[b]Pearls Of Wisdom[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
We read in Proverbs Chapter 3:5,6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." This is a promise of guidance. God will direct our paths if we fulfil the conditions. What are the conditions?
First of all: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don't lean on your own reason and intelligence. It doesn't say there that we should not use our reason or intelligence, but not to depend on it. God created our powers of reasoning and our intelligence. But like God created Eve to be subject to Adam, reason must be subject to the Holy Spirit. A wife is most useful in a home. But if she takes over the headship of the home, there will be chaos - as when Eve took over the headship in Eden and sinned. We have to use our reason (and intelligence) to find God's will, Without our intelligence we would not be able to study God's Word or even live in this world. But we must depend on the Holy Spirit to enlighten our reason. Faith is not contrary to reason but is beyond reason - just like multiplication is not against addition but is beyond addition.
Secondly: Acknowledge God in all your ways. That means to obey every single thing that God reveals to you. Give the Lord first place in every area of your life. Then the Lord will lead you in His perfect will.
As I look back over the last 44 years that I have been a believer, I am amazed to see how the Lord has led me - step by step. Many a time, I never knew what the next step would be. But the Lord has directed my paths. I pray that you will have the same joy as you look back your life.
"Honour the Lord from your wealth" (Prov 3:9). We must learn to give to God joyfully from the wealth of our time, our energy, our money, our resources, our talents, our children, and every other area of our wealth.
"Do not reject the discipline of the Lord" (Prov 3:11). Correction is essential for our spiritual growth.
Proverbs 4:12 has a very beautiful promise. A literal paraphrase of it would read: "As you go, step by step the way will open up before you." You don't need to know even what lies two steps ahead of you. Take the first step that you can see. You will then see the next step. This is how God guides us. Doors may look to be closed in front of us. But as we approach them, they will open automatically. But they won't open until you come near them. That is how our God leads us on. So don't be hesitant or afraid if you see a door closed in front of you. Take the step God shows you now. "I have put before you an open door," says the Lord, "which no-one can shut"(Rev.3:8)
Proverbs 4:15 is a good word concerning scenes of temptation: "Avoid it, do not pass by it; turn away from it and pass on."
Proverbs 4:18 is another wonderful verse: "The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn (when the sun rises) that shines brighter and brighter until the full day (noon- day)" This is God's perfect will for everyone of His children that they should become more and more like Christ every day of their lives, from the time that they are born again (when the sun rises), until the day that Christ comes back (noon-day). Along that path, we will get more and more revelation on God's word, more and more light on the corruption of our self-life, more and more wisdom for practical situations that we face, etc., If you walk along this path of the righteous, you will never backslide, just like the sun never goes back in the sky. Why then is it so rare to find Christians who live like this? Because most of Christendom lives at a substandard level. We must not let our life sink to the level of the believers around us. Our eyes must be fixed on the Lord alone. We must seek to walk as He walked. Unfortunately, many Christian leaders today are not good examples. Look at God's Word and look at Jesus. If you find a good example, like Paul, you can follow him too. Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ" (1 Cor.11:1).
Proverbs 4:23: "Watch over your heart with all diligence for from it flow the springs of life." Everything that comes out of our life flows from our heart our words, our ministry, everything. So we must ensure that our hearts are kept pure at all times. Only thus will the channel be clean for the living waters to flow from heaven through us, to others.
Proverbs 4:25: "Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you." This has reference to temptations that come through the eyes and is very good advice for young people. Be careful what you allow your eyes to look at. If you are tempted by what you see, look away. Set the Lord in front of you and look straight at Him. As long as we live in this world, we can't avoid being tempted by what we see. But we can avoid the second look. We can destroy our life and our usefulness to God, if we dont control our eyes.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon