Devotion for March 22
By Bryan Chapell

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you (Psalm 32:8-9).

God’s precautions often come as practical advice that will keep us on the path of His blessing. And the principles of grace do not negate the importance of knowing how to avoid temptations.

Because we are human, we need practical instruction that helps us steer clear of dangers, avoiding moral pitfalls and heartache. Such guidance is not arbitrary legalism, but resistance to such guidance is just plain dumb. Ignoring the instruction of an infinitely holy, loving, and wise God is like being a stubborn mule that needs a bit to keep it on a productive path – the Bible said that, not I!

Why does God give such tough talk? Because we have wandering hearts that may need some stern guidance. Since God’s love is not as fragile as our resolve to walk His path, He can be as practical and insistent as He needs to be: “Do no enter the path of the wicked … Avoid it.  Do not go on it. Turn away from it and pass on” (Prov. 4:14-15).

When we know that God’s love is behind such practical advice, our love for Him grows and our willingness to follow His advice strengthens. We learn to trust the divine arms that guide us, and to return to those outstretched arms when our stubbornness has taken us down a wicked path.

Father, help me today to follow the practical advice and wise counsel you have given in your Word. May your truth guide me from, and enable me to overcome, whatever temptations are in my path.

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