‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, “We will not walk in it.”’ (v16) Jeremiah 6:16–20
For most of us, good intentions are less the problem than the distractions of life’s realities that hijack the best of them! The wisdom of God’s Word makes sense, yet is too often lost in the many demands of our day.
So, we can make one response is to declare our intention clearly at the start of each day as we embark on a journey we know in part, but which may carry us into uncharted territory.
I love this verse from Jeremiah and use the first part as the final prayer in my devotions. It’s one I have committed to memory, and I return to it once I realise I’m distracted.
I never want to respond by refusing to walk in God’s way, but there are times when I have to do battle to keep my heart pure. The flotsam and jetsam of my daily trek through life too often provoke reactions and thoughts that do not represent God’s kingdom.
There is a challenge in practising the fruit of repentance and living the prayer of King David, ‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me’ (Psa. 51:10).
Yet, it offers a useful benchmark for our day. It’s worth pausing and reflecting, and when necessary praying, both these words from Psalm 51, and repeating what I have taken as a prayer from Jeremiah.
Living every day with Jesus is no great mystery, but practical and achievable, and there are simple tools to help us achieve our ambition.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Psa. 24; Matt: 5:1–12; James 3:13–18; 1 Pet. 1:17–25.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Will you build a habit of starting each day’s journey by saying this prayer from Psalm 51 humbly and sincerely? Benchmark your day and briefly consider the purity of your heart.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to keep my heart pure wherever my day’s journey leads me. Amen.’
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