Devotional: ‘Choose Wisdom and Live’

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While I was at the window of my house, looking through the curtain, I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense. He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house. It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell. She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said … Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses, for my husband is not home. He’s away on a long trip. He has taken a wallet full of money with him and won’t return until later this month. So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. (from Proverbs 7 NLT)

These words sound like something from a romance novel, yet they come from the pages of scripture. The book of Proverbs is more than a collection of wise sayings. It is a father’s attempt to help his son see the value of living by God’s wisdom. Even this very chapter begins with these words of encouragement – “Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands. Obey my commands and live! Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes. Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. (Pr 7:1-3 NLT)

Solomon was trying to warn his son of the seduction of sin. James tells us, “But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires.” (Jas 1:14 HCSB) According to James, sin lures us away by appealing to the desires deep within us. These desires may be lustful desires like those of the young man, or they may also include things like: pride, power, greed, selfishness, and gossip. Recently I found myself in a very awkward situation with another Christian. For a moment there was a power struggle between us and in my flesh, I wanted to lash out. Yet the Spirit spoke to me and reminded me that His fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness. I decided to listen to the Spirit rather than my own desires and I’m glad I did. Even as the awkward situation continued, I felt the Spirit giving me more and more power to deny self and to follow Him.

Every day we encounter a number of Satan’s schemes. He is a master of seduction and he knows exactly what it will take to get our eyes off of the Lord and on to ourselves. Therefore we need all the godly wisdom we can get. As Solomon told his son, we need to tie God’s wisdom around our finger like a string and therefore constantly be reminded of the truth. Reading this devotional is one of the ways we can do this. Memorizing scripture, listening to Christian music and spending time in prayer are some of the other things we can do. I remember a time when I made a copy of the hymn, ‘What a Friend We Have In Jesus’, and posted it above the desk where I was working. Throughout the day I would read the words and find encouragement. I even remember a time when we put a sign above our TV that read, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes” Ps 101:3

Solomon concludes his illustration by saying –

Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death. (Pr 7:24-27 NLT)

There is death in sin and life in wisdom. Therefore, seek wisdom and live.

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