“Hear instruction and be wise…”

“And now, my sons, listen to me:  happy are those who keep my ways.  Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.  Happy is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting inside my doors.  For he who finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord…”  Proverbs 8: 32-35

The ear that is attentive to the wisdom that comes from the Lord is wise.  In contrast, those who neglect to listen to this wise and noble counsel are building their lives on the shifting sands of a popular, vapid culture.

“Happy is the man who hears the call of wisdom and follows in her ways.  He should attend daily to her instructions, waiting expectantly for the treasures which continually flow from her mouth.”  The Interpreter’s Bible on the Book of Proverbs, pg. 833.

Unfortunately, we have lost the art of the daily commune with our Creator, that setting aside a portion of our day to sit at His feet and absorb His teachings, striving to learn His ways.  Instead, many of us, far too many, begin the day with our minds wrapped inside of a newspaper, whether it be of the paper or the digital kind.  Or worse, we turn on the television and feed at the burned out husks of depressing, worldly newscasts and the mind-numbing foolishness of ubiquitous advertising.

We do this at the cost of development to our souls and the ruin of our spiritual natures.

Few things in life come without cost; the greater the treasure, the more difficult the extraction.  The more valuable is the jewel, the more costly will be the purchase.  It is a law of the spiritual.

In our pursuit of wisdom, we find there is a cost.  It is a cost of time, a carving out of our daily, hectic schedule that constantly demands our full and immediate attention.

Wisdom is a quiet pursuit, one that is forged in the halls of solitude and aloneness.

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”  Mark 1:35 (NASB)

It is there in the quiet and secluded places that we find the wisdom of our Lord.  If the Scriptures felt it important to give the above details about Jesus leaving the house to find a secluded place to pray, doesn’t that tell us of something important for each one of us?  Clearly, if it was important for Jesus, it should even be more important for us, men and women stained by sin, laziness and an inclination to stay in bed and hit the snooze button for a few more minutes of sleep.

But see the glory of this pursuit of wisdom!  Communion with God and a spiritual nature that grows into His likeness.  As we spend this alone time with Him, our thoughts become His thoughts and our ways become His ways.  As we listen to Him, we begin to order our ways after Him and He directs our paths.

Aristotle has been attributed to saying that “nature abhors a vacuum.”  This has many interpretations, some more right than others, but I can interpret it to this post by saying that our morning quiet times, those blocks of minutes dedicated to being in God’s presence, should be filled with the truth of the Word of God.

I write to warn you of the danger of mindless meditation or repetitious chanting, of allowing your mind to be “emptied” only to be filled with some subjective spiritual presence.  “Nature abhors a vacuum,” and your mind, if left unattended, is at risk for being filled with thoughts and other things that may not be from the throne of the Most High God.

Saturate your mind on the Word of God, the writings from both the Old and New Testaments.  As I frequently make mention in my blog posts, one well I continually drop my bucket into is from the book of Proverbs.  Its ancient truths continually refresh and challenge me.

My hope is that they will do the same for you.  Take time to plumb its depths.  You will never regret it.

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