Trust the Signposts

Most people would agree that it is unwise to ignore signposts. Sadly, though, that is what some do on the road through life when the direction given does not fit their personal preference. Consider the case of certain Israelites in the time of Jeremiah. The nation was at a crossroads, and God advised them: "Ask for the roadways of long ago, where, now, the good way is; and walk in it." But the people stubbornly responded that they were "not going to walk" that way. (Jeremiah 6:16) What was the "end afterward" of their rebellious course? In 607 B.C., the Babylonians came and completely destroyed the city of Jerusalem and took its inhabitants to Babylon as captives.

Ignoring signposts that God has set up will never work for our good. The Scriptures urge us: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight." —Proverbs 3:5, 6.

Some of God,s warnings are like "Do Not Enter" signs. For instance, the Bible says: "Into the path of the wicked ones do not enter, and do not walk straight on into the way of the bad ones." (Proverbs 4:14) Among such harmful paths is the one described at Proverbs 5:3, 4: "As a honeycomb the lips of a strange woman keep dripping, and her palate is smoother than oil. But the aftereffect from her is as bitter as wormwood; it is as sharp as a two-edged sword." To some, an immoral relationship—may appear exciting. But ignoring "Do Not Enter" signs that should regulate moral conduct can lead only to disaster.

Before taking the first step down such a road, ask yourself, 'Where is this leading me?; Just pausing to contemplate the potential "end afterward" may suffice to prevent you from taking a course that can have serious consequences. AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, ruined relationships, and guilty consciences litter the path of those who have chosen to ignore such signposts. Sometimes it is difficult to see where a path is taking us. How thankful we are, therefore, for God's loving concern and clear direction!

"This is the Way"

God has said, "walk in it, you people." (Isaiah 30:21) What is at the end of the path that God is showing us? Though the path is narrow and difficult, Jesus said that it leads to life everlasting.—Matthew 7:14. Take a moment to think about the path along which you are traveling. Is it the right one? Where is it headed? Seek God's guidance in prayer. Consult the 'road map/ the Bible.

You may even feel the need to consult an experienced traveler, one who has been endeavoring to walk in God;s way. If you see the need to change direction, do so quickly. A traveler is often encouraged when they see a signpost that reassures them that they are on the right road. If an examination of your course in life reveals that you are walking the right path, be encouraged to continue. The most rewarding part of the journey lies just ahead.—2 Peter 3:13.

Every path leads somewhere. When you reach the end of the course that you have chosen, where will you be? Little will be gained by standing there wishing, 'Oh, if only I had chosen
another way!' So before taking your next step down the path of life, ask yourself, 'What is going to be the "end afterward

Keeping up with the Jones'