Why Worn Ways Win

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Devotions 7 Comments


‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ (Matthew 3:3b, NIV)

John the Baptist told God’s people to “prepare the way for the Lord” … to purify their hearts and get ready for Jesus to come, redeem, restore, heal, love, challenge, and change the world. (Matthew 3:3)

I read this and smile because I like preparing things. I like to cook. I love hosting gatherings, planning party details, and preparing for guests. My son recently graduated from high school and I spent countless hours prepping for the celebration we had in his honor. It was wonderful.

When presidents, dignitaries, and heads of state are going to visit a particular town they often send people ahead of them to make sure the area is made ready for their visit. This is a different type of preparation than my domestic kind. They are serious to vet out each location regarding security. They vet out the people that will be in attendance and in charge. They prepare the way for those to whom they are in service.

John the Baptist “prepared the way” for Jesus much like this. He went to Jerusalem, all of Judea, and to the whole region of the Jordan telling the people of Israel to repent and prepare the way for Jesus by “making straight paths for Him.” (Matthew 3:6)

Prepare the way. Make straight paths.

Since these are not modern things to say, it is a smidge confusing, right?

I wondered about it, so I investigated a bit further. Here’s what I found out. The Strong’s Bible Concordance tells us that the word for “paths” in this verse is the Greek word tribos, which means, “a worn way.” (Strong’s Number G5147)



When I think of things that are worn I think of things that are familiar. Known. Broken in. Comfortable.

I love my worn jeans and the well-worn path I walk on in the woods by my house. I love my worn leather shoes and my worn Bible.

As I think about this phrase further, a few thoughts cross my mind about a “worn way.”

When a path is worn it is easy to follow. Natural.

When a path is worn, it leads to a specific destination.

These observations cause me to reflect. Have I worn a path for my heart, soul, and mind to welcome and prioritize Jesus today? Do my thought patterns, spiritual disciplines, and behaviors pave a worn path to truth and grace? Do my actions “prepare the way” for others to encounter and wonder about Jesus?

Every life points somewhere. Mine will either point others toward Jesus or away from Him. Yours will too.

I want to be a worn-path-to-Jesus woman… but how?

I make straight paths for others to see Jesus when I am kind, when I am slow to anger, when I am quick to forgive and quick to listen. When I am compassionate, faithful, and humble.

I make straight paths for others to see Jesus when I am accessible and honest. When I choose His peace over my impatience and His joy over my frustrations.

I become the worn way for my loved ones, my co-workers, and community to see Jesus when I am influenced by and responsive to the ways He loves, shows compassion, and grace freely.

What a beautiful reminder that you and I have the opportunity each day to influence others toward Jesus.


Dear Lord, Please purify my heart. Lead me in Your ways and make me a worn path to You! In Jesus’ name, amen.



What is one thing you can do today to prepare the way for your family, your workplace and your community to see Jesus?

Let’s pray together today! Click over to my Facebook page, post a prayer request and pray for a few other posted prayer needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments 7

  1. Truly a pleasure to read your writing. I am inspired and motivated by what God is showing you through your own studying..thanks for sharing your thought process. Such an effective way of sharing the love of Christ. He’s doing amazing things💜

  2. Thank you. You are God’s best. It is so humbling yet very inspiring to note that even though I am in a spiritual valley, our faithful loving Abba Father can bring inspiration such as this, using you who has been blessed to be a blessing to others.

    I was reminded of my reflection of Ps 1 – 2, that no matter what the enermy tries to do to harm us, God’s best for each of us comes to pass, if we can only open up to Him and embrace His best.

    I can now relate well to the fuss and focus that APEC is bringing to PNG in the Pacific :). God is glorified no matter how trivial or major a situation is.


  3. Hi Gwen. This really stuck out to me today. When a path is worn, it leads to a specific destination. It made me think of Psalm 16:11, You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy, At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. God has a path for each of us and it leads to the destination of Jesus. When we stay on the path we will have joy and pleasures unimaginable! Thank you so much for sharing this truth with us. Praying that we will all follow the well-worn path that leads to the Savior. Blessings to you!

  4. Thank you Gwen for your openness & honestly & most importantly for sharing your love for Christ!!
    I am not on Facebook, however, I am using my son’s at this time to read your posts and comments from others.
    I subscribed through my email address to your daily inspirational readings Girlfriends in God. I read it daily & sometimes I find it is written just for me because of how easily I can relate. Your lessons often help me make decisions, or lead me to Bible verses that I may have missed. Your prayers are often God sent to me. Please don’t ever stop what you are doing! You 3 ladies are helping women (& men) all over the world. I appreciate your dedication to your work in Christ.


    1. Post
  5. Can I just add that on the worn path, there’s no confusion on the direction, and that it is easier to identify the things that should not be there. I’m so grateful for the worn path that God has laid down for us (His Word which is the Truth) that leads to Him so that we , in turn, guide others to that path. It may not be an easy trek, but it is worth it in the end! I am so grateful that I’ve reconnected with your blog, it’s been ministering to me greatly, and helping me understand things happening in this season of my life, and in general, and pointing out scripture to meditate on. God continue to bless you my sister!

    1. Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *