Photo courtesy of Jenny Haritou.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." 
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

Evening readers! This week i am going to focus on reading a bit more about Proverbs and wisdom.
There's been so much confirmation happening to me lately that really encouraged me to study more about the benefits and importance of wisdom - and why us, as His beloved, need to be really rich in it. 

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure;
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God."
(Proverbs 2:1-5)

Encountering Jesus means experiencing wisdom, for out of His mouth comes the breath of life, the knowledge and understanding of life and many things that are beyond the scope of the human mind. What makes Christianity so dynamic is that ability to tune our ears and hearts to God's frequency, so that we may partake in His works that defy normality and nature. 

Since I was young, I never thought or was reinforced that our God is a God of passion who delights to surprise His children in amazing wonders. It never struck me that Jesus actually wants our life to dynamic, explosive with His glory and power. It just occurred to me recently, in the past couple of months that living as a true Christian, as a true daughter of Christ required a whole lot of feat and bravery to step and sync into the unknown. Jesus never meant for our lives to get boring! He's planned every single good thing that we can experience only if we walk alongside Him and He can only gradually reveal these things (or "surprises" I should say) when we take that leap of faith to step into the unknown with Him. 

Nothing is hidden or is impossible to God. Therefore, what we perceive to be daunting or risky may be rewarding before God's eyes. I am not saying that all things that are mysterious are for the good of us. But we should keep our eyes and ears open for His call. 
I chose this picture ↑ because I know swans, like geese, are very faithful towards each other ♥ And not forgetting how beautiful the photo really is! Okay, getting back to track, Jesus lists out the steps in attaining more understanding of His love and glory in our lives in Proverbs 2.

  • Accept and store His words and commands. 
Begin by reading up on His word more often. The lovely guest pastor who shared at 180 last Sunday came up with this motto: "no bible, no breakfast. no bible, no lunch. no bible, no dinner..." emphasizing that whenever we cry of spiritual hunger, our physical bodies need to share the feeling too. Sometimes reading His word can be very difficult. God uses certain biblical verses to really ram-in the truth in our heads when we are at our lowest, highly unmotivated to hear such frankness. However we did not get what we want to hear, rather what we dislike to hear! This is just another way of God being surprising. He just knows everything in our lives and what is best for us, and if we simply let Him work in us, you'll experience many more things that we could never have thought of before. 

Proverbs told us to "not forget about [God's] teachings, but keep His commands in our hearts, for they will prolong our lives many years and bring us prosperity." (Ch3, v1-2) What does this mean? Simply put, Jesus tells us to never forsake or ignore what we have learnt, heard or received from the Holy Spirit, regardless whether it's from a sermon, a rebuke, work, tests or a life lesson. The Holy Spirit is constantly shouting to get our attention. It is our job to keep maintaining on sharpening our senses and ensuring that we can always hear Him. But what about prosperity? I am not referring about financial wealth or abundance, rather a content life packed with glorious impact. A prosperous man knows how to weave his business and life to maximize productivity. A prosperous man also knows that he gives his best each time, and that is the exact work attitude that God wants in each of us as his ambassadors. Wisdom is like a garland to our feet, a chain hung by the neck that protects, surrounds and accompanies us wherever we go.

Next time you hear the Word of God being preached, a sermon, or even a testimony at your youth groups, note down anything that really strikes out to you. Instead of getting up and go after the pastor's benediction, spend a couple of minutes quietly praying at your seat, earnestly asking God to "re-fertilize" your heart. A good soil absorbs all the seeds were planted and multiplied them to a hundredfold. I dream of living a life so powerful and radiating in His love and peace everywhere I go ♥

  • Turning our ears towards Wisdom and applying our heart to understanding.
SIDETRACK: Obvious enough, King Solomon or the writer of Proverbs (if it's not him) decided to personify Wisdom as a woman. But why? Simply put, he wants us to pursue Wisdom with a passion. Wisdom is an automatic when we walk with Jesus. No, there's no goddess of wisdom - that's because people have taken this verse out of context and making it misleading. Wisdom is a part of God and as His children, it is rightful and only expected of us to be wise.  

Okay, back on track...

Inside this body, we have three layers. The outermost physical body, the middle soul/emotion and the inner spiritual vessel which is specifically created by God to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Aside from our physical heart, the "heart" here implies the interaction between the soul and the spirit. It is to turn our entire self into learning more of the Word. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation for the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak!" (Matthew 26:41) Instead of its literal meaning, Solomon also stated that we should tame our flesh (our soul, thoughts, emotions) to follow the desires of the Spirit. In other words, turn our entire self and attention to pursue more of God with an overwhelming passion. Sounds pretty intense, but hey that's why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our dear friend. Accept the Word in its wholeness, accept the rebukes, accept the unpleasant bits or the frank stuff, accept everything for the Word is God and God is life. 

To apply our heart to understanding means to ready ourselves to be shaped by the Word. Sometimes I would read the Word, then say if I get really drowsy, just quickly closed my bible and thought in my head "Sorry God, next time. I don't have the energy to be up and praying. I don't even understand what I'm reading!". By this point, the bed is total heaven and praying feels like 1,000 kilos...But here, we are encouraged to consolidate what we have learnt in the spiritual realm and the only thing we can interact with God here is through prayer. Reacting and consolidating our understanding or newly learnt knowledge will create breakthroughs in our life. Basically, it means we should surrender to whatever we received from the Word and in doing so, God will hold our open arms and lead us to a point of new revelations. Sometimes it needs a strong conviction in the Word to fully surrender our lives and fully accept what the Word said, but I believe God rewards those who seek and surrender plentifully as listed out in verse 5 :)

  • Then we will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
Sure enough, we know that this verse means discovering the significance and worth of salvation and Jesus's work on the cross in our lives. But it's not everything. (I actually looked up the Matthew Henry commentary on this one and the result is so mind-blowing...)

Fearing the Lord equals many things. Prioritizing His Word and commands over our own desires. Learning how to forgive even when it's seemingly impossible, etc. etc. But to find the knowledge of God extends that sanctification point. It also refers to WHY we pursue Christ with so much eagerness and diligence. Knowing how worthy and glorious Jesus is will just enable us to seek Him more wholeheartedly, just as Paul said, "to live is Christ and to die is gain". It's an extreme mindset but here, Paul was just overwhelmingly soaked in the Holy presence that he could no longer see anything but ways on how to please God and how to spread the good news to people around Him. That mindset is still pretty scary to me but I trust that God will soften my heart day by day in understanding more of His glory. 

♦ ♦ ♦ COMING UP NEXT ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Oh I don't know. What does this beautiful swan tell you? I will continue on with Proverbs as promised by the way. See y'all next time blessed readers ♥
Photo courtesy of Josep Sumalla
Last but not least, I hope you're blessed with this small post. 


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Maira Gall