Tag Archives: Proverbs 2

pause for a moment

Meditation Journey Day 23

Hi Friend,

We need to pause for a moment on our Journey to remember that this passage, Proverbs 2:1-5, is basic instructions in learning to meditate or abide in Christ. Our meditative journey through Proverbs 2 is finished for now. I am sure there is much more to learn from this passage, but I will leave that to the Holy Spirit to accomplish in your life.

DiggerI trust you have gained several tools for your spiritual toolbox from Proverbs 2:1-5. Depending on the metaphor you choose these may be mining tools that you will use to dig into the to seek His precious gold and silver. They may also be gardening tools to break up the hardness of your heart so that the precious seed of life can be planted and tended to produce an abundant harvest. Either way, when we humbly use these tools to seek Him, we are properly reverencing the Lord and walking in the “fear of God”.

However you think of these verbs: receive … store/hide … incline/turn… apply … call out … cry aloud … seek/look for … search I trust Proverbs 2:1-5 becomes a continual companion to remind your heart what it actually takes to dig into God’s word.

Ps 139The next passage we will explore is Psalm 139. This very personal Psalm is a transformational Word in my life. It was the first portion of scripture I meditated through, and it continues to be a rich mine of precious truth to me. In 1974, when I began to memorize and meditate on it, I never dreamed it would have so much impact on my life. I am amazed I am still regularly reciting it now over 40 years later. I pray that you too will experience the sweetness of God’s word and began to engraft a passage of scripture into your soul.

Perhaps Psalm 139 will touch you deeply too. I pray it may one day produce an eternal spring of life giving nourishment in your heart.

Observation: We are finished with our meditative journey through Proverbs 2:1-5. The next passage will be Psalm 139.

Interpretation: Please continue to view the verbs in Proverbs 2:1-5 (receive … store/hide … incline/turn… apply … call out … cry aloud … seek/look for … search …) as tools that you will use from this time on in your life.

Application Prayer: Father, thank you again for the privilege of engrafting Your nature into my life by learning to meditate on Your word. Please empower me by You Spirit to seek you daily. Thank You… in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

As we begin to journey through Psalm 139 please continue to pray for the people receiving these meditative instructions.

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Getting Real

Meditation Journey Day 22

Hi Friend,

Getting RealWhat a privilege we have tofind the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:5) Our Father in Heaven invites us to know Him and through that knowledge we begin to truly know ourselves. Finding the knowledge of God is finding knowledge that is His. We must remember He says in Isaiah 55,For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”

His knowledge contains the facts, truths and realities that embrace the spiritual world and the natural world. His knowledge is about Himself and also about us; how He thinks of us, knows us and loves us. I am sure He finds delight in revealing the mysteries and the beauty of the universe to us. I am also sure there is much He cannot reveal to our limited minds, yet He delights in instructing us and being known by us. The proof that He delights in being known by us is that He has made Himself known to us! Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed (about God) belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29

Old BuildingFinding the knowledge of God was never meant to be simply a walk through a theological museum. It is a very personal journey into the heart and mind of God as He draws us close to Him to instruct us in whom He is and who we are.

God is revealed in the Bible as being: A Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that is Self-existent, omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (all-present), omniscience (all-knowing), holy, just, full of goodness and love. These are just some of the theological attributes that describe God.

Knowing He is all-knowing is impressive, yet it becomes life changing when I experience the awareness that He knows me! Learning He is a unity of fellowship of the Father, Son and Spirit, called the Trinity, is inspiring; yet my joy becomes full when I begin to experience that fellowship personally.

We can mentally ascend to these great attributes of God, but we will never know them in their transforming power until we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal them to us. This is why Father God instructs us to receive … store/hide … incline/turn… apply … call out … cry aloud … seek/look for … search His Word.

Friend, please keep in mind, our lack of faith and obedience never diminishes the reality of the knowledge of God. Nor does our faith and obedience make Him real. He is real. Our humble broken faithfulness to obediently “find the knowledge of God” makes us real.

Observation: The Knowledge of God is God’s secrets. We will never understand ALL he knows, but we can know what He reveals to us.

Interpretation: The knowledge of God is part of the reward for seeking Him. It is more than just the great theological truths about Him. It is experiencing the great truths about Father God that impact my life personally. My faith and belief does not make God real, it makes me real. My unbelief and faithlessness does not diminish the reality of God; it diminishes my reality!

Application Prayer: Father thank you for the mindboggling privilege to know You. The invitation to seek You through Your Word is precious to me. The more I know You as You are, the more I know who I am. Thank You… in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Are you seeking the knowledge of God?

Meditation Journey Day 21            

…and find the knowledge of God.

Hi Friend,

Proverbs 2:5 also promises us that we will find the knowledge of God. The knowledge of God Prov 2is more than data, facts and information about God. The knowledge of God is a Biblical term loaded with spiritual life. Paul cries out in Romans 11, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”  He prays that the Church “may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that (they) may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God Col.1 In Peter’s second letter he greets the churches with this salutation: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord…” Paul also teaches us our new man “is renewed in knowledge (of God) according to the image of Him who created Him. Col.3

In summary these verses tell us the knowledge of God is deep and that we are expected to increase in our knowledge of Him. It says grace and peace will grow in our knowledge of Him. In Colossians 3 we begin to understand why the knowledge of God is so important to us personally. We learn through it the Holy Spirit renews us and transforms us into the image of His Dear Son. Romans 8:29

To have this impact the knowledge of God has to be more than just theological points Surrenderknowing about God that changes anything. We must know Him in the spiritual equivalent to Adam knowing Eve. We grow in the knowledge of God as we yield our minds and hearts to Him. It is only when we surrender our whole being as a living sacrifice (Romans 12) that we truly begin to know Him.

This reward, of actually knowing Him, is the final gift of seeking God as instructed in Proverbs 2:1-4. It does not come quickly or easily. That is why we must be diligent in daily seeking God through His word. Yet the reward is great. The more we know Him the more we are able to experience the heights on His love and have grace as we transverse through the valleys of life.

Observation: The knowledge of God is the reward at the end of diligently seeking God through His word. There are many great benefits in knowing God. As we know Him more His grace and peace grow in us and we are transformed into the image of Christ.

Interpretation: Gaining the knowledge of God is more than knowing about God, it is personally and intimately yielding your whole being to Him.

Application Prayer: Father God, I so desire to know you. Thank you for revealing yourself through your Word and in the person of Jesus Christ. Help me, Lord, to be diligent in seeking your face to reach your heart.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Becoming Perfect in Love?

Meditation Journey Day 20

Hi Friend,

…then (and only then) you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2:5 promises us the understanding of the Fear of the Lord if we Perfect loveactually do what verses 1-4 instructs us to do. We have learned from many passages that living in the Fear of the Lord is a blessed state for a believer.
Yet, the term “Fear of the Lord” is confusing to many because they do not like the idea of fear and God being associated together. In 1 John 4 we read,
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

Let me defuse this confusion quickly. The fear John is writing about in this verse is the fear of rejection at judgment. When we understand whatCross of Christ great love Jesus demonstrated at the Cross and all that He accomplished for us there, fear is replaced with confidence. The Bible tells us that Jesus’ death pays for all the debt I owe, satisfied all the righteous requirements of God’s Law and removed God’s wrath from me. This love casts out all fear of God ever rejecting us.

The Fear of the Lord is different. It is a reverential honor of God. It is the attitude of awe/honor and reverence that should emerge in me as I realize the great love, mercy, sacrifice and grace He lavishly pours on me. Fearing God gives me a deep sense of peace knowing His Sovereignty is working everything together for my good and His Glory (Romans 8). It is the attitude of humble joy that erupts after I realize the depth of His forgiveness for my sins.

The “fear of the Lord” is the proper “anxious concern” we should have of ever violating such love and grace.

There is a place for fear when thinking about God. To reject God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ results in eternal damnation. Even Jesus said in Matthew 10, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him (God) who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

So how does one understand the proper kind of fearing God? Do you remember what “understanding” means? “Understanding” is the practical doing of what God’s wisdom says. When we actually do what we are instructed in verses 1-4 we will be walking in the “Fear of the Lord”!

If I actually reverence God in holy fear then, I will be receiving His word and memorizing His commandments. I will be turning/applying/tuning my inner ear to be attentive to His wisdom and inclining my heart to doing His will. Yes, I will be crying over my sin. Hungering and thirsting after His righteousness.  My continual attitude would be to search for Him and His wisdom as the greatest possession of my life. I would be setting my focus on the Lord to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and body.

The more I walk in this disposition, attitude and behavior the more I “Fear the Lord”. The less I think, live and act this way the less I fear Him.

Simply put we understand the proper fear of the Lord as we humbly follow His Word and do His will. We end here with the words of King Solomon as written in Ecclesiastes, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.”

And this is how you become perfect in love!

Observation: The Fear of the Lord is part of the reward for seeking God. It is an attitude of awe/honor and reverence and a proper “fear” of violating His gracious love for me.

Interpretation: Understanding the Fear of the Lord comes as we do His will by living out His wisdom in humble faith. The more we do this the more we actually “fear/reverence God”.

Application Prayer: Father God, I humble myself before you knowing howFreedom inadequate I am to do Your will. My faith and confidence is in Your grace to work in me to will and the do Your good pleasure. (Philippians 2) Teach me to properly fear You as I walk in Your truth.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Meditation’s Reward?

Meditation Journey Day 19

Hi Friend,

Today we begin to unpack verse five of Proverbs 2:1-5.

My son, if you receive my words and hide/memorize/treasure up my commandments with you, turning/applying/tuning your inner ear to be attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry/call out for Wisdom/insight/knowledge and raise your voice for (the grace to do His will and get) understanding, if you seek it/her like silver/gold/rubies or precious jewels and search for it/her as for treasures hidden by unbelief, then (and only then) you will understand the fear/awe of the LORD and find the wisdom/knowledge of God.

It tells us the reward for seeking God, as directed by Proverbs 2:1-4, is that you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Up to this verse we have been handed tools of a process to dig into God’s Word. Now the “more than silver” and “hidden treasures” are uncovered.

Lion 1The term Fear of the Lord” is confusing to many because they do not like the idea of fear and God being associated together. In 1 John 4 we read, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” Yet the Bible repeatedly uses the phrase the Fear of the Lord in many positive ways. Read through these verses and notice the many benefits of “Understanding the Fear” of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Psalm 19: 9

Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. Psalm 33:8

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever. Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth, I hate. Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened. Proverbs 10:27

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death. Proverbs 14: 27

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4

Given this list alone, understanding the Fear of the Lord seems like a very Lighteningvaluable asset. I can understand why Father God wants us to gain proper fear. So does Godly fear conflict with God’s love? Remember what “understanding” means as you reflect on the phrase “fear of the Lord”. I will explain this more in the next blog entry, but until then, what is the Spirit saying to you through the Word about the Fear of the Lord?

Observation: Understanding the Fear of the Lord is part of the reward for seeking God. The idea of fearing God seems to contradict the idea of loving God.

Interpretation: What is the Fear of the Lord? The Bible associates it with great blessing; therefore does it really conflict with God’s love? The key to understanding the Fear of the Lord … is to get “understanding” right!

Application Prayer: Father God, as we ponder these verses, teach us what it means to Fear the Lord. You say it is an attitude all the world should have in Psalm 33. Father, do I properly “Fear” You? Teach me your ways. I desire to walk in your truth.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

intentionality and intensity

Meditation Journey Day 18

Hi Friend,

My goal in writing you these reflections is to hopefully give to you insight into the Biblical pattern of growing your spiritual life. This passage is just one of many I could walk you through from the Old and New Testaments that reveal that journey. Psalm 1, Psalm 119, John 15, Isaiah 55, Titus 3, and Matthew 13 are only some of the chapters with repeated instruction to meditate in God’s Word and abide in Him. The purpose in each of these passages is to grow the inner person into the Image of His Dear Son and know the Living God. (Romans 8:29)
This passage in Proverbs 2:1-5 is like all the other passages in that they all stress the intentionality and intensity of the process. Read below and listen for both of these perspectives in our passage.

My son, if you receive my words and hide/memorize/treasure up my commandments with you, turning/applying/tuning your inner ear to be attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry/call out for Wisdom/insight/knowledge and raise your voice for (the grace to do His will and get) understanding, if you seek it/her like silver/gold/rubies or precious jewels and search for it/her as for treasures hidden by unbelief, then (and only then) you will understand the fear/awe of the LORD and find the wisdom/knowledge of God.

Please understand I am not saying or implying that this process of seeking God is necessary to be “Born Again” as Jesus describes in John 3. That is a Sovereign act of the grace of God and relies solely on the Work accomplished by Jesus Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection.

What I am convinced of, certain of, and confident of is that if we are to make spiritual progress to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29) then we are required to participate in this process. I also know that the more we yield to God’s Spirit to do these things the more we will be transformed.

StarsI said all of the above to repeat verse 4: if you seek it/her like silver/gold/rubies or precious jewels and search for it/her as for treasures hidden by unbelief. That is some of the intentionality and intensity of the process. If you choose not to seek God like this His Love will not diminish for you, but if you want to see the brilliance of the stars at night you have to go outside.

Observation: The process of understanding the Fear of the Lord and finding the knowledge of God is intentional and intense.

Interpretation: The process to grow in God is clear and easy to see, yet the process is not easy. It requires us to be intentional and intense in seeking God. Just as searching for a lost and hidden treasure will take time, energy and often be inconvenient. The scripture makes no apologies for the cost required to mature in Christ.

Application Prayer: Father God, as I understand your expectation of obedience I am overwhelmed with my own inadequacy and weakness. Help me to keep my spiritual eyes on Jesus and off myself. I humble myself to allow the Joy of the Lord to be my strength and to release your Peace and Word to dwell in me richly with all thanksgiving.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

if and only if

Meditation Journey Day 17

Hi Friend,

If and only ifWe began our discussion of Proverbs 2:1-5 by focusing on the three “ifs” of the passage, now we approach the “then”. In my paraphrase of verse five I have added the words and only then” emphasizing that all of the three conditions need to be fulfilled to get maximum results. I know God can begin to reveal His grace to us at any point along the way. He is Sovereign and relates to each of us uniquely. Yet, He gives us all these conditions because we need them if we are to glorify the Father, bear much and demonstrate we are His disciples. John 15:8

Let’s review the whole passage again…..

My son, if you receive my words and hide/memorize/treasure up my commandments with you, turning/applying/tuning your inner ear to be attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry/call out for Wisdom/insight/knowledge and raise your voice for (the grace to do His will and get) understanding, if you seek it/her like silver/gold/rubies or precious jewels and search for it/her as for treasures hidden by unbelief, then (and only then) you will understand the fear/awe of the LORD and find the wisdom/knowledge of God.

My Child, if you receive … store/hide … incline/turn… apply … call out … cry aloud … seek/look for … search then (and only then) you will understand the fear/awe of the LORD and find the wisdom/knowledge of God.

2planting seedsMy vegetable garden teaches me much about my spiritual garden. I may have the best of seed and poor soil and get a very poor yield of vegetables. I may have good seed, good soil and if I do not water sufficiently it will also yield poorly. I may have great seed, good soil, enough water but too little sunlight and you guessed it… I should expect a poor yield of edible fruit. Or I could plant good seed in good soil in a sunny area and water properly and then enjoy abundance of fruit!

There are conditions to produce abundant growth in the natural world and in the spiritual world there are conditions too. Proverbs 2:1-5 tells us the process that releases our hearts to love Father God and follow His commands. It is love of Him that motivates us to want to honor Him.

Keep in mind, I could memorize many verses yet not with brokenness humility toward God and gain only knowledge. Or I could fulfill all my religious duties and never open my heart to the emotional empathy needed to touch another life.

The Apostle Paul said it this way:  “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13)

The question is what kind of fruitfulness we want in our lives.

Paul wrote in Galatians six,Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

VineiStock_000014052286XSmall2Our spiritual growth depends on how we garden our soul. We must nurture our soul as God instructs, not as we fancy. Spiritual fruitfulness comes then and only then as we abide in Christ. Jesus said it clearly in John 15, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing… (but) If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”

Observation: Father God gave us instructions for spiritual growth. Proverbs 2:1-5 contains three conditions which when humbly done will result in a transforming relationship with God.

Interpretation: The conditions of spiritual growth are like the conditions for natural growth in that when they are humbly followed abundant fruit will come.

Application Prayer: Father grant us patience to plant in us Your word as you instructed, to tend our souls as Your Spirit has guided, and to abide in the Vine as Jesus has insisted. We want to glorify You, bearing much fruit to demonstrate that we are following Jesus!  In Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

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I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.