We can find the phrase “the way” in over 300 places in the Scriptures. Many of ‘the way’ verses are very significant for those who desire to know our Creator God and learn about Him and walk in His Ways.
The Hebrew word for ‘way’ is ‘derek’ <Strong’s # 1870> and it means ‘a road (as trodden); a path, a direction, a manner of action, in other words, a lifestyle’.
In this article, we will be looking at this phrase – ‘the way‘ – and its meaning as a direction of life, a lifestyle.
‘The Direction TO Life’
This article, “The Way of Life is Above to The Wise”, could also be titled ‘The Direction TO Life’.
All life proceeds from the one and only Source of Life, the Creator of heaven and earth — Yahuwah Elohim [the Hebrew name for the LORD God]. He is the Fountain of Life!
The ‘Way of Life’ will always lead us TO the life that Yahuwah Elohim gives. His life, both natural and spiritual, is vibrant, vigorous, good, and brighter than the light of the sun (Psalms 36:9; John 6:63b).
Walking in this Way of Life is a life of well-being (Psalms 128:1-2). It is a life of relying on the merciful, gracious, and compassionate God (Psalms 145:8-9). It is a life that maintains a sense of confidence, safety, and peace (Proverbs 14:26; Proverbs 1:33; Philippians 4:6-7). It is a life that promises the comfort of having an Ever-Lasting Life with our Creator (John 3:16).
This phrase ‘the way of life’, or slight variations but the same meaning, appears six times in the Scriptures:
1) So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)
2) For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: (Proverbs 6:23)
3) He is in the way of life that keeps instruction: but he that refuses reproof goes astray. (Proverbs 10:17)
4) The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath. (Proverbs 15:24)
5) And unto this people you shall say, Thus says Yahuwah [the LORD]; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. (Jeremiah 21:8)
6) Because strait (difficult) is the gate, and narrow is the way which leads unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:14)
In the above verse from the book of Jeremiah, we can see that ‘the way of life’ is contrasted with ‘the way of death’. This verse is very similar to a passage in Deuteronomy, where the children of God are called to Make a Choice — a choice between life and death, between blessing and cursing:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both you and your seed may live: 20) That you may LOVE Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD your God], and that you may OBEY His voice, and that you may CLEAVE (cling) unto Him: for He is your life, and the length of your days…. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
Notice that God the Father, Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God], wants us to choose life! To choose life is to choose the direction which leads to life.
If we want to walk in ‘The Way’ which leads to life then, as verse 20 above reveals, there are three details to consider:
- This Way is to choose to love Yahuwah your Elohim [the LORD your God].
- This Way is to choose to obey God’s voice, which is His Word.
- This Way is to choose to cling to and be united to God.
When we choose to walk (our lifestyle) in this ‘Way of life’, it is ‘The Way’ which leads to God’s abundant, superior life. We will thus have Yahuwah’s blessings, favour, and the life promised to us by Yahuwah’s Son, Yahushua Messiah [the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ] (John 10:10).
But, as you may well know, this first detail seems monumental.
How can we choose to love God, whom we cannot see, when we have a hard enough time loving others whom we can see?
To walk in this Way which leads to life, we must enter into it by going through the entrance – The Door.
If we go through the Door, then God’s Holy Spirit is available to help us and enable us to begin to love God.
The Way – The Door
What (or rather, Who) is the entrance into the Way of Life?
Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God], the Living, Eternal, ALL-Mighty God revealed and provided for us The Entrance!
Yahuwah came to this earth to reveal His character, His power, His purpose, and The Entrance to the Way of Life.
Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God] came, born into this world through a virgin birth.
That person, born through the virgin birth, is Yahuwah’s Son – Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ].
Yahuwah [the LORD] sent His Son to show us ‘The Way of Life’!
Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ] IS The Entrance, The Way, and The Door by which we enter into The Way of Life:
Yahushua [Jesus] said, “I am the Way; I am the Truth; I am the Life. No one comes unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6)
Then said Yahushua [Jesus] unto them again, Truly, truly, I say unto you, I Am The Door of The Sheep. All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I Am The Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:7-10)
As these verses teach us, if we desire to have the LIFE that God wants us to have, then we must soften our heart, and be willing to enter through The Door – through Messiah! And we must be willing to seek His Word [the Bible] for instruction and direction.
It is God’s Word that will speak to us if we are willing to be teachable, by studying and heeding what is written in the Scriptures — His instructions and guidelines, revealed from the beginning (Psalm 119:160; 2John 1:6). And, by His Holy Spirit, we are enabled to cling to God and love Him, as well as have a greater capacity to love others (Romans 5:5; 1Peter 1:22).
Characteristics of this Way of and to Life
From the six verses listed above, we can see that ‘The Way of Life’ is a narrow way.
‘The Way of Life’ can be a strict and difficult way; and at times, a distressing way. Many leave this pathway because of the difficulties.
But Yahuwah’s Way of and to Life is The Way that Father God has chosen for refining us, proving us, and humbling us, so that we may be brought forth as gold and prepared for glory (Job 23:10; Romans 9:23)! Therefore to walk in this Way, we must maintain a teachableness to Yahuwah’s instructions.
There are other phrases in the Scriptures that give us a further insights into the characteristics of this Way of and to Life:
- the way of wisdom
- the way of holiness
- the way of righteousness
- the way of understanding
- the way of Your commandments
- the way of good men
- the way of His saints
- the way of truth
The Way of and to Life will always lead us to the life that Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God] wants us to have – His Ever-Lasting LIFE (John 3:16; John 5:24).
This Way of Life is surely worth pursuing for it is The Way TO wisdom, understanding, truth, righteousness, goodness, and favour with God. Father God urges us to pursue these things:
Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of My mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve you: love her, and she shall keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding. (Proverbs 4:5-7)
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. (Proverbs 23:23)
Why is it so important for us to ‘get wisdom’ and to ‘get understanding’?
First of all, it is for our well-being!
Yahuwah [the LORD] has our best interest in mind when He tells us to get wisdom and get understanding. He knows what is good for us. He knows us better than anyone else! (Psalms 44:21; see also Psalms 139:1-4).
And God knows that nothing but GOOD will result when we ‘get’ wisdom, practice wisdom, and cherish wisdom:
He that gets wisdom loves his own soul: he that keeps understanding shall find good. (Proverbs 19:8)
But whoever listens to Me (Wisdom) shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. (Proverbs 1:33)
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. (Proverbs 8:11)
If we desire to have the life that God wants us to have, then as I said, we must soften our heart, enter through The Door, and seek His Word [the Bible] for direction. God’s Word will speak to us if we are willing to be teachable.
Being teachable means that little by little, we will be sensitive and tender-hearted to the influences of the Holy Spirit. Being teachable makes us able to hear, listen, and receive the wisdom that is from above, the life-changing Words of the Bible — the Words of Yahuwah Elohim.
Being teachable is a characteristic of the WISE (see Proverbs 1:5; Proverbs 9:9; Proverbs 10:8).
It is The Wise who take the ‘high road’ (Proverbs 15:24) and seek to walk in The Way of Life!
May each one of us choose, and find, ‘The Way‘ which is above, which leads to LIFE – God’s Life.
See the Companion Articles in this series:
- 9 Truths About the Bible
- Six Little Things that Make a Big Difference
- Messiah is Our Example
- Prayer Quotes
- Acquiring a Teachable Heart
- Following Messiah: Two Basic Qualities
- 7 Tips For Enduring Trials
- Enlightening the Eyes of Our Understanding: 5 Steps
- Dying to Self– A brief list of practical examples of how we experience “dying to self.”