Precepts In Proverbs
Devotional Number 2
How To Keep from Changing
It’s not necessarily the decisions that we make in life – it’s the direction of our heart. If your heart is right with God you can make the wrong decision and God can make it still turn out right. If there is nothing in your life hindering your prayers this proverb will teach us how to keep from changing. This proverb was written by a father who loved his son enough to tell him what not to do.
Here are five points to consider that will help us to keep from changing when we are in the center of God’s will.
- Forget Not – Proverbs 3:1 (KJV) “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments.” The first step to staying on track and not changing is to have the right attitude towards the Bible. The word forget here is not meaning an accident but is pointing to carelessness. It is someone who looks at something and consider it to not be that important. It could be an easy thing when you don’t have the proper reverence for God’s Word to put it on the back burner and not read it as often as we should. Simply don’t get preoccupied and get to busy to regularly read God’s Word. The way to not get preoccupied is by making the choice to live in the Bible. The Bible must be preeminent in your life. God tells us about three things He is going to provide for us if we stay in His Book.
- Proverbs 3:2 (KJV) “For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” If you have the right attitude about the Bible God tells us first He is going to give us length of days. This means our day will seem longer because we can accomplish more in it. We can accomplish everything that God wants us to in the time He gives us.
- Proverbs 3:2 (KJV) “For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” The second thing God promises here is long life. God has an appointed time for us to die but it is possible to go to Heaven earlier. We can change this by our own stupidity and living in sin.
- Proverbs 3:2 (KJV) “For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” The last thing is we can be at peace. Peace in all area of our lives.
So how do we develop the right type of attitude towards the Bible? Proverbs 3:3-4 (KJV) “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.” We need to allow the bible to produce visible changes in our lives. When this verse says bind them about your neck it means we need to wear the Bible right out in front of us, it needs to be visible. People should not be surprised when they find out that we are Christians. There should be visible changes. When it discusses the heart this means the changes that happen inside. God see’s the changes we make in our heart.
- Lean Not – Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” The words thy path here are pointing to God’s will. If we don’t want to get sidetracked then the first thing we should stand guard on is the Bible because if we let it slip out of our life our direction will change. We must stand guard on God’s will for our life. We need to make sure we have the right attitude about God’s will for our life. Here are four things that will help to insure we stay in God’s will:
- Proverbs 3:5 (KJV) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” The first thing we can do to stay in God’s will is to trust in the Lord. We need to quit planning and scheming and trust in the Lord and let Him lead.
- Proverbs 3:6 (KJV) “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” We need to acknowledge Him. This means to recognize that all things that come into our life are from God. When we have a flat tire we need to recognize that this might be from God and He just delayed us to keep us safe.
- Proverbs 3:7 (KJV) “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” A good test we can give ourselves, fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It’s one thing to fear the Lord but another to depart from evil. We need to run away from sin. When we are around sin do we run or watch?
- Proverbs 3:9 (KJV) “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.” It’s one thing to say we love Jesus but another to honor Him with our money and possessions. Money is usually the number one god that throws the real God off the throne.
- Despise Not – Proverbs 3:11 (KJV) “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction.” We need to have the right attitude about chastening. God is preparing us for when our heart is going the right direction but we’re going to mess up eventually. When we commit a sin we have two choices, to confess the sin and ask forgiveness or to be chastened by God. God is preparing us by saying if He has to chasten us we should not despise Him for doing so because it is for our benefit.
- Let Not – Proverbs 3:21 (KJV) “My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion.” The discretion here means behavior. We need to hold on to common sense and a good Godly behavior. It’s not good enough to have the right doctrine, it’s not good enough to have the right Bible, and it’s not good enough to have the right methods. We need to have Godly behavior to back it up. God shows us in verse 23 what the benefit is to the person who tries to avoid all the gray areas. We have to be careful about how people perceive us. Proverbs 3:23 (KJV) “Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.” The benefit to staying away from the gray areas is found in the word safely. You can stay further away from sin if you trying to avoid the appearance of evil.
- Withhold Not – Proverbs 3:27 (KJV) “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” The word “them” in this verse is pointing to talking to others. A person who is wanting to stay on the right path needs to have the correct attitude about others. If you develop a hard heart without compassion you could have all the right doctrine in the world and it will not be enough. The proverb here gives us three things that will help us to know how to treat other people:
- Help those who deserve to be helped. Proverbs 3:27 (KJV) “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” God does not know anything about welfare Christianity. We should help those who deserve to be helped.
- Don’t take advantage of others. Proverbs 3:29 (KJV) “Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.” We should never violate the trust of those around us. When someone opens themselves up to us we need to guard that trust.
- Know when to standup and fight. Proverbs 3:30 (KJV) “Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.” We are not told we are to never fight. We should not be fighting with people when there is no cause. There are times when we need to standup and fight. If we learn to master relationships with others the Bible gives us a couple of things that will happen. Proverbs 3:33 (KJV) “The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.” If we have the right relationship with people He will deliver us from the curse of the wicked. Secondly, He will bless the home of the just.
The greatest place in the world is directly in the center of the will of God. It might be a different place for each of us but there is a will of God that God wants us to be found in.
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