The problem with Proverbs 1 is that it is impossible to do/keep humanly. We need the divine power of the Holy Spirit!
22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my heart and thoughts to you,
I will make known to you my teachings.
God equips us. He gives us everything we need for godly living (2 Peter 1:3). The Holy Spirit within us IS GOD. He is Jesus in Spirit. We can equally say that Jesus lives in us (Colossians 1:27). How does God equip us? We have spiritual weapons:
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
What weapons? There are three that I have found in Scripture that work individually as well as collectively. They are:
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:17-18
The word of God confirms what the Spirit says to His children. If we hear something that cannot be confirmed in the word of God, we are to “take it captive and make it obedient to Christ.” If it is truly wrong, we reject it, refuting it with the word of God; if it needs correction, we correct it according to the word of God; if it needs explanation, we explain it using the word of God.
We need to keep in mind that the word of God was never intended to be used without the presence and participation of God, through Christ, with the Holy Spirit. Hence, prayer. Talking to God assumes that He is present and listening. Listening to God assumes that He has something to tell us. Both of these assumptions are good ones based upon the word of God (see today’s Proverbs verses).
There is one more weapon, and that is PRAISE. When we praise, we utter with our mouths truths about God, what we know about God, and how we feel about God. These thoughts become concrete in our minds and lives as we speak them through recitation, conversation, and song. Want to sense the presence of Christ? Speak audibly to Him!
2 Chronicles 20 is a great example of how praise is used as a spiritual weapon. Here is the main passage:
21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.”
22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.
Here’s how it works: We pray according to the Word of God; we praise according to our faith that God hears our prayers and answers them. What did God tell us to do?
19 [Speak] to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19-20
This is not just on Sunday morning, but an all-week affair! If we truly want to have a flourishing relationship with the heavenly Father, then we will begin a conversation with Him when we first get up in the morning and go to sleep at night without ever ending the conversation. I guess we could say that we resume yesterday’s conversation with Him, which means that we NEVER stop conversing with God! Whether we address Him as Father, Jesus, or Holy Spirit doesn’t matter; they are all ONE. He just wants our fellowship and obedience. Why our obedience? Because we live in the enemy’s territory and our flesh still wants to drag us back into bondage–more on that later.
Today, let’s make Him our PRIORITY. Let’s use our weapons to combat the enemy in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
Abba, the more I study Your Word, the more I learn about You. The more I learn about You, the more the Holy Spirit confirms You and Your truths in my heart. The more He confirms, the more confident I am in believing that You have my best interests at heart and that I can trust You. In this trust, I pledge to obey You all day and in every way. Speak loudly, LORD; I’m a little deaf–literally and spiritually. amen.