Posts Tagged Proverb 3: 6

Lord of the Lunge

Proverb 3: 6

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

I was inspired, yesterday, by a group of athletes at the YMCA. Their enthusiasm for their workout is eclipsed only by their enthusiasm for their God. Recently I wrote a devotional about functional fitness and questioned what functional Christianity looks like. Yesterday I received my answer. Functional Christianity is in acknowledging God in all you do. For many of us, exercising our bodies is a singular task but what I found with this group is that they also exercise their spirits and their fellowship while flexing their muscles. After class, we were invited to pray together. What a blessing that was to me and I think God was honored to be a part of our workout.

When we go to work, to the grocery store or even when we are sweating and grunting with weights or a bicycle, there must still be space in our lives to acknowledge God. There should still be room in our hearts, minds and even our expressions with others to acknowledge and recognize our God. It is easy for us to get wrapped up in everything we do during the course of a day and never involve our Lord but if He is truly the Lord of our lives then He ought to have a place in everything we do. Whatsmore, His lordship ought to leave footprints on the paths of our life. His life leaves marks on our lives and those marks are, hopefully, visible to others. We begin in acknowledging God in all we do and then we start acknowledging God to others. We then find that we begin to leave footprints in other people’s lives. Our inclusiveness of God in all we do eventually envelopes people we encounter along the journey. The goodness of God is then expanded beyond its initial borders until eventually it reaches every person on earth.

It all begins with involving the Lord in all the activities of life. Take Him to work, take Him to the mall and definitely take Him to the Gym. Life is better when God is present. You may not be fond of lunges but they go much better when God is the Lord of the lunge.

Straight Paths

Proverb 3: 6

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Jesus defined the relationship he expected us to have with him. He expected it to be a love relationship between friends. He also expected that relationship to show itself in the way we approach our lives. In John 15: 14 Jesus is recorded saying, “You are My friends if you do what I command you.” In John 14: 21 he said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me.” This relationship with our friend yields a particular behavior. That is that we do what he has commanded us.

Now, what does all of this have to do with today’s verse? Fair question. Jesus is the Word, the whole Word. That includes everything that was written in the Old Testament. God wrote the proverbs by inspiring Solomon with the words to write. Therefore, today’s verse is one of those commands that Jesus wants us to live by.

While this is a very familiar scripture I wonder if we know how to apply it or even that we should. Jesus expects us to live his word and today’s verse is one of the ways we accomplish that. Jesus intends that in everything we do, whether work, family or play that we stop and ask his advice. As we make our plans or weigh our options we are supposed to check in with our Father asking Him to direct our path. That means at work He is the senior partner. If you own a business, get used to the idea that you have someone above you that you are supposed to consult before you act.

He isn’t trying to be a controlling presence. He wants to direct your steps so as to lead you into success. His ways always cause us to flourish. He published today’s verse so we would know how to operate in this world. He is showing you the way. Whatever you need to do today, do it with the Lord. Talk with him all day and let him guide you.

Lessons from Walt Disney

Psalm 12: 3          NIV

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, “We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips – who is our master?”

Most people wouldn’t come right out and defy God the way the speaker in today’s verse does but many of us say as much by our actions. Proverb 3: 6 which teaches us to acknowledge God in all our ways. Verse 5 of that same proverb tells us to not lean on our own understanding but rather to trust God. Do you see a picture forming here? We are not to try to excel in our own strength but instead to trust God and lean on Him. This teaching applies to us all but I think it can be hardest to accept by those people who: 1) have big personalities, or 2) have been successful in their earthly walk. Now, in order to really progress, they must deal with their egos and personalities.
I recently saw the movie Saving Mr. Banks which is the story of the making of the movie Mary Poppins. The Disney studios worked with the author of the book series who by all accounts was difficult at best. At one point I was rather impressed by Walt Disney’s approach. He, being Walt Disney, had a certain amount of authority, personality and success which he certainly could employ in order to get his way in matters. In this case, however, he did not try to overcome the difficult author by persuasive speech, his rather impressive record of successes nor did he try to cajole or intimidate her. This surprised me. I thought back in my own life as I tried to influence situations and obstinate, even intractable, people through the mere weight and power of my personality, persuasive arguments, reason and whatever other worldly tools were available to me. Of course, this is not the way the Father is leading us and I find that I end up feeling a little uncomfortable when I apply these techniques. Ms. Travers, the author, rather expected Disney to bully her but he didn’t. Instead of pressuring Ms. Travers, he endeavored to know her better. He sought understanding and wisdom. Once he did that he could meet her need and still make the picture. 
 
Our heavenly father would have us learn this same lesson. We are not called to win or overcome by the power of our personalities or our speaking skills. We are absolutely never to bully people into compliance nor to deceive them with half-truths and pretty speeches. There should be absolute honesty in all of our approaches and dealings with people. These are the children of God. Even if you don’t like them or they are standing in the way of what you want that does not give you the right to move them against their will or bully them. Your task is to find out what their need is and fill it. The person who wins is the one who fills the most needs of other people.

We belong to God. He owns our mouths and our lips and we reflect on Him with everything we do. We have a master. Although our egos may rail at the thought of having a master if we are Christian then it is true. It is by His grace and His blessing that we are supposed to get the things that we desire. If we have to do it through the force of our personalities or by persuasion then we are operating in the flesh and outside of God’s will. This is a hard lesson but one that is so important for us to learn because on the other side is God’s blessing and peace.

Called Out

Isaiah 45: 3

And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.

Did you know that you are called of the Lord? And that he has called you by name? Well, you are called. He has called you to himself. Who will answer his call? He is willing to pour out his blessing on you to confirm his call on your life. The secret to all of this is in the answering of his call. Run to him with all that you are. Withhold nothing from him. So many people pray to him for the things they need when the real answer is to turn your face to him. You do not have to call him. He is already present with you, calling your name. You have only to acknowledge him. In every way that you acknowledge him, he will be your Lord and bless you. If you let him be the Lord of your health, he will bless you in your body. If you acknowledge him in your finances, he will release his blessings in your financial life. Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will make your paths straight (Proverb 3: 6).