Proverbs – News From the Source – Part 22 - A
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.” Proverbs 4:20
God speaks to us according to the relationship that we have with Him through Jesus Christ.
"...As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God." John 1:12
If you are born again by the Holy Spirit of God, then, you are, in Christ, a son of God. That is, everyone, men and women, who comes to faith in Jesus Christ are accorded the same station and relation to God the Father as Jesus, the Son of God. In Him we are all made sons of God.
The very act of receiving Jesus as Lord of your life gave you access to the very person and nature of God. You were in a sense transfused (as with new blood, not your own) with the very essence of God (the Spirit of Jesus Christ His Son). If you were then baptized, your old human nature which was created in sin by the will of the flesh and therefore, was already dead (absent from fellowship with God and therefore devoid of the spirit of life)has now been buried in baptism with Christ's death and burial. Your new spirit, which was created in God after righteousness and true holiness, has caused you to be raised up to new life in Jesus Christ, just as He was raised from the dead by the Spirit of God. This is why the scriptures say:
"...if the spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His spirit that dwelleth in you"(Romans 8:11).
It is also the Holy Spirit in you that will quicken (or give life to)your mortal flesh; both moment by moment as we abide in Him now, and eternally in our immortal flesh that we will receive at the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is this same power in you that gives life to the Word in you. The words on the printed pages of our Bibles have no power of themselves. They are just ink on paper. When they are made alive by the Holy Spirit in us they become a powerful force. It is when God, The Holy Spirit breathes on the Word it changes from death to life in the same way that faith with corresponding action (works) changes from death to life. As well, faith without works (corresponding action) is dead.
Having, therefore, addressed us as Father to sons, He says, “Attend to my words", pay attention to my Words, regard them, pay attention to what I'm saying. This Word which I am speaking to you requires your undivided attention and single-minded consideration. Joshua told Israel:
"This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then shall you have good success." Joshua 1:8
It is God's ultimate goal to renew us (all mankind and nature)to the state of things as they were when Adam and Eve were created and given dominion over the earth; when he was given authority to subdue the earth and maintain it, to multiply and be prosperous in it. At that time these spiritual activities (maintenance, multiplication, and prosperity)or laws operated naturally. They did not have to be taught or studied, because there was no curse on them. They existed as naturally as breathing, eating or sleeping do today.
For the most part we don't have to be taught to eat, to sleep or to breathe because (if we are reasonably healthy) these things just come naturally to us. A baby suckles at his mother's breast naturally. He (or she)does not have to study to learn how. In the same way in the beginning with Adam and Eve the natural laws of life and creation operated without care and effort because iniquity was not yet in the world.
Iniquity was found in the devil, and it was through him that death, evil and corruption came into the world. When man fell from grace with God he lost the ability to operate in the realm of the spirit where the laws of health, prosperity, creation and life are the natural order of things. Now, in order for man to be restored to his rightful place of dominion and authority operating in the things of the Spirit, his mind has to be renewed. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote, "...be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind..." (Romans 12:2). The mind is renewed by the Word.
Notice the admonition of Joshua 1:8 is to meditate in the Word "day and night". There must be a total commitment to the pursuit of the law (the Word) of God. Apparently even in Moses’ day men tended to only give a cursory or surface level attention to the things of God. And it is still true today.
The famous words of Alexander Pope still apply in our time:
"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again."
"Drinking largely," where the Word is concerned does not necessarily mean that you must be a biblical scholar or that you have major numbers of scriptures memorized. It does mean that you should take time to know the Author; to hear and hear again, to meditate and meditate again on what the Spirit of the Lord is saying, not being hasty to run after every wind of doctrine; not being easily swayed by the cunning craftiness of charismatic personalities, but soberly giving your self to search and try the scriptures, testing what appears to be truth, to know whether it is of God. Then act resolutely with faith and conviction on what has been revealed to you by the Spirit of God.
Moses in the book of Deuteronomy (6:5-12), recorded the Holy Spirit's command:
"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house when you walk by the way when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Attention to the Word ought to be the utmost priority in our lives; first thing in the morning, last thing at night and all during the day. We ought to diligently pursue these things. Diligence in renewing of the mind is constant, consistent effort put forth in faith to attain a desired goal. This renewing of the mind will not come without effort and constancy. And then, going beyond ourselves we have a responsibility to our children as well as to guests in our home to be continually speaking and digging into the Word. Don't just waste your time talking about things of no consequence that will not be remembered or talking about people or circumstances that are negative. Such talk dissipates your physical and spiritual energies. The Word and meditation in the Word gives life.
But that Life comes not just by meditating but also by hearing the Word spoken, declared, preached and confessed, so that from our hearing the Word again and again and again and so on… we will develop the ability truly hearunto the acquisition of faith.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
The call of the Spirit of God to us is to attend to His Word and to listen diligently to what it speaks into our hearing and our hearts.