"Don't let your hearts stray away toward her. Don't wander down her wayward path." – Proverbs 7:25 NET
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Those are the lyrics from one of my favorite old hymns and they go well with today's topic. Prone to wander. That's a big problem for all of us as Christians today. We have happy feet. We just can't stand still. Constantly on the move, because we grow quickly dissatisfied and discontent, we find ourselves prone to leave the God we say we love. We stray off the path and start to pursue other temptations, other delights that promise us more and offer to satisfy our passion for pleasure. This proverb is a warning from a father to his son regarding the danger of sexual promiscuity and immorality. It was a problem then, and it remains a problem today. And the enemy knows that we still can't seem to control our most basic urges and animal instincts. We are far too often driven by the desires of the flesh. If not for sex, then for some other sensual pleasure, whether for food, a good buzz, a momentary thrill, sleep, entertainment, or our insatiable need for acceptance.
It's interesting that the young men in this proverb are described as naive. They are lacking in common sense and good judgment. They are in the wrong spot at the wrong time. They have put themselves at risk by being where they had no business being. They're in the wrong neighborhood and after dark. Not a good combination. Spotting her prey, the immoral woman approaches one of them and begins to ply her craft. She is "seductively dressed and sly or heart." She's a pro. In her day, before she went professional, she was "the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home" (Proverbs 7:11 NLT). On other words, she was a wanderer as well. Now she plies the young man with all kinds of tempting tools of the trade, appealing to his sensual side. She applies false flattery and butters him up with offers of sensual pleasures and forbidden fruit. And before he knows it, he's hooked, like a striped bass to a lure.
And it all began with a simple step off the path. He wandered away from the truth. He took a dangerous detour and it led to a dead end. But isn't that always the way sin works. The problem is that it almost always begins with a wandering heart. We find ourselves somehow dissatisfied with life as it is. Unhappy or discontented with our lot in life, we begin to look around. We get off the path. It could be as simple as surfing the Internet while in a state of boredom or mild depression. Or what about channel surfing late at night while everyone else is in bed. Your guard is down. Your sensual side is on high alert. Your body tells you it needs more. It is unhappy and dissatisfied. Pretty soon, you find yourself somewhere you don't need to be – off the path and in for an attack from the enemy. And he will use all the subtle, seductive and yet sinister resources at his disposal to lure you in and trap you.
So what are we to do? Simple. Don't wander. Recognize the fact that you are prone to wander and ask God to bind your heart to Him. You see, it's always a heart issue. It's about love and misplaced affections. When we begin to fall out of love for God or doubt His love for us, we wander. We start to look for love in other places and from other people. And we all do it. We turn on the TV to anesthetize and numb us, or simply take our mind off our problems by distracting us for a few minutes. Some feel unloved or unwanted, so they turn to the false allure of pornography or sex outside of marriage. Some attempt to shop their way to satisfaction and happiness, or they work themselves to death in an effort to feel a sense of worth and accomplishment. But in the end, all these things turn out to be wrong turns that lead to dead ends and disappointment. Don't let your hearts stray. Don't wander. Let the goodness of God bind your wandering heart to Him.
Father, I am prone to wander. I tend to forget all that You have done and are doing in my life and begin to think that something is missing. Then I begin to look elsewhere for something or someone to provide what I think I need to have. But You are all I need. You are sufficient. Bind my heart to You, Father. Continually remind me of just how much You love me. Keep me from wandering off the path and away from Your love. Ame