“Indeed the safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” (C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters)
The Screwtape Letters is a very unique view into life. The story is written from the perspective of one demon training another on how to deceive people and prevent them from following Christ.
This particular quote makes a Scripturally true observation. The road to destruction is wide and many choose it. The road to eternal life is narrow and few choose it. On this wide road of destruction there are no milestones reminding you of where you are actually headed or signposts to warn you about the dangers involved in the decisions you are making.
Your life decision makes your life’s decisions. This principle is the Decisional principle of life. There are decisions that, once made, make other decisions. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” This truth reminds us that the decision to come after Christ makes many, many other decisions in life.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9) It is a tough truth in life but sin, ours and others, has so damaged us that our own heart is sick and deceives even us. The worst advice you can give in life is “just follow your heart.” Follow wisdom. The heart will lead you into folly, failure, pain, and problems.
Before making a decision, stop…collaborate and listen…wait, not that is not it.
Before making a decision, stop and measure your motives. If the heart is deceitful, then we know motives are not always easily measured. Ask yourself this question. Why am I doing this, REALLY?
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. (Psalm 37:3-5)
Motives are best measured through the filter of the Eternal Decision. Are you or are you not a follower of Christ? Does this look like following Christ? Did he tell me to do this or not do this.
If you want to measure your motives, measure your trust. Who and what are you trusting in? If you want to understand your own trust, measure your direction. You are going in the direction you trust, or at least once trusted.
There is a direct relationship between delight and desire & desire and direction.
Delight in the Lord leads to your way being committed to him because you desire what he desires. This relationship, however, can be difficult and deceiving. We delight in what we desire and we head in the direction of what we desire. But we also find that the direction we headed because of what we desire is often not nearly as delightful as we thought it would be.
This leads us to three questions this passage causes. These are questions we must ask ourselves to examine our delight, our desires, and our direction?
What am I doing?
The verse says do good. Are you doing good?
What am I dwelling on?
The verse says to dwell in the land…the Promised Land. Dwell in the promises of God. What is consuming your thoughts, soul and mind?
What is delicate in my life?
The verse says befriend faithfulness. It means to tend to with care and concern. What in your life gets special attention and concern to guarantee that it happens.
If you want your delights to change, your desires must change. For your desires to change, your direction must change. Yet it is the Lord that sets himself as our delight. We must simply choose to go in the direction that delights in Him.
Let the Lord, himself, be your delight. Move in that direction and He will change your desires.