I love the GPS on my phone and in my truck. I can say, “I’m hungry”, and it will say, “Well, we can’t have that”, then suggest the closest places and provide directions. That’s what I’m talking about! I’m the kind of driver that needs step by step directions when going to a new place and even then I sometimes argue with the GPS. I depend upon the GPS to get me where I need to be when I need to be there. Some of you will remember when GPS and navigation systems were not in vehicles and you actually had to stop and ask for directions (well, I did when I wasn’t so stubborn). When I was a kid, my dad would get out the big map that covered the steering wheel and front windshield and chart the course from one city to the next. I don’t think anyone stops and asks for directions anymore and from time to time I still like to get out the big paper map. God’s Word is like a GPS that guides our next steps, giving us wisdom, if we will listen and obey.
Proverbs 2:8 says God, “guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.” Our “course” and “way” in life can be directed by God, if we will follow Him. It’s hard to know how to get some place if you don’t know where you are going. We need God’s directions, His Word, guiding us step by step in every-day and big situations and decisions. This is especially true in relationships. The first part of Proverbs 2 (verses 1-11), remind us to consult the Lord for wisdom. Those verses say He gives insight, understanding, and knowledge that speak to our minds but also down deep to our hearts. God’s wisdom will guide us in everything we need, even choosing right relationships. Our relationships shape us. The people we hang around and allow to influence us will determine what kind of people we are. If we listen to the Lord and apply His wisdom, He will keep us from evil influences. Verses 12-15 remind us there are people who are perverse, devious, wicked, and who delight in doing wrong. Hanging around people of bad influence will cause bad consequences in our lives and corrupt our character.
Similarly, verses 16-19 tell us to stay away from the “adulterous woman”. Now, this may be a specific woman, but it is mainly talking about lust. Any woman not your wife should not be treated as your wife. That means you should not flirt, talk to, treat, or look at her the way you would your wife. Even if you aren’t married, there are temptations of lust that abound and should be avoided. Wisdom is truly recognizing the “evil man” and the “adulterous woman”. We should, “walk in the ways of good men” (v. 20). These are the right kinds of friends, those who follow the Lord and obey His Word. Which relationships are good for you which are bad? Do your friends help you grow in the Lord or drift further from Him? Is there someone tempting or causing you to lust? Run!!! Find some right friends who will help you grow in the Lord and follow His Word. “Walking with the wise will make you wise but the companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20).
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.