Proverbs 23 2-23-20

Today should be different. May we dedicate this day to the LORD for prayer, His Word, and Christian fellowship.

26 My son [child], give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways,

In this verse, God has the responsibility of taking care of our hearts while we have the responsibility of taking care of our eyes. What we see makes a world of difference in what we want–and visa versa: what we want makes a world of difference in what we see.

We ask for wisdom, which is seeing from God’s perspective. We are able to discern between good and bad and to choose the good. It doesn’t remove the bad from our minds–at least, not yet. That process happens when we step from this world to the next. The big question is: Do we really want godly wisdom?

The pull of idolatry on our souls is STRONG. We want what we want. Satan knows our weaknesses as humans and plays to these weaknesses, which are the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). The rest of the chapter in Proverbs bears this truth out:

27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,
    and a wayward wife is a narrow well.

30 Those who linger over wine,
    who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.

If we truly desire what God wants for our lives and are willing to place everything on the altar for Him to decide what He wants for us, then we must learn to replace our worldly desires with godly desires. We must be willing to do ANYTHING to break our bad and sinful habits and lusts. Is there really any measure that is too extreme to break a sinful habit? Jesus used a pretty strong illustration about this very topic:

29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Matthew 5:29-30

He was referencing adultery of the mind as well as the body, which we know is rampant among men today in the form of pornography. Am I advocating us maiming our bodies? No, but I am advocating that we go to dire measures to break bad and sinful habits. If it’s on our electronic devices, we may have to do without them for a while ( it takes 21 days to completely break a habit and create a new one). A person might have to have a good old-fashioned book burning, or in this case, magazine burning. Another wise choice is to stop going to places where women’s bodies are on display, like certain movies, swimming pools, strip joints, etc. And this is just one topic! There is SO MUCH about us that Jesus wants to fix!!!

BUT, He KNOWS the fight we have inside. It’s what He came to help us do. He has made us pleasing to God, so we don’t have to worry about our position with Him. The Father DOES want us to work hard at our sanctification, though, and become conformed to the image of His Son (see Romans 8:29).

Today is a special day. We can start TODAY to become like Christ. Let us repent and choose His way. We begin with worship and praise and by placing ourselves under godly teaching. Let’s go to church! Let’s use that altar to build an Ebenezer, a remembrance stone to mark the day we gained victory over a particular area in our lives (see Joshua 5:1-3, 19-24).

Abba, may we use church today for that which it was created: a place to meet with You collectively and to help each other grow in grace and knowledge of You–with You. May we not take it for granted. Do a mighty work in Your church today, LORD, as You probe our hearts and call us to repentance.

I open myself to You for scrutiny, O LORD. May the fire of Your gaze and the intensity of Your presence burn away all the dross in my life. I want nothing left but godliness, O God. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew Your steadfast spirit within me.” Amen.

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