I love the Bible! Seriously, I LOVE IT! I especially love to read it late at night when everyone else is asleep and things are quiet & peaceful. In these times, I feel like I’m sitting alone with God, hearing Him speak just to me. I meditate on what God is saying – really listening with my heart. Knowledge speaks, Wisdom listens. And, man, do I want (need) wisdom! For this reason, I find myself in the book of Proverbs almost daily!
Here’s something that really spoke to my heart yesterday:
My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you… Then you will go on your way in safety and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” Proverbs 3:21-24.
So many times in Scripture there is a “then.” Unfortunately we don’t always bother to go back and find out what the “then” is referring to. In these verses, from Proverbs, there is a “then” right in the middle, and IF we’re not careful, we will only remember what is promised and omit what is required. I was super tempted to do this myself… allow me to explain:
For years I have encountered pretty intense spiritual warfare and threats of danger. Maybe you’re thinking, “well, yeah, you lived in the heart of Detroit!” Yes, that’s true. But, this was different. I’ve been experiencing an insidious and deliberate spiritual attack — weird stuff… As a result, I have been struggling to sleep (or at least sleep soundly and wake up refreshed). I find myself getting up throughout the night to pray for my family, my life, my church and our community. Maybe you don’t buy into this whole ‘spiritual warfare’ thing… well, then, I suppose ignorance is bliss for you. But, make no mistake, any believer that is a threat to the enemy will be messed with. This doesn’t mean we need to live in fear or bondage – that would be stupid.
- We pray.
- We call upon the name of the Lord.
- We quote Scripture.
- And, we press on!
So, last night I was reading through Proverbs 3. And, the verses I quoted above really jumped out at me. I thought to myself, “Yes, I need to walk safely and secure and I definitely need some sweet sleep… thank you, Lord, I recieve it!” — I was ready to crash & enjoy some Zzzz’s!
And, God said, wait go back and read what comes BEFORE the “then” that you’re claiming. Here it is again, “preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you”
– sound judgement and discernment… hmmm… other translations say:
- wisdom and good sense (NCV)
- clear thinking and common sense (MSG)
- sound and godly wisdom and discretion (AMP)
I think we all would admit that these are elements that we need in our lives. But, sometimes we’re not very proactive about pursuing them. We say things, to God, like: “Lord, give me your wisdom… make me wiser… grant me greater discernment…” ~ but, notice this passage tells US to ‘preserve‘ them and also to ‘NOT let them out of our site‘. It’s on US! Well, friend, the greatest source of wisdom & discernment is God’s Word. Yet, another reason, to read it more & more & more!
I’m applying this to my life. I am determined to walk in greater confidence, security & stability – and, I’m expecting my sleep to be SWEET!
There are so many AWESOME promises that God gives to us in His Word. But let’s make sure that we take the time to surround the whole promise and not simply pick out the bit that we want to see. When you come across a “then“, quickly throw it in reverse and study what precedes it! Than apply the entire passage collectively & confidently!
Walking Strong, Sleeping Sound,