Posted October 13, 2015
Let your eyes look directly forward,and your gaze be straight before you.Ponder the path of your feet;then all your ways will be sure.Do not swerve to the right or to the left;turn your foot away from evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27 follows the paternal appeal to “keep the heart with all vigilance” introduced in verse 23. The heart, used throughout Scripture, is the core of our very being. The desires of the heart fuel all that we say and do, and therefore the “keeping of the heart” should be among the chief duties in the Christian life. John Flavel puts it this way, “To keep the heart then, is carefully to preserve it from sin, which disorders it; and maintain that spiritual frame which fits it for a life of communion with God.” Last week, we saw how our mouth and speech are affected, and this week we look at how our eyes and feet are impacted.
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” If the heart represents the core of human desire the eyes determine the direction and focus by which we pursue those desires. The author’s appeal is that we would be resolute in our pursuit of righteousness. To keep our eyes on the path is to keep our hearts from stumbling on the distractions that surround us. Our hearts are prone to wander and he is urging us to not give way to the things competing for our heart’s attention. We do this by looking to Jesus for satisfaction, assurance, and forgiveness. Our hearts are thirsty and Jesus is the only one that can ultimately quench that thirst. Jesus calls us to this when he said “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me… Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (John 7:37-38).”
Finally, in verses 26-27 we follow the metaphor to our feet. “Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” R. Kent Hughes drives home the point this way, “If we are distracted from real-time connection with the mercies of God, so that our hearts grow cold and our mouths become reckless and our eyes wayward and our feet wandering, we are only one misstep away from life-shattering catastrophe. We do not have to give ourselves to raw evil to end up there; we only have to un-guard our hearts, we only have to stop being vigilant.” We cannot lose our way if we are feasting on Christ. As we look to Him and receive the outpouring of his love and grace then we can be confident that our ways will be sure.
Lord, help us to move from self-dependence to a deep dependence upon Christ. Help us to keep the heart with all vigilance and keep our eyes fixed on you so that our path may be sure.
Devotional by Ryan Gikas.
Song by Brad Kilman.
Production & mix by Chris Clark.
Artwork by Christian Robinson.