We have free time: What will we do with it? Will we while it away, or will we use it to seek the LORD? Let’s GROW!
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
NOW is a great time to pick a book of the Bible and read it–but don’t stop there! Look up its history and read background information concerning when it was written, by whom, the circumstances, and the audience. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you during this time.
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
If we love God, we will love His creation, which includes us and others. If we are faithful in this love by loving others and ourselves (not in a self-fulling way, but in godly ways), then we will be a blessing to God and to those with whom we live.
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
During these trying times, we need not fear. God’s plans for us go well beyond this life on earth. He has plans for us that venture into His heaven, back to earth with Him, and then beyond this earth as we know it–although it will be transformed when Christ returns, it will still look and function like earth– to the melding of heaven and earth!
What are the conditions for peace in and with God?
- Trust- We are to trust Him. There’s a difference between trusting and believing. Believing in Him can be strictly intellectual; it can be hostile; and it can be dismissive. Even the demons believe–and shudder (James 2:19). Trusting requires action. We must put feet to our faith.
- Lean on- Lean on what? Not our own understanding, but on His. How do we get His understanding? By asking, seeking, and knocking.
- In study– We ask the LORD to reveal His understanding to us; we seek His knowledge in His Word; we knock when we find something that catches our attention.
- In prayer– We ask the LORD to reveal Himself to us; we seek His face at the throne of grace; we knock by presenting ourselves first on the altar, and then by interceding for others as the Holy Spirit prompts us.
- In fellowship– We ask God with whom He wants us interacting today; we seek them out in whatever manner is acceptable, and then we approach them in the attitude of Christ: humble and gentle of heart (Matthew 11:28-30).
- Submit- Many versions use the word, “acknowledge.” It’s a good word, but it does not convey the complete attitude we should have when we come to Christ. The word, “submission,” portrays a king and his loyal subject, which is EXACTLY the picture we are supposed to have in this verse!
The promise we receive when we trust in, lean on, and submit to Him is that He will direct our ways and make them straight. GUIDANCE. It’s not that our path will go straight, but that He will lead us straight on the path–wherever it goes and however many twists, turns, dips and climbs it has. The idea is to not stray from the path. We tend to think of roads and cars in today’s society, but this verse was written in a time when people walked or rode horses (or donkeys). The best place to walk was in the middle of the path. To stray to one side or the other was to endanger oneself and his mount. We must have the same mindset and stay in the middle of the path.
Robin and I love to go to Estes Park, Colorado, for vacations. We love to hike! When hiking up the mountain, though, we rarely get to climb side-by-side. Instead, one will take the lead and the other will follow. When walking with the LORD, there are times when we walk side-by-side with Him, but most of the time, He will take the lead. We would do well to stay close to His heels! Robin and I conversed the entire time, so we can trust the LORD to do the same with us. We need only to stay close.
Let’s be as Solomon was–at least, at the beginning of his reign–and follow God with our whole hearts:
9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge [submit to] the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.” 1 Chronicles 29:9-10
May we be strong and do the work God has for us. Let’s “study to show ourselves approved, workmen who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing and handling the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Abba, I ask that You reveal Yourself to me in Your Word today. I also ask that You reveal Yourself to all who read Your Word today. May we all take refuge, find comfort, gain knowledge, and be empowered as we spend time in Your presence. Show us how to use our time wisely. Show us You, LORD. Amen.