Archive for December 12th, 2012

Proverbs 20

Proverbs 20 talks much about planning and how we live.  Solomon gives us some straight insight into key areas of living well.  “The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing”.  We have to work to have a harvest.  I know the truth of this principle well, having lived on a farm my entire life.  We have to think ahead, and act in preparation or there will be no harvest.  That means we must work.  “Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread”.  We don’t receive a crop by sleeping, but rather by planning ahead and taking action.  We have to work to be blessed with a harvest.

God knows our heart, but it runs very deep within us.  “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out”.  Many of us struggle to find our purpose, which is not unusual.  It lies deep within us, and is not a simple task to uncover.  “The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts”.  We are complex beings.  We need to understand that God created us that way and knows us very deeply.  But spending the time to find and understand how God has wired us and what He has for a purpose for our life is an important thing to work toward.  That defines how we are to live and love.  “The righteous who walks in his integrity – blessed are his children after him”.  And when we find it and live that way – in integrity with our purpose – the benefits flow beyond ourselves to our family.  This is a very important process to follow.

People will know us by how we live.  “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright”.  God pays attention to that as well.  Our outward life is an expression of our inward character.  It reveals, at least over time, what we are like on the inside.  It is a reflection of our heart.  We can pretend for a time, but certainly not forever.

We get wisdom from Solomon on the importance of how we should plan.  “Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war”.  We need to not plan in a vacuum, but rather seek counsel and involve those around us in that process.  Far too often I see people go hide away and plan by themselves.  That is dangerous and often ineffective.   And even more troubling is when we plan without involving God in the process.  “A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way”?  He alone knows our steps.  He alone can show the way!

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