Proverbs 4:11-15
Prov 4:11 (KJB)
I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
Paths - An established course
The words of Solomon are the words of Scripture and therefore are absolutely trustworthy. Solomon taught his readers the way of wisdom and the way of wisdom has led them into the right paths. Biblical wisdom is an established course for every believer and it is when we stray from the straight teachings of Scripture, is when we get into trouble. If Solomon would have continued to follow the Scriptural path, then he would not have strayed so far as to build temples to false gods. Keep in mind that as we teach others, we must also do.
Prov 4:12 (KJB)
When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
Straitened - Hindered or bound
Stumble - Fall
When we look at a step, it must be noted that it is the smallest action in life. When we embrace wisdom, our steps will not be hindered or bound as one is bound with ropes. Wisdom gives a sense of freedom because we are working in the realm of Biblical understanding and when we work from a point of understanding the Scriptures, we cannot be hindered in our daily walk. Not only when we take the smallest action which is a step, even when we are running, that is going ahead in our Christian walk full steam ahead, we will not stumble and fall as we have all see runners in a race stumble and then fall. We are promised that if we walk in the wisdom of the Lord, then we will neither be hindered or fall in our spiritual growth.
Prov 4:13 (KJB)
Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
Go - Relax
The admonishment here is that we are to take hold or “grasp” wisdom and when we do we must remain vigilant in that wisdom and never let our guard down. For all it takes is one little act of straying and that little act can cause us to go off the straight and narrow. Therefore, it is imperative that we do daily introspection to make sure that we have not strayed in any manner, even the slightest diversion is unacceptable and can lead to dire consequences in the life of a believer. As the verse counsels us, we must never relax our guard because wisdom is our life.
Prov 4:14 (KJB)
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
If, in any manner, we allow ourselves to get spiritually sloppy, we can wind up going from the path of wisdom to the path of the wicked. Solomon allowed his lust for women to get out of hand and as a result his many wives had caused him to stray, which not only brought temples to false gods in Israel, it also resulted in the split of the kingdom which led to both factions going into judgment by pagan nations. This is why we can never say that cutting one little corner will be fine because I am sure Solomon allowed his small steps to go astray and gave no thought to future consequences. If he would have known what consequences his actions would bring on the then peaceful kingdom of Israel, he probably would not have allowed himself to stray that far. Whenever we allow the things of the world to distract us, it is the beginning of sorrows in our life unless we recognize the wrong and return immediately to the path of righteousness. We must always factor in the future for all decisions we make.
Prov 4:15 (KJB)
Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
Here is some of the best advice concerning the wickedness of the world. We are to completely, not 99% avoid the paths of the wicked. We are not to give in to anything the world has to offer because it becomes snare to us. A simple example is the lottery, many Christians play the lottery but that shows a distrust in God. I too played the lottery until I was convicted to stop. The verse that God used to teach me trust in Him for all things was Psalm 56:11. (Psa 56:11 KJV) In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. The first part states “In God have I put my trust…” If God wants you to have 10 million dollars, does He really need the worldly lottery to accomplish it? That is just one example but there are many portal sins which seem so innocuous but can lead to further decline in our spiritual lives, thus the term “portal sin.” Avoid anything which can cause your testimony to be weakened.