How do we keep our love for Christ from growing cold (part 2)? Isn’t it His responsibility to keep us on fire?
10 Where there is strife [pride], there is pride [strife], but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.
God is always talking to us. His Spirit teaches us, “explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13. In fact, “the Spirit Himself [continuously] testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16. With the Spirit speaking to us continuously, how is it that we get so estranged from Him?
- Pride. It’s in verse 10. Our pride keeps us from accepting what the Spirit has to say, thus creating strife in our relationship. The willingness to take advice speaks of humility. Remembering that He is God and we are not is essential to a good and healthy relationship with the Father.
- Snares. We get caught in snares. These snares lead us to death–literally, if allowed to be carried to their full extent. Thankfully, when we repent, God leads us out of the valley of death and into pleasant pastures (sometimes it takes a while). Learning the teaching of the wise leads us to the fountain of life, which is Christ, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:37-38.
From where do we learn this “teaching of the wise?” From the written Word of God!
- “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
- Read the word of the LORD. It was written down for YOU. “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm and all of them are righteous.” Psalm 19:7-9
- Memorize and apply daily–continuously. Consider it therapy or medicine (salve). “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103
- Meet together with other Christians. “Do not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25
- God’s word to us: Talk about it, live it, breathe it. “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deut. 6:7-9
Hear God’s heart: “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!” Deut. 5:29
God wants to bless us. All we have to do is stay close to Him. Proverbs 8 ends with this blessing: “Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD.” Proverbs 8:34-35. Let’s be diligent about drawing near to God each day by talking to Him through His Word. As we read His words, the Spirit explains to us spiritual things. We respond in adoration and praise to Him. We are blessed and He is blessed! It’s a win/win moment for everyone!
Abba, as You remind us to come to You in prayer and by reading the Scriptures, I hear Your voice and respond by getting out my Bible and reading. You speak to me from the pages to my heart–“from Your mouth to my ears.” If you carried the Israelites on eagles’ wings (Exodus 19:4), how much more will You interact with us through the in-dwelling of Your Holy Spirit! May I “kill” my pride and come to You with a humble heart. Teach me, O God, for I crave Your Presence, in which I receive Your love, joy, peace, hope, and “mercy and grace for the day” (Hebrews 4:16). Amen.