take far too much for granted the treasures that so many of our saints have suffered for in not only times past, but even today. There are those today who are the "unsung" heroes of God--daily sacrificing a better way of life for the conditions in which they are required to be able to get the message of God's love and salvation to others. We will not be able to retain this God-given heritage of ours unless we esteem it in the right manner.

When we possess something that is of great value to us, we take very good care of it. Someone who has a nice home works hard to keep it that way. They do whatever it takes to keep it that way. The same principle applies to all else that means something to us--we take care of it. That is, unless we are of those who take that which the Lord has blessed us with for granted! If we are among that number, we are very careless with our things. We don't treasure them, we don't cherish them, we don't thank the Lord for them and the pleasure that we get through them.

You want to know how to recognize a true Christian? It won't be by the mark of their clothes, a label they are wearing, or any announcements made about them. It will be that salvation means a great deal to them, and they are working to take care of it. That is the way EVERY child of God needs to be.

Just as houseplants need to be watered and cared for and allowed the proper amounts of sunshine to thrive, the true treasure you carry as a Christian has to be likewise cultivated. Otherwise, both the houseplant and the Christian will wilt and die. Yes, God gave us our Christian heritage and we need to make sure we take good care of it.

God Has The Answer and The Power
There is a lot of enjoyment walking in this Christian life; however, there will be amny things that will oppose us as Christians. If it's a matter of dealing with temptation, God has a very strong reassurance for us: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. I Corinthians 10:13. However, we need to pay close attention to that: it tells us that He will make a way to escape temptation, and then the very next verse instructs us: Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. I Corinthians 10:14. That teaches us: God will make a way of escape for us when we are tempted by the things of this world, but we are to turn FROM them, not pursue them with all our might!

Along with being tempted to turn away from this race that has been set before us, we will endure heartaches and trials. We must realize that God has the answer and the power we need if we will just humble ourselves and call upon Him. Far too many times, we try to gain a remedy or get through a battle on our own strength and in our own wisdom: we wind up just making a series of mistakes. The Word of God tells us: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In ALL thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and DEPART from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7.

Yes, sin may offer its pleasures, but let me assure you, just as the Word of God tells us, they are only for a season. The price that sin exacts of our lives, our years, our health--can never be worth what it costs us. Never. Never. Never. If you will set your mind and heart to it and sincerely, earnestly, ask God to help you, He will.

If we are on the path that God has ordained for us, when we are beset by the trials and tribulations of this life, we can lean on the promises of God and stand firm in our conviction that ...I KNOW whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he IS able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. II Timothy 1:12.

We Do Reap What We Sow
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6:7,8. A scripture well worth remembering: whatever we sow, we shall reap.

There are those who receive the miracle of salvation and then just sit down, refusing to do the work of the Lord and easily slip into complacency. Complacency is quickly followed by the ease of being led astray and away from that which the Lord would have us to do for Him. We may see those about us who seem to sow and sow and sow just as wildly as a person ever could, but there will come a time of reaping. Will we be able to bear the reaping when it comes? Just as Israel was warned: For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind... Hosea 8:7, we, too, shall reap when we sow. What are we, as Christians, sowing?

There can be no "easy-chairing" our Christian walk, my friends. We must be about our Heavenly Father's business, and that is witnessing to the lost, reaching out in love and compassion to our fellow man so that the love of Jesus Christ may shine brightly in our lives. It is easy to sit down, but from personal experience, I can tell you, a person who sits for an extended period of time without activity, will begin to lose the physical ability they once had. The same is very true in our Christian walk: it is very easy to be overcome by the world if we are not busy with the work of the Lord.

If Satan can get you to sit down and lose ground in your Christian walk, then he can work on you mentally, also, and cause you to question your purpose for God. He can cause you to doubt your Salvation experience, he can cause you to think you might as well give up and not bother any more. He will cause you to grow cold in your heart toward others--the things of God will not mean to you what they once did. That is exactly what he wants to do with you--he wants to get your eyes off the goal--that mark of the high calling of God. The devil wants your end to be that of his choosing, where none of us wants to go!

Hidden Things Will Be Revealed
The Bible describes Babylon, the Mother of Harlots as ...arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. Revelation 17:4. Too many think that is how one has to look to be a sinner or out of the will of God. Let me make this very plain: you can dress modestly, smile sweetly, look like a saint of God and still be just as impure on the inside as the Jezebel of the Book of I Kings.

Many feel that it's quite enough to merely clean up the outside: "I have cleaned up my act, I live a pretty decent life, I am what God wants me to be." Putting on a front is not going to fool God. He knows the very thoughts of our minds, the very intents of our hearts, our deepest innermost being. He sees us not only as we truly are, but He knows us exactly for who and what we are.

It is possible to fool people, but it is NOT possible to fool God. He knows our most hidden secrets--let me explain--they are only hidden from others. There is no way to hide anything from God. He sees all, He knows all. He knows exactly what is in our lives that should not be there. He knows if human (worldly) reasoning is working on our minds so that we are allowing things to be in our lives that we know should not be. Those "secret" or "hidden sins" you hear preachers talk about? There is no such thing: our sins may be hidden from mankind, but mankind is NOT our final judge--GOD IS. So when we think we are hiding something from others, we'd better remember there is an all-seeing eye watching us and HE KNOWS it all.

It is most foolish to live our lives hiding sins from others; when we get to that great Judgement, all that was hidden WILL BE revealed. And you know, there's another important aspect of that to be remembered and considered: when we are doing things that we know we shouldn't--when we are sinning--we are NOT doing the will of God. As born-again followers of Jesus Christ, we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. We have a Heavenly Father Who wants to be bountiful to us. Why should we sin and waste so much precious time trying to hide it, when we would be so much better served in our lives to fully and complete repent and live according to His Will? If we will HONESTLY give up to God, surrender ourselves COMPLETELY to Him, fully opening our hearts and lives to Him, we can be victorious over the things in this life. We will still have temptations, trials and tribulations, but they will never be able to destroy us if we are IN CHRIST.

There are only two routes in a person's life: toward God or away from Him. There have been those who have joked, "Well, right now I'm in a holding pattern." No, they are not. Either they are moving toward God or they are moving away from God.

In which direction are you headed? Yes, indeed: There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

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