Proverbs 3:1, 5-6
1 “My son do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart.”
5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your paths straight.”
Here it is from Solomon. He lays it out and in these 3 verses and he sets up how we should believe and begins to shape our thinking relative to God. Believe me when I tell you the reference to keeping God’s commands in our heart is important. It should be our highest priority and everyday goal. Our heart is the gateway to all other mental thoughts, which generally turn into action and deeds. There are so many verses about the heart in the Bible that it makes you wonder if the heart is separate from the body and on its own. It is not. The heart of man is an internal human connection that has been identified to be linked with the mind and generates many thoughts and activities, both good and bad. Ever hear these quotes: “In my heart I knew it was the right thing to do”. How about “ my heart was not in it” or “my heart TOLD ME to go a different direction”? When we keep God’s commands in our heart or “write them to our heart” they become gentle reminders to us as we go through life of who we are and how we should think. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” My raw interpretation of that verse is as a man thinks in his heart, that is what he is. Again, if we are thinking about the well-being of others and living in a construct of spiritual participants in the world, God’s words written on our hearts will drive us to good and positive things. If we are not then anything goes and nothing is likely to stop us from serving the internal man who wants nothing more than to be self-satisfied. Can we be “good” or “moral” for some time? Yes, but it is not a truly lasting event or occurrence. These words written on our hearts can also become a protective mechanism like “fight or flight” for us. Whichever of those it is, ultimately by keeping God’s principles on our heart it leads us down a path of true wisdom. As we go down this wisdom path we are constantly reminded that this is how God has ordained us to be, exercising freedom of choice in all decision making matters, including eternal life. We can do as He directs or we can go our own way. The choice is ours to make and the consequences ours to bear.
Christians are not different on the outside than others we live, laugh, love, etc., but internally we are different and that is good. We have written His teachings on our heart and are reminded when we cross the line of good judgement. If or when we cross the line of good judgement (and we all do) these moral principles and guidelines also prompt us to make the situation right through repentance or restitution. That is another significant difference. In the world if someone makes a mistake and says something hurtful or does something inappropriate they just move on and forget it as best they can. Not so with these writings written on the heart of a Christian. We are prompted to go back and make it right. Sometimes that admission and relationship repair is more difficult than anything else. However, it builds a huge amount of character and responsibility in us. We are not better, just internally different and following a positive life instruction set that was put in place by our Creator.
In Chapter 3:5-6 we have been reminded to trust the Lord with all our hearts and not lean upon our own understanding. What? Come on God… we have evolved, right? We are not knuckle dragging Neanderthals. Our intellect propels us forward and we are the smartest. We are so smart as a matter of fact we have it all together and can take care of ourselves rather well.
Really Dude? How about we do a reality check of the world around us? Pretty messed up place with murder, mayhem, destruction and evil at every turn. We are not doing such a good job. Just for a moment be honest.
Many times our intellectual ascents are not really in sync with the real world. We think are so smart, but there in the Bible written 3000 years ago is a statement that says “this or that is true” and it turns out to be factual. We act like it is a new discovery. It is not! God says if we will acknowledge Him, He will direct our paths. Okay, this means He has our back and he will send us on the path that is right for us. Even though it may conflict with what we think is the right path or is the path that our father or grandfather followed, if we take it He will protect us and have our back. However, we must turn every area of our life over to Him. This is not easy, nor is it popular in today’s anti-God culture. It may cost us some friends or even family who do not understand the changes. When I made this change I was labelled “fanatical”. Yet, in the end I turned out to be one of the most normal. We all have our challenges in life and responding well to them is important. That is what the wisdom path does, it helps you see things as they are without emotion and respond appropriately and in the right way. It ultimately leads us to a more positive path in life, even though the initial changes from our sin nature are radical and at times not completely understood.
Solomon told us to do these things via Proverbs during his time and then about 1000 years later, guess what? Jesus said almost exactly the same thing. Here is the smartest man in the world and then the Holiest man in the world, confirming the same truth with a lot of years in between them. What an awesome revelation. If we look at Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus teaches that if we really are obedient and turn all our life issues over to God there will not be any need to worry for He (God) will take care of us. What an amazing promise. We just need to take that step of faith and move into the realm of believing that God is who He says He is and that He can do what He has said he can. I have made that move, can you? That is the teachable part. Are you open to new ideas and do you have the courage to step out on faith to see if God can deliver? I challenged God a long time ago to show me if he is real and have not been disappointed. His ways are different than ours and it is due to his character. It takes time to understand and come to terms with this concept, but He has created a place for us in heaven if we are capable of overcoming our human nature and tapping into our spiritual belief nature. That is where it all comes together. I am not talking about someone who falls down “slain in the spirit” or is emotional to the point of making irrational decisions, but a loving, caring God who supports us in our time of need and helps us live victoriously in this world. Ignore all the religious sayings and the channels on Cable TV where people want money, prestige and to be seen as “righteous”. That is lie dressed up for us to believe. We want to believe it is true because we are looking for the true God, but it is not. It is a lie. None are righteous except for Jesus. He took His righteousness and exchanged it for our bad deeds so we could have fellowship with God. That was the original purpose of man, fellowship. Only Jesus could restore that and take away our sin 100%. He did, but it requires us to believe that he did sacrifice Himself for our sins and confess them. Then we must all take that leap of Faith and follow Him in his teachings and change. This is that radical shift I described above. It will be the biggest and most important decision of our life. Everyone will meet and accept or reject Jesus in their life. Our destiny in this world is on a collision course with Him. We all come to that moment in life where we believe in our hearts that He is what He says He is or we do not and move on to the things of this world. Take that step of faith and believe as I did, you will not regret it!