Fire in my Bones

Where does it lead? | Pst. J.O. Lawal

Date: August 04, 2021 | Series: Youth for Jesus | Number: Vol. 4, No. 12

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Prov 16:25NIV)

When the prodigal son first came to his father to ask for his own share of the man’s property, he felt he was doing the right thing. Yes, he felt that running his own life and affairs without the guidance or control of his father was the right way for him to become the kind of great man he had always dreamt of becoming. So, he asked for his independence and got it. And before long, he was on his way out of his father’s house to some foreign land, where he would be the lord and master of his own life. (Cf. Luke 15:11-13)

But some years later, it became all clear to him that what he thought was a good and wise decision was nothing but a bad and foolish one. The way he thought would lead to a great experience of liberty did not lead to it at all. Instead, it led to an experience of poverty, hunger and shame. And if he had not humbled himself and accepted the reality about the inability of the way he chose to lead him to a life of prosperity and rest and gone back home, he would have perished in that way. (Cf. Luke 15:13-24)

Therefore, that a way of doing things seems right or popular to us does not mean it will lead us to our desired haven. If that way does not agree with the will of God for our lives, it can only lead us to an experience of defeat, confusion, shame, poverty, illness or death. And that is the point Solomon is communicating to us in our opening bible text, saying, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”

But how do we know what way is right and what way is wrong? How do we know that this way we are taking to gain riches, fame, power, health, affluence or pleasure is right or wrong for us to take? For some people, if a way feels right for them to take, then, it must be right. So, they will take it. And for some others, if they can see a sizeable number of people taking a particular way to getting what they want, then, it must be the right way to take.

That, of course, explains why, for example, we now have many young and even old people getting involved in internet fraud, which is popularly known as ‘Yahoo’, as a way to becoming rich in life. It is also the explanation for the involvement of many in prostitution, money rituals, drug trafficking and other terrible things people now do as a way to come out of poverty and become rich, powerful or famous.

But, first, we need to know that that something feels right does not mean it is right. As we are told in the bible, in the day when there were no kings in Israel, everyone did what seemed right in his sight. That means these people did not set out to do evil or what was bad. They had a mind to do what was right or what looked right to them. But because most of the things that looked right to them were actually wrong, they ended up experiencing confusion, chaos, insecurity, death of all kinds and even a civil war that almost extinguish a whole tribe. (Cf. Judges 17-21)

So, our feeling or conscience is never the true judge of the right or wrong way to take in life. God is the true judge of these things. And if we want to know whether a way is right for us to take or not, we should consider what He is saying to us about it in His word. That will be our wisdom and salvation from dangerous and destructive paths. (Cf. 1Cor 4:4)

Also, that many people are taking a particular way to have safety, prosperity, good health, a great position in life or a home does not mean it is right. The bible says do not follow a multitude to do evil (Ex 23:2). And that is because God is not going to spare people who do evil just because they are many. He did not spare the people of Noah’s day that were sinning because they were many; instead, he spared the family of Noah, who were just eight in number. And He did not spare the multitudes that were sinning in Sodom and Gomorrah on the day that He rained down fire on them. Instead, it was Lot and his daughters that were spared – only three people. In fact, Lot’s wife did not make it out alive. (Cf. Gen 7&19)

Therefore, if you follow the way of witchcraft, sorcery, theft, prostitution, adultery, murder, drunkenness, kidnapping or any other evil way men may follow in order to solve your financial, health, marital, academic or political problems, just because many people are following it, the same fate that awaits them awaits you, even if you are a child of God. That fate is destruction. And it may not look like you will get destroyed today, tomorrow or even in ten years’ time. But you can be sure that any way you follow that is inconsistent with the will of God will not lead to life but pains, sorrow, shame or death for you.

All of this is why you should take God’s word about every matter of life seriously, for only His word leads to a sure experience of life in this world and throughout eternity (John 12:50).

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