This morning my heart is filled with thankfulness and I just draw close to my Father and sit in His presence till I sense He is enveloping me in His love – He feeds my heart with His presence – my heart is filled with thankfulness.
The next of the 7 pillars of wisdom is “diligence”, which is expressed among others as perseverance.
Prov 4:10 – 23 The central issue of this passage is vs 23 “Above all else guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life” . As we have said before and needs to be repeated: the heart is the source of all our motivations which lead to the decisions we take. In his case it is to take the “path of righteousness vs 18.” But how do we guard our hearts? two things come up:
v 10 “Listening”. Tired of hearing that yet? You see we have not listened properly till we have “accepted what God says”.(v10) (I was recently told that research shows that if we are fed a barrel of words we only really hear a teaspoonful.) And then, the passage says we need to “Hold on to that instruction” v 13. You see we will only hold on to God’s instruction if we have really heard, believed and trusted in Him fully.
Then, secondly, v 25 “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you that will lead to you having level paths before you (v26,27). Why are the eyes so important? Well it is through our eyes that we are first tempted. Look again at the example of Eve in the garden Gen 3:4 ff “”You will not surely die” the serpent said to the woman, “For God knows when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good from evil”. when the woman saw that he fruit was good for food and pleasing to the eye she …what? Took some and ate it!
Confirmation back in Prov again, Prov 23:26 “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep from wandering”. So the path of wisdom is one of diligence, keeping to the path of righteousness, because we are constantly being tempted to leave it, to give up or deviate.
This is confirmed in James 1:2-8, where James makes the connection between trials, perseverance, faith and wisdom. Read it and let it soak in.
So what is Jesus (Wisdom) saying to me from this? In the path ahead I am going to be tempted (many times) to give up, to give in to self-pity and discouragement. My eyes will look and long for an easier path, however the trials I am going through are intended for the opposite purpose, to help me develop an attitude of perseverance which will lead me on the path to maturity. I need to hear this in my heart which is the wellspring from where the courage will come from to proceed. I can only really hear this so that it will bring change and strength to me if I draw the supernatural power from being close to Jesus (Ephes 1:17,18).