I hope you have enjoyed your first week studying Proverbs.
As the weather gets warmer, we look at taking our students on field trips. I know that field trips are part of a student’s educational journey, but when you have a very rambunctious bunch, it can be challenging. I remember one time a whole group of little friends left the designated path and caused quite an uproar.
As we reflect on the first week of our study, we see Solomon repeatedly emphasizing the importance of getting wisdom. It’s all about wisdom, and that pursuit begins with God. He instructed his son to heed his wise words and not turn to the left or right. In other words, don’t swerve off the path!
In Proverbs 4, Solomon warned against the dangers of veering from the path of wisdom (4:5, 27). It is so easy to do that in a world full of distractions and all manner of evil. But scripture is clear. We should be firm and unswerving. Don’t deviate, but continue in the wisdom of God. God’s wisdom is health and healing to our body (4:22)! So, how do we keep from veering off the path? It takes work from the whole body!
“Incline your ear to my sayings” (4:20b)
Inclining the ear implies leaning in, positioning the ear to hear better. This, however, is not a physical posture. It is listening closely and intently to the Word with the heart. Not passively, but actively and carefully, giving consideration to what is being said. Pondering its worth and value in your life.
“Do not let them depart from your eyes” (4:21a)
Keep the Word before your eyes. Engage with the Word of God often. Read it every day. Your eyes are a gate to your body. Let them take in the Word. Keep it before you; meditate on it day and night so that the Word can take root in your heart.
“Keep your heart with all diligence” (4:23)
Guard your heart. So many things can penetrate our hearts and cause them to lean toward godliness or toward evil. The condition of our hearts affects the way we live our lives. Jesus said, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
“Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you” (v. 24)
Solomon warns against speaking deceitfully. This is more than just outright lies. It includes all forms of verbal deceptions spoken to deceive a person. Misleading, vague, and ambiguous talking with the express purpose of giving the wrong impression or idea is just as damaging. Be clear and concise in what you say. Don’t communicate with confusion or deception. Jesus said, “let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For anything more than these is from the evil one (Matthews 5:37).”
Your Eyes, Again
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you” (v. 25)
Avoid distractions by staying focused on what is before you. Keep your gaze straight ahead. The writer of Hebrews tells us we can look to Jesus as an example, “who for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2). He was so lovingly focused on His mission and was not distracted by anything. Now we can look to Jesus and avoid all other distractions.
“Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established” (v. 26)
Consider what you do. Don’t live aimlessly; instead, intentionally examine your steps and choices. Ephesians 5:15 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.” Don’t haphazardly go through life with a laissez-faire attitude. Consciously and deliberately live for God.
Engage your whole self in the pursuit of wisdom. Discovering godly wisdom will bring wholeness and healing to your body, heart, and mind.
“Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” Proverbs 4:27
Let’s talk: How can you engage your whole self in pursuing wisdom? What is distracting you and keeping you from walking in Godly wisdom? What areas of your life are you prone to stray and wander off the path of wisdom? What practical steps can you take to be firm and unswerving?
Prayer: Thank You, God, for the treasures of wisdom. You have made Your wisdom available to me. Let me engage my whole body in my pursuit of Wisdom. Show me the things in my life distracting me and help me to diligently guard my heart. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You as I ponder the path set before me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
As I always say, the Word WORKS! We are walking in WHOLENESS, OBEDIENCE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and KINGDOM SUCCESS through the Word of God!
Your friend in the journey,