Read: Proverbs 3
“Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7, NLT)
One of the most theologically insightful observations ever made came from, oddly enough, the long-running comic strip Pogo: “We have met the enemy, and he is us!” Yes—amen! That is pretty much true about us, isn’t it? We are our own worst enemy. And the sooner we come to grips with that irritating little reality, the sooner we can get on the road to a satisfying and successful experience of life.
For that very reason, King Solomon said that we shouldn’t be impressed with out own wisdom, or as The Message puts it, we shouldn’t “assume that we know it all.” Rather, we should “run to God and run from evil!” (Proverbs 3:7, MSG). Think about that. To begin with, we are not to assume (you know what they say happens when we assume) that we are self-sufficient. Rather, Solomon says we ought to lean into God’s sufficiency by, one, running to him and two, by running from evil. By the way, those two actions—running to God and running from sin—are major themes in Proverbs. Proverbs refers to having sense enough to run to God as “the fear of the Lord” and having sense enough to run from sin is having “wisdom and discretion” (see the previous blog on Proverbs 2:11).
Now the more famous verses in Proverbs 3 that go before and come after verse 7 are important to note here. Proverbs 3:5-6 instruct us as to how we can “run to God”: We are not to rely on our own smarts—our brainpower is not that impressive anyway. Rather, we are to make God the first, continual and final source of authority in our lives. If we do that, God himself guarantees to direct our decisions.
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, MSG)
By allowing God to direct the daily decisions of our life, then he also takes responsibility for the outcome of those decisions. Proverbs 3:8-10 tells us that a God-directed life will produce a body that is lean and mean with a healthy sheen. Think I am kidding? Read on,
“Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!” Proverbs 3:8, MSG)
Furthermore, Solomon assures us that the God-directed life will produce a fat wallet. Seriously—here is what Proverbs 3:9-10 (MSG) says,
“Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over.”
Not bad, huh! I think I’ll take the God-directed life over the me-directed life. How about you?
So my friend, your biggest worry today is not the economy or the environment or some enemy. It is you! But if in things big and small you will run to God and run from evil, you will be on the way to a life of success, satisfaction and significance.
“Where there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” ~African Proverb
Winning At Life:
Practice stopping throughout the day to talk to God. Before you make a decision, for sure, but even when you are in a quiet moment of contemplation, when you are watching a television show or listening to talk radio on the way to work, or after you have had a conversation, be sure to include God. Ask him what he thinks, what he wants, and if he will help.