Can we know the right path to follow?

Can I know which I am following?

Prov 8/9  Are you a people watcher as you walk down the path of life? Solomon must have been. He pondered and realized there are two tracks of life (foolish and wise) and he personifies both. Solomon has observed: Vs. 32: Blessed are those who keep my [God’s] ways. Vs. 34 Blessed is the one who listens, watches, and waits

As Solomon observed, he saw the contrast. The foolish follow Dame Harlot, as Solomon calls her. [Proverbs 7: 27] Followers of Dame Harlot find that “Her house is the way to the grave, going down to death’s chambers.”The wise are pursuing Lady Wisdom. The path of Dame Harlot leads to deception and darkness. The way of Lady Wisdom leads to honesty and light.

Learn from Solomon. Observe people’s decision-making process. Those who choose to follow and heed Lady Wisdom find that her path leads to blessings, and life eternal. ” I will love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.” [Proverbs 8:17] Lady Wisdom says: “For the one who finds me (wisdom) find life and receives favor from the Lord. But the one who does not find me brings harm to himself;” [Prov 8:35] 

It could not be any clearer: Prov 1:7 “Fearing the Lord is the beginning of moral knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 9:10 “The beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and acknowledging the Holy One is understanding.” Thus as Dr. Constable notes: 

“Wisdom and godliness are practically synonymous.”  

Beloved, Are you following Dame Harlot or Lady Wisdom?  

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What voice do you listen to ?

You are in a situation where a decision must be made. What do you do? Some say one thing, some say another, whose voice is right?

2chron 10 listen to voice2a

2Chron 10 Voices can be misleading or they can lead to the truth. We are bombarded with voices from the tempter, the world, and the flesh. We must be “discerning regarding truth and error;…and “listen to the voice of the Spirit.” (Heb 5 & 3)

Rehoboam is presented to us as a foolish king who listened not to the Spirit but to two groups of men; the first his father’s former advisors and his boyhood friends.  He chose the latter and as the tale unfolded disaster came about because he forsook wisdom for folly, righteousness for power. The kingdom experienced a divorce a magnitude never before was seen. God hates divorce and He hated that His beloved kingdom would suffer over a foolish decision.

Rehoboam might have avoided this had he sought the counsel of God as his grandfather David had done. The disasters in our life such as separation and divorce come about when we listen to the voices of the Tempter; it would be easier if…(you fill in the blank).

But, what if we seek the counsel of God instead? God is not a man that changes his mind. He is ever and always wise and discerning to counsel us aright and the Holy Spirit as part of the triune God would never contradict God’s Word.

The wisest and most blessed man/woman is the one who listens to the voice of the Spirit speaking the words of God. But also, you cannot hear the voice of the Spirit unless you are Spirit-filled.

Have you experienced the indwelling Spirit of God?

 

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I am Tamar; Hear My Voice!

2 Sam 13 As we read this tragedy we are confronted with the sin of David being replicated in his firstborn son Amnon but more so is the innocence of his daughter Tamar. How many of our daughters have had to face similar circumstances and only hear the silence of those who should stand up and call sin sin. How many have heard their brothers say “be quiet; don’t take it so seriously.” We want to scream, cry and join our hearts with Tamar whose virginity was slain. We want to not let her voice go unnoticed as she cries out from the grave; learn from my naiveté and my trusting innocence when I should have seen and stopped the charade in its tracks. Girls take heed! 

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Tamar was raped plain and simple and she was silenced. Her voice cries out from the pages of scripture. Scripture says keep away from sexual immorality but our culture says it won’t happen to you. Scripture says possess your own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion but our culture says just be silent.  Tamar was caught in a catch 22 situation and her father was too naïve to think his only son would take sexual advantage of his sister. Fathers, listen and put hedges of protection around your daughters.

What can we learn from Tamar? Satan is diabolical and crafty and uses men like Jonadab and Amnon so we must be wise and discerning. Tamar is saying don’t be foolish; sin is about to happen. Tamar is crying out from the grave; listen to me; learn from me. No means no.

Tamar cries out: Fathers; put hedges of protection around your daughters; rebuke the sin and the sinner. Daughters, when you sense danger leave because Satan is more powerful than you are!

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1John 4 “Walking in a Maze”

1john 4 discernment2aThis chapter has two definite sections: vs 1-6 warnings about those who are false and vs 7-21 living out the faith in love. We must remember that John was called the “son of thunder” by Jesus for a reason. He was headstrong, impulsive and quick to make judgments. He learned from the Savior how to be discerning and now wants his “friends” and “children” to also be wise and discerning. The author of Hebrews tells us that only those who are mature in the Word are able to distinguish or discern truth from error. John is saying to his beloved followers and to us there are several ways you can discern who is a true follower/teacher/prophet and one who is false.

Often when we are faced with discernment it seems like we are walking in a maze. Distinguish truth by words, not works. What is said when you ask “Who is Jesus.” Is he is “the” Christ come in the flesh; lived, died and rose again according to the scriptures (1Cor 15); the one who atoned for sin? Listen with a discerning ear.

The second say is to distinguish by their life. Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and observe their life.  “The love of God displayed in His people is the strongest apologetic that God has in the world.” [Bruce].

The Holy Spirit will not lead you astray; love is the end of this maze.

Photo: azcoloring.com/printable-coloring + author’s phrasing

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Sacred Moments

2cor 12 sacred momentsYesterday I had one of those sacred moments. It was not in a time alone in my closet, but I had prepared my heart so when the time came for me to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit I was ready. It was an awesome experience, one I will treasure as a lesson in heart preparation for the unexpected. Have you had one of those “aha moments” when you realize that it is not your inner voice speaking but the true Holy Spirit? In some ways, it sends chills up our spine and it should for this is the God of the universe through the Holy Spirit speaking!

These become our sacred moments; moments in which God  has  chosen  to  converse  with  the  one  he  loves. Sacred moments happen when we are so in tune with the Holy Spirit that we are overwhelmed with His love, His tenderness, His breath, His whispers. It  is  in  these  times  that  the  Holy  Spirit  quietly  speaks  to  our  heart  so we hear him  whisper to us: “This  is  the  correct  way,  walk  in  it…” [Isaiah 30:21]

As Paul was writing to the Corinthians he shared that he experienced  a time so sacred that he wrote I “heard  things  too  sacred  to  be  put  into  words,  things  that  a  person  is  not  permitted  to  speak.” [2Corinthians 12]  That is why Paul understood when the Holy Spirit said: “my grace is sufficient for you.”  Have you experienced a time like this?

We can have those sacred moments when the  Holy  Spirit  speaks  to  us  in  our  walk  with  Him.  He  speaks  to  us  regarding  sin  and  the  need  to  seek  forgiveness;   about  righteousness affirming  our  standing  before  God.   Other times He speaks  and  directs  our  steps  lest  we  stumble. However He speaks we know that “he  will  prove  the  world  wrong  concerning  sin  and  righteousness  and  judgment  –concerning  sin,  because  they  do  not  believe  in  me;  concerning  righteousness.”

Take time to step apart from the hurry of your day; listen for the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit.

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Am I Wise? Prov 24

ImageI like to think I am wise because of the many years under my belt, but Proverbs always checks my stride to show areas where I am faltering. Prov 24 is one of those chapters!

I hold in my  hands the most marvelous treasure of all, God’s Word. Hidden within are the jewels of wisdom that God will refine so that I will shine as His light in a dark world. The book of Proverbs  is God’s treasure box which is filled with His gems which if read, pondered, and applied are the gems God uses to fill my crown that shows I am His child of royal standing. 1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Proverbs Gleanings: Image

Vs 1, 7, 8, 19 Observe those who are unrighteous, listen to how they converse. Their lips reveal that upon which they dwell in their thoughts. They lack restraint where judicial matters are concerned, are schemers and scoffers. They are the people who belong to the “loose lips” club; avoid them. Am I avoiding them or encouraging them in their foolish ways by listening to them?

Vs 11-12 Today the news is filled with horror of human trafficking, genocide, infanticide and more. We shudder but are we assisting to help alleviate the problem or are we ignoring it?  During WWII many knew but did nothing. “We have a responsibility to help such people. If we claim ignorance of their condition as a reason for not helping them, we need to remember that God knows the true condition of our heart and will requite us accordingly. We are responsible to rescue those who are in mortal danger. This includes warning and teaching those who are hastening to destruction.” [Toy] What am I doing? I am involved in a “holy huddle” Bible Study but on Thursdays I enter the halls of a local elementary school and share the Good News with children who are often unchurched. What are you doing?

Vs 13-14 Just as honey is nourishing to the physical body, so wisdom is the honey for the soul. If we neglect feeding the body it begins to decline, if we neglect reading, meditating and applying the principles in the Word of God our spiritual body declines. “OUCH”!!!

Vs 17-18, 23-26, 28-29 O you who say you are wise, when I see your “works” what do I discern? If I rejoice over an enemy’s stumbling what does that say about my heart and spiritual attitude? If I am prejudiced what does that say about my understanding of  the truth that we are all made in the image of God?  If I hide my light under a bushel and do not share the gospel when God provides a divine opportunity what does it say about what I know and believe about the message of salvation? When I bear false witness what does it say about my understanding of God’s moral law which Jesus obeyed?  

Vs. 30-34/6:6-11 Observe your daily work.  Remember the parable about the ant and the grasshopper and I need to  ask myself: Are you more like the ant that was diligent to prepare for winter or more like the grasshopper who slept in the heat of summer but went begging for food in the winter? I am either diligent or I am a sluggard. Principle: “If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat.” [2Thess 3]

Wise thoughts to glean and determine my steps. Pro 16:9 A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.

What is God teaching you? Image

crown image: credit firstcovers.com

 

 

 

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Anne Frank and Matthew 24 … Are We Ready?

ImageIn the biography of Anne Frank, the little girl whose diary survived WWII but she did not; Anne’s father, Otto Frank, speaks of his optimism that life will return to normal. It of course did not and he was the sole survivor of his family.  Anne’s father inherited and shared her manuscripts that the world might never forget what truly happened. Even as Otto Frank watched his nation tumble into the abyss of anti-Semitism he kept saying, “it will get better.” Otto was not expecting the turn of events that ultimately would seal his fate as a Jew and his family’s death warrant.

How like Otto we are, optimists as to the future. But, then, as now we watch our world tumble into anarchy, chaos, economies drifting, leaders coming and going, false teachers/prophets deceiving and lawlessness on the rise we can no longer say…this too will pass and life will once again be “normal.”  Jesus says the root of the problem lies in that the love of many will grow cold. The hearts that once beat with the excitement of being a follower of the Christ will turn to apathy and discontent. The Apostle John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit reveals the downward spiral in the 7 churches as he penned Revelation. Jesus continuously reminded his audience and the disciples in particular “he who has ears to hear, better listen.”  

The disciples pondering Jesus announcement of the destruction of the temple leads to seeking answers to three questions. As Jesus answers he pointedly remarks that if truth be known we are unprepared due to the coldness of our hearts. We have allowed our minds to be dulled and our spirits flagging due to this one main issue. We are not studiously studying, memorizing, sharing and even worse is the fact that we are not expecting the return of the Master anytime soon. We have become comfortable with our world as it is. Jesus remarked two times: 24:44 Therefore you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 24:50 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not foresee,” Just as in the days of Noah, they “knew nothing.” Today it is astounding how many do not know or choose to not know. Do you know the scriptures? Are you expecting the return of the Master?

The fields are ripe and ready for harvest—are we in the field? Are we ready? Are we waiting in anticipation of his glorious return? Are we watching the clouds?

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