Friday, May 1, 2009

Proverbs 4:23 – 27

Today, we will finish up Chapter 4 of Proverbs. These last verses speak to us of keeping our “SELVES” under control. Self-control is one of the Fruits of the Spirit, and to really have “self” control, we need to give our whole “selves,” everything WE have control of, over to God’s Control, and let the Holy Spirit guide us. We do this through trusting that God really loves us totally, and only does what is best for us if we are putting HIM first. Here are the verses for today.

Proverbs 4: 23 - 27 (NKJV)

23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.

Verse 23 reminds us that we should keep our “heart with all diligence…” The word diligence is defined as: 1. Earnest and persistent application to an undertaking; steady effort; 2. Attentive care; heedfulness. We must be consistent about keeping our hearts (and in the Bible, the word “heart” usually means our souls… that which makes us what we are—our “selves”) under God’s control and guidance. We do that by constantly praying and seeking God’s guidance before each move we make. He says that “out of it (our hearts/selves) spring the issues of life.

If our “hearts” are centered on God and His ways, then what springs out of our lives are fruits of the Spirit: gentleness, kindness, love, joy, peace, faithfulness, goodness, patience, and self-control, these “issues” are the ones we want.


If our “hearts” are centered on our “lusts of the flesh”, then what will spring out of our lives are the many types of sexual sin, the types of sin that put something else in front of God such as idolizing something like drugs and witchcraft—Horoscopes, Tarot Cards, etc. Galatians 5:19-21 gives a list of many of the “lusts of the flesh,” while Galatians 5: 22 & 23 lists the gifts of the Spirit:

Galatians 5:19-23 (NIV)

19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Verse 24 essentially tells us to keep our mouth’s under control: stop lying and speaking in evil ways (i.e. cursing, planning evil, etc.), and verse 25 exhorts us to keep our eyes under control: look straight ahead at the path that God has placed in front of us. Verses 26 & 27 tells us to “ponder” or “think diligently about” that path, and to let our ways be established in that Godly leading, not turning aside either way, from it.

This chapter ends with the warning, again, to “Remove your foot from evil…” If we have put control of our “selves” into God’s hands, we WILL remove our feet from following evil paths that will cause us to stumble and get hurt badly.

4 comments:

  1. Another Good one, Thank you.
    Lynn

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  2. Just what I needed. The explanation of what the Bible means by 'heart' and what 'guarding your heart' consists of. Thank-you

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  3. This was extremely helpful! I really liked your interpretation of Prov. 4:23...thanks!

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  4. Thanks for this, it really helped to see your interpretation of Prov. 4:23!

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