Its Sunday, the Lord’s day, He is speaking to me and here is a precis. “Receive My love – as I receive you. Remember the cloud – My love completely surrounding you – absorbing you into My grace? Receive that and live with delight in Me (Psalm 37) – the difficulties you experience are loving corrections to bring you closer to Me, because I desire your whole heart and soul and body and mind. But Ian, enjoy your life – enjoy what I have given you just see it as that, gifts from Me – not an end in itself. Remember Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart. But, be careful, don’t look at those who have much and find satisfaction in things – your satisfaction is to be ONLY in ME”.
I share this with you dear readers because today’s reading focuses to a large extent on the heart Prov 4:10-27.
It starts with words about guidance vv 10-15 and ends again on that theme 25-27. But wait a bit, Perhaps he is not talking so much about what direction our lives should take, what plans we should be making, a sort of road map of life, no he is talking about what sort of person you are guided to be as you go along the path of life . He speaks about the path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining brighter till the full light of day. Compared to the path of the wicked full of violence and debauchery vv 18,19.
So how are we to find this path and follow it? Well the emphasis is on keeping your heart right. vv 21,23. The heart is the wellspring of life, he says, above all else guard your heart. We have spoken several times about this. It is from the heart that our lives are directed, the correct decisions made. But here’s the thing: How do we start making sure our hearts are in the right relationship with Jesus?
I suppose you can figure that out by now. Vs 10, LISTEN, my son, accept what I say.
V 20 My son, pay close attention to what I say. LISTEN closely to my words.
It is only when your heart is moved by God’s word, when your heart is fixed on Him through it that your life will be ordered right – your eyes looking straight ahead (v25), with your gaze directed before you.
Genesis 3 Remember the garden? Eve looked and SAW that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and desirable for gaining wisdom Gen 3:6. You see this is the path that Satan uses.. Sin starts with the eyes. To prevent that, our hearts must be right and for that to happen we must listen and hear what God is saying to us in our hearts.
Its been a sort of jolting revelation to me that God really does not want us to live a life of self-denial. He has created the most magnificent world around us. He has given us the most delicious food to eat and lovely wines to drink. But because of sin these things are often regarded as necessary merely for survival or by the way, as it were. But food is to be enjoyed, only don’t make a god of your stoumach, Wine is to be enjoyed but don’t allow yourself to be tempted to drunkenness.
It is when we desire and delight in these and other “things” of this world more than we delight in Him that we step into sin.
So as we read and meditate on His word, let us focus on the joy of knowing Him and enjoying all the gifts He has given us remembering that is what they are. And most of all let us stay close to Him through reading, listening and meditating on His word.