Several painters were asked to illustrate the idea of temptation. The prize-winner depicted a country lane lined with shade trees and flowers. The road divided into two paths. Both looked equally inviting but, in the distance, one turned dark and swampy. Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Which is the road less traveled? Jesus spoke of the broad and the narrow ways, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
It seems that the righteous path is the one less traveled. When the great flood came, only eight were saved, the majority drowned. When Sodom was destroyed, only Lot and his two daughters escaped. Jesus said, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” (Luke 13:24)
The choices we make today affect our future. It’s the simple principle of sowing and reaping. What we will reap in the future will reveal what we have sown today.
The world tells us follow your heart when making life-changing decisions but that’s a risky route. The Bible warns, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
Others will declare, “You only live once.”
The Bible agrees, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
We need the counsel of the Word God in making decisions. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
The way of the wicked might look like a shortcut to a desired goal, but an evil path will lead you to an evil end. Stay off that path. “If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” (1 John 1:6)
The path of the wicked is the way of darkness. “The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.” (Proverbs 4:19)
We tend to make bad choices. Adam and Eve chose the path of disobedience. A path that brought disease, death, and hardship to all their generations. Lot chose the path to Sodom. A fast track to success that ended in disaster. The Bible tells us why, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:19)
The light becomes brighter because we become more grounded in the things of God. We better understand God's Word. We become spiritually mature.
However, we do not come at once into God's light. We struggle with our own willfulness. “Therefore, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)