Proverbs 16 8-16-19

Tired of just surviving each day? Ready to be “hot?” Discover the secret of abiding in God’s presence.

(25) There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

Appearances can be deceiving. Working to please Christ cannot be our motivation. He is already pleased with us. Our journey is not about doing, but about becoming. We cannot “do” to “become.” It’s the difference between the Old Sinai Covenant (OC) and the New Jesus Covenant (NC). The OC was all about acting holy on the outside. The NC is all about being holy on the inside. Jesus said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” Matthew 23:25-26. 

So, how do we become holy on the inside? Let’s look at King David and what he wrote in Psalm 16:

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”

David knew that anything good was attached to God. More than that, he knew that being attached to God was what made all things good. He wanted to be like God, so he attached himself to Him, so to speak.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

David knew what Peter learned while walking on the water: Keep your eyes on the LORD. It’s what the writer of Hebrews tells us to do in chapter 12: “fix your eyes on Jesus.” Being shaken has to do with our stability, our confidence, and our fellowship with the LORD in our daily life. Jesus keeps us firm in our faith even as the wind and waves go wild!

11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Where Jesus walks, we walk. He reveals the path of life to us one step at a time. As we walk with Him, the joy He radiates washes over us and we begin to radiate it, too.  His eternal pleasures come with abiding in His presence.

The word, “abide,” is not one we use often in our culture. It represents permanence, family, and proximity. I abide with Robin, meaning that my life revolves around us together; we live together, eat together, work and play together. That’s abiding.

Abiding in Christ means that we recognize and acknowledge His Presence in our lives. He lives IN us! We talk to Him in prayer; He talks to us through His Word (mainly). The secret to “hearing” Jesus is to know the sound of His voice and His vocabulary:

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

The Holy Spirit in us is Christ in us (John 14:23). Christ teaches us. How? By REMINDING us of all HE HAS ALREADY SAID. He wrote it all down for us! Now, He calls to mind what He has said when we need it. THE WORD IS HIS VOCABULARY. We don’t study the Bible to be smart as much as we study it to hear Him speak to us. As we do, His attributes flow from Him into us: Love, joy, peace, hope, grace, truth, and righteousness. We sense His goodness, faithfulness, patience, kindness, and even His self-control. We BECOME like Him.

I used to have a propane grill that used lava rocks to distribute the heat. If we consider Jesus as the flame and us as the lava rocks, we get a pretty good picture of how we remain “hot.” The closer we are to the flame, the hotter we are. His heat radiates to us and then from us to the other rocks.

Let’s stay close to the Flame today. Let’s read and listen, trust and obey. In this way, we “will shine like stars in the universe as we hold firmly to the word of life.” Phil. 2:15-16.

Abba, may I never get tired of gazing upon Your beauty–the scars upon Your body that resound through the heavens Your love for me. Nuff said. Amen.

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