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The cross in our rearview mirror

    Proverbs 16:17

             "The highway of the upright [is] to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.”

Upon first glance, those of us who have been raised knowing what is considered right and wrong based on the Old Testament Law assume that this verse is warning and a promise in one. In our hearts, we construct it thusly; that the right way for us- as upright people- to live is to depart from evil. As well if we maintain this course away from evil then we will preserve our soul. From the standpoint of an Old Testament saint- this is precisely the meaning of the verse. However, we are not Old Testament saints any longer. We are not under the law but under grace. {Rom 6:14}.

All of our sin has been forgiven and wiped away. Therefore, we can examine this verse looking backward at it from the cross. We are the upright {righteousness of God in Christ} and our highway is to depart from evil. That is, it is the way we find easiest. As new creations, when we find ourselves in the midst of evil whether it surrounds us or we ourselves engage in it, there is extreme disturbance and unrest in our hearts. We call it a lack of peace. However, as soon as we extract ourselves from that situation, we are again free and peaceful- like a wide-open highway all to ourselves. 

    Further, once one that highway, we have the option of pulling off and getting into the veritable “bad part of town” otherwise known as the evil. If we make that choice, our soul {mind will and emotions} will be so affected that it will drive us back onto the highway. This is the way of the new creation- we like to get where we are going peacefully and quickly so that we can enjoy the result longer!

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