My child, if you will receive my sayings, and hide my commands with you, in order to incline your ear toward wisdom, then you shall apply your heart to understanding. For if you cry out for understanding, if you life your voice for insight, if you seek her like silver and search her out like treasure, then you will understand the fear of Yahweh, and the knowledge of God you will find.
From Rebecca Van Noord – Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan:
The knowledge of God isn’t just knowledge ABOUT God. It’s also the desire and the process of inclining and applying your heart to understanding. The father encourages his son to cry out for understanding or lift his voice for insight- going beyond just intellectual comprehension.
We might claim to hold a life of worship, but do our actions really reflect that value? Do our efforts and decisions reflect a heart that cries out to God for His wisdom? God has redeemed us at a great price with the death of His son. He desires that we turn over our lives to Him – and that includes pursuing Him with all our being.
Fit in Your Faith Today: Are you pursuing “the knowledge of God” and applying your heart to understanding?
Ask the Lord to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.
What plans do you have in mind for yourself today? Tomorrow?
In this passage from Proverbs, we can ask the Lord to bless them and look upon them as favorable and good. It might be something as mundane as driving to work. Do we ask the Lord to bless our “plan” to get in the car and drive? Maybe! But we can also ask him to bless us as we go about our day. What plans do we have once we get to work? Is there a meeting that you’re nervous about? Is there a co-worker you need to have a discussion with that you are not looking forward to having?
Think of your plans as not just ordinary tasks that you must check off a list. Think of everything you have to do as being blessed by God. Almost like asking Him for approval. Think about something you never ask God to bless…perhaps a task you know in your heart is not right. Perhaps it’s risky or conflicts with your values. Maybe it’s acquiring a new client through your job but you have doubts as to whether they will be a good fit. Or it could be you neglected to invite someone to an outing with friends on purpose because you don’t get a long with them. We wouldn’t ask God to bless those events would we? But maybe, if we pray beforehand, we might get a sign from God that these aren’t good plans and we should reconsider what we are doing. He could talk us into a better plan for ourselves in order to be successful.
Fit In Your Faith Today: What are your plans for the day? For the week? Have you asked God to bless them so you can be successful? Think about the last thing you did that you feel wasn’t right or just or appropriate. Next time, ask God for guidance in these situations. He might change your plans for the better!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.
When faced with big decisions in life, it’s hard to know who to trust. Who can you turn to for advice and guidance? You might have doubts with whom you can go to in situations like this. You might think people you work with or even people in your own family are not trustworthy. They might not have your best interests at heart and could steer you down the wrong path.
But there is always someone you CAN trust in 100% and that’s God.
These verses from the book of Proverbs tell us just this. By discerning and coming to God with our questions and what path we need to take, He will lead us in the right direction. Who knows us better than the one who created us? He has the answers.
Yes, we have the ability to reason and think carefully because of the mind God gave us. But we shouldn’t forget that He wants us to come to Him when faced with difficult decisions and problems.
The second verse is also an important part of any decision-making process: Remember God in all that we do. This means each area in our life has to include God. What’s important to us? Is God a part of it or do you exclude Him?
Fit in Your Faith Today: What are your priorities in life? Is God present in those areas or do you exclude Him for some reason? If you feel like God cannot help you in an area of your life, ask God to intervene. When was the last time you had to make a difficult choice? Did you pray to God to help you decide what to do? Next time you are faced with a challenge, pray about it first. God has your back.
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
Good News Translation:
Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the Lord and refuse to do wrong. If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains.
The book of Proverbs always has interesting insights. Especially the direct nature of the wording.
This one basically says – Don’t be a know-it-all. You aren’t all that smart.
This isn’t meant to make us feel inferior or unintelligent. I believe it’s just meant to take the ego down a notch. Don’t let yourself become inflated with thinking you are superior to others.
On the contrary, obey the Lord and turn away from evil and wrongdoing. By doing so, it acts like medicine for our broken bodies. It eases the pain in our hearts. I appreciate that this passage compares obeying God as a way to stay healthy in mind, body and soul. You can think of sin or doing not-so-great things as causing a wound in our body to be opened. Or pain in our soul taking place. What’s the cure? Good works. Good words. Good actions. Obeying the Lord and treating others as equals.
Fit in Your Faith Today: Do you talk down or act differently around people who you think are inferior to you? Do you think yourself as being a know-it-all sometimes? Try to look at others as equals, no matter what their job or their education level or social status says about them. Treat them well, obey the Lord as He commands us, and our minds and bodies and souls will be healed from the pain of mistreatment, anger, and pride.
Proverbs 8: 9-12
My words are plain to anyone with understanding, clear to those with knowledge.
Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.
For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
I, Wisdom, live together with good judgement. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
Wisdom should affect every aspect of our lives, from beginning to end. We should always strive to increase our wisdom, always willing to learn something new about our faith, about relationships, about life. Under God’s direction and guidance, we can attain all kinds of wisdom and knowledge.
As for the value of wisdom, Proverbs teaches us it’s far valuable than gold or silver and jewels. Our goal should never be to increase our wealth. If we keep our eye on the prize of wisdom, we’ll be far happier with the results.
Money and fame and material possessions have temporary effects. They will only give us satisfaction that lasts a short while. It’s far better to have a wealth of knowledge, than a wealth of money.
Fit in Your Faith Today: What can you learn about God today? What is He trying to teach you and how can you share this new found wisdom with others?