Why read a chapter of Proverbs every day? Because the Spirit wants to speak to us and impart wisdom to us.
20 My son [child], pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
If we were to consider these verses as an intro into the next few verses, we would get an entirely different impression about the author’s intent. The nuggets of wisdom are not random; they have a rationale that we would do well to consider.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
How do we guard our hearts? The previous verses tell us to pay attention and do what God tells us either in His Word or in our spirits. He is King there, so protect the throne!
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
How do we guard our mouths? By paying attention to what we say. We KNOW when we are about to say something derogatory, slanderous, callous, dirty, or ungodly (something God would not say or approve). May we always remember that our arrogance in disregarding God is telling us to do leads to rebellion, which leads to disobedience, which leads to destruction.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
How do we guard our eyes? We must predetermine what we will intentionally look at and and NOT look at. We must also predetermine what we will do with sights that we unintentionally see. Looking away as quickly as we can is the first thing; the second thing is turning our thoughts to the LORD and asking for help. We cannot unsee it, but He can mitigate its effects on our minds.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
How do we guard where we go? Again, predetermination and intention play big roles in our destination. We must decide where we want to be and how we want to get there. As Christians, we have these verses to guide us:
19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, Galatians 4:19
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1b-2a
24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24
Last verse of the chapter:
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
How do we guard our steps? This answer is simple, but not easy to do. We are to follow the Savior by walking in step with Him. He will show us only a few steps at a time–sometimes, only ONE step at a time–as He leads us toward the Celestial City. Consider these verses:
25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you [in other words, don’t concern yourself with someone else’s walk]? You must follow me.” John 21:22
Today, let’s answer His call to follow Him–closely. Let’s keep in step with Him as He leads us onward and upward (higher up and further in).
Abba, may I focus on You today. I want to be aware of Your presence and hear Your voice whispering to me all the time. Sometimes You are instructing me what to say/not say; other times You are giving me discernment or insight; still other times you are simply encouraging my spirit. May I become more and more attuned to Your voice and the nuances of Your Spirit’s moving in my life and in the world around me. Make me AWARE, LORD. Amen.