Proverbs 19 11-19-21

What?! I am held personally responsible for my own choices? What’s up with that?!

3 When a person’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord [he sees his ruin as “God’s fault” or His punishment when actually it is the consequence of the person’s choices].

Through the years, I have heard these expressions,

  • To miss a day of musical practice, I notice; to miss two days, Robin notices; to miss three days, the whole world notices.
  • To work out and do only one set means my muscle strength survives, but only that; do two sets, and my strength maintains with endurance; do three sets, and my muscles grow in strength and endurance.
  • In my spiritual life, if I miss an extended time with the Lord, I notice; if I miss two days, those around me notice; if I miss three or more days in a row, everybody notices.

The point is that we all need regular times of refreshing. We all eat every day; why would we not sit at the Lord’s table and nourish our souls with Him through the Scriptures? One of my favorite passages is Ephesians 5:25-27,

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [Jesus Christ is the Word (John 1:1-3)], 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Let’s analyze:

Literal- Jesus is talking to the Ephesian church through his letter to them. He stated in verse 21 that we all are to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” In a marriage, the wife is to submit to her husband, and a husband is to submit to his wife and to love her as Christ loved the church. Christ cleansed the church through the shedding of His blood on the cross; His plan is to present her in splendor, without spot, wrinkle, or blemish to the Father (Jude 24).

Moral- Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20); Jesus said in Luke 9:23 that we must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily in order to follow Him daily (implied). Our daily exercise of submission begins with Christ each morning.

Spiritual- We need to submit ourselves to Christ in order to survive in this world. We maintain our devotion, fellowship, and our integrity when we continue to submit throughout the day. We have seasons of growth when He calls us into a time of intense study and deep prayer. It is a time when we seek His face with an earnestness that we usually don’t have. The Spirit calls us to search for Christ as for hidden treasure. These are the times when we jump ahead in our spiritual walk.

If you are in survival mode, I pray that you will ask the Lord for the urgency to seek His face.

If you are in maintenance mode, I pray that you will enjoy your times with Him and seek His face routinely.

If you are in growth mode, write down everything He shows you and teaches you–don’t leave anything to memory! The notes you take will be what maintains you when that season is over.

Abba, I pray for my readers that they would seek Your face every day. Give them that higher desire to search for You as for hidden treasure. Spiritual growth is scary, but we don’t have to worry about losing our relationship with You; You hold us in a double-fisted grip (John 10:27-30). Grow us, O Lord; make us more like You every day. Amen.

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