Deceptive Mind

Journal Entry // May 31, 2021

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

Proverbs 28:26 ESV

This statement in Proverbs cut me deeply this morning. There have been several good passages this past week that pricked my heart, but I was not faithful in my reflections and meditating so they did not get captured. There is this tendency in my heart to trust my mind. I find it rather easy to contemplate and think deeply about my desires and I am learning that my mind is both deceptive and easily deceived.

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Sleep, Slumber, and Folded Hands

Journal Entry // May 29, 2021

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, [34] and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.

Proverbs 24:33-34 ESV

It is such a simple matter to move from a little sleep and a little slumber and a little rest to a life of lethargy and apathy. This is not just a warning for the physical poverty of this world, but a warning about the spiritual dangers of apathy. I think we all deal with this temptation at every point of our lives and will continue to deal with this no matter how dedicated or consistent we may be in our spiritual disciplines and routine.

Just a little is how it all begins. This is the story of pervasive sin in my life. It all seemingly begins with some form of this phrase, “just a little.” The encouragement from God’s word is to stay vigilant in the face of pressure. To hold the line. The barrage of temptation coming from my enemies (world, flesh, devil) is not going to relent and take it easy. The enemy of my soul is relentless and that means no rest for me. No peace for me. No folding of the hands of sitting back to bask in a job well done or to take stock of how God has used or is using me for his glory.

Usually, it’s a simple matter. A simple adjusting of God’s standards through my understanding. It is such a simple thing to move the line and let just a fraction of disobedience and non-conformity seep into life. To tell myself that this is an insignificant battle and one that is not worth getting worked up about. Maybe even criticizing others for the Pharisaical attitude toward rigidity in an area. All the while, knowing that I am making excuses. Knowing that I am in the wrong. Yet, still moving the line. Until one day I wake up and the line has moved so far away from me that I can no longer see God’s clear commandments any longer.

I need a ferocity and vigilance in my pursuit of holiness. I need to see my life as a calling to cultivate delight. Cultivation is hard and difficult work. Like a farmer who relies on the production of his crops to provide for him and his family, so too must I see the cultivation of delighting in the Lord as the most vital and basic command of the Lord. I am in the business of caring for my heart, soul, mind, and strength. All of these needing to be shaped and cared for in such a way that the Lord is glorified in and through my life. For it is only when I am delighting in the Lord with every ounce of my being that I am truly living. Circumstances come and go. Trials and adversity will find me. It is only faith being lived in daily moment by moment actions that anchor me to the delight and fellowship of God.

So a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands will need to wait until their proper time – in heaven. When the Lord calls me home, then I will have true rest. I will find that comfort and rest that my soul longs for. The path leading to my true home is uniquely designed for me and is meant to mold and shape me to be more like Christ with each and every step. I need patience and steadfastness. I need humility. I need mercy and grace in abundance. I need Jesus.

Weigh Your Heart

Journal Entry// May 26, 2021

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.

Proverbs 21:2 ESV

How do we discern the rightness of our ways? It is true that in every decision there is a level of acknowledgement that what I am doing seems right. That I typically choose my every step based on the rightness of it in my understanding. There are going to be times where I choose something I know isn’t right, but even then I provide a sense of rightness to the decision even if I have to lie to myself.

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The Strong Tower

Journal Entry // May 23, 2021

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

Proverbs 18:10 ESV

A safe and secure strong tower is the name of the Lord. When I read this description, my mind takes me back to the tower at Lyme Park in Manchester, England. Even though this was a simple tower not meant to defend or provide security, it gives me a good picture of what the writer is saying.

There is this tower in the middle of the open country set high on the hill. A tower that is made of stone and allows for weary travelers to find rest, warmth, and security in the midst of the harshness of the moor. Any traveler or wanderer would be able to see this tower from miles away as it is located on top of a hill and commands 360° views that extend for miles and miles.

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Leave the Simple

Journal Entry // May 16, 2021

Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”

Proverbs 9:6 ESV

Living and walking in the way of insight is not a simple matter. Living life as a follower of Christ is complicated and difficult. A simple carefree life is one given over to slavery. The world, the flesh, and the devil are the master of the simple. But those who fear the Lord are walking and living in a complicated way.

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Playing With Fire

Journal Entry // May 15, 2021

Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?

Proverbs 6:27 ESV

I was actually looking to have a more positive reflection this morning. I was hoping for some passage of scripture that would lift my eyes heavenward and show me the character of God. But God has once again brought a passage to help me think rightly about my heart and the consequences of sin.

These two chapters in Proverbs are continuing with an exhaustive picture of the forbidden woman. Except in this section the writer moves on from the woman not necessarily knowing what she was doing to actively enticing. Actively seducing the man that was too casual with his steps, letting himself turn aside to her street being forgetful of God’s commandments.

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Looking Directly Forward

Journal Entry // May 13, 2021

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. [26] Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.

Proverbs 4:25-26 ESV

Keep your eyes and your gaze set straight before you. This is an interesting picture to convey the wisdom of keeping focused on what is most important on this journey of life. There are some key points in this picture that need further meditation.

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Heart Full of Wisdom

Journal Entry // May 12, 2021

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 ESV

There is an inherent danger in seeking knowledge without wisdom. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge itself will lead to a heart puffed up with pride and self-reliance. This knowledge seeking is highly valued by the world and is seen as a mark of success. It’s a knowledge that is demonstrated and performed for the world around in order to bring praise and honor to the self. Breeding pride and arrogance in a person’s heart. Teaching them to rely only on their own understanding.

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