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Can we have a good life?

Proverbs 4:1-10

" 1 Hear, [my] children, the instruction of a father, And give attention to know understanding; 2 For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law. 3 When I was my father's son, Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, 4 He also taught me, and said to me: "Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live. 5 Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. 7 Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [Therefore] get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. 9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you." 10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, And the years of your life will be many. 




        Society today provokes us to believe that we are hardly responsible for anything. That there is a cause and effect in our lives that is indelibly someone else's doing. At the least and the most extreme, we have God. There are those outside the body of Christ who discount the love, if not the very existence of God because they continue to observe evil in the world. Their assumption is that because says He is all powerful and that He is love, He should get involved just to prove to them that what He says is true. We see this in a stark example in the scriptures when our Lord Jesus is on the Cross in the middle of two criminals. One attempts to provoke Jesus to pride by spurring Him to prove His deity be removing Himself and them from the cross. Jesus makes no attempt to yield because that would be sinful first of all, it would go against the will and plan of God for salvation, and Jesus would actually be subverting the authority of the Romans in that situation. God does not operate that way! 

    On the extreme opposite end, but with the same yielded result, we find those members of the body of Christ that believe in the unequivocal, vast and acute sovereignty of God. They stand on the notion that everything that happens is a direct result of the will of God, that nothing at all, anywhere, and at any time can happen outside of the will of God. This is complete ignorance of the nature of God and I would say that those who employ this paradigm are farther from the heart of God than those who have never personally encountered Him. The absolute best window into God’s nature on this subject is found in 2 Peter 3:9:


"9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. “


    This verse clearly states that it is against the will of God that any perish, yet many, many do in fact perish. Where is the sovereignty of God in that? The answer to both sides of this hideously skewed argument is that God has given authority over the earth and all of the goings on therein to mankind….. PERIOD! If a human who has the authority in a situation does not exercise that authority by word or deed, then the situation will unfold without God’s intervention because God has designed the system this way. 

    This brings me to our study passage of Proverbs 4. Proverbs four opens with the admonishment that our ability to withstand temptation is in our own jurisdiction. It goes on the alert us to the fact that we can experience health and joy and freedom by restricting what we hear and what we see to the Word of God. That is to say we can hear and see other things but if we do not keep the word of God in a place of excess in our ear and eye gates, then we will inevitably stray from it. To be clear, just hearing and seeing the Word of God is not the deep-seated heart of the answer, it is only the gateway to the answer. The answer is to employ, with all diligence, in every situation, what the Word of God, that has been observed through our eyes and ears, instructs us to do. This is the key!! If we remind ourselves consistently what the Word says by seeing it and hearing it, we will be far more likely to react in accordance with its dictates at the onset of any and all occasions. 




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