Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Proverbs, Chapters 22-24 [NKJV] To study these chapters, go to this link -
Highlight Passage: Proverbs 23: 6-8 :[NKJV] … 6 Do not eat the bread of a miser, Nor desire his delicacies; 7 For as he thinks in his heart, so Is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, … but his heart is not with you. 8 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words.
Highlight Passage #2: Proverbs 24: 5-6 :[NKJV] … 5 A wise man is strong, … yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; 6 … for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, … and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.
My Journal for Today: Three more chapters of the Proverbs today; and you’ll have to read through Chapters 22-24, linked above, to glean what God has for you today; but in the two highlight passages above, God spoke to me loudly and clearly this morning, saying, ”Your mind will guide you, Bill; so do all you can to shape your mind to MY way and not your own.”
I think of the mega-wisdom of Proverbs 23: 7a (in the NKJV, copied above), shouts out at me, crying, As a man thinks, in his heart, SO IS HE; and I capitalize the latter phrase because it shouts out that I become how I think. And isn’t that so true, my beloved?
Our minds, … i.e., our thinking, … guide our choices and our actions. And even the context of Prov. 23: 6-8, which tells of how we tend to take in what the rich/famous say to us as being true, when, in fact, so often, others – especially those in power – are only trying to capture our favor by expecting us to believe what they say. Think of a political campaign as an example. Do you believe everything that a politician says to you? … Duh!! … Of course, you don’t. Just because someone says something, trying to shape or reshape our minds, doesn’t make it true, does it?
Why do you think advertisers use slick imagery to appeal to our minds [?]; … yes, so that we’ll follow our influenced minds, choosing to buy their products/services.
Why do you think Satan has established his beachhead of internet p0rnography in our culture? Yes, to influence the minds of mostly men, to follow their minds into the tarpits of sexual sin. Truly as we think, so we become!
So, how do we protect our minds, and therefore protect our hearts, against the pollution of sinful thought manipulation in our world? Well, … the second of today’s highlighted passages gets at that. Proverbs 24: 5-6 wisely advises us that our strength in doing battle in our world, especially since we know life is a spiritual war EVERY DAY, comes in the strength of the number of truly wise people with whom we surround ourselves. In other words, God’s word here is advising us to surround our minds with those we KNOW can/will give us Godly-wise advice. And beware of making “Lone-Ranger Christian” decisions, especially choices which involve our own, personal feelings.
Feelings can – and many times will – be influenced by our deceitful hearts (see again Jeremiah 17: 9), … hearts which simply cannot be trusted unless the feelings are corroborated by God’s truth and more practically by the advice of others who are wise in the ways of God. Hence, our two mind-protecting and validating strategies must me … #1 … to confirm our feelings against God’s word … and #2 … to use wise counsel to back-check our feelings before deciding.
That’s why the Apostle Paul was so confident to advise the church that they could follow or imitate him (see 1st Cor. 11: 1. He knew that his mind was shaped in/by God’s word; and he was closely following Jesus via God’s Spirit. Therefore, he could say to other Christians, “Follow me, because I follow Christ!” Paul’s mind was protected and filtered through God’s truth; and so, by letting God’s truth lead him, he could confidently tell others to follow his way - … because it was God’s way.
The questions become, … #1 … how confident are we that our minds are so steeped in God’s truth that we will make decisions which are Godly choices rather than selfish one? And secondly, are we surrounded by Godly people who can help us make Godly choices? If we can answer with a confident “YES!” to both of these, we are doing what we need to do to protect our minds and become the Godly person whom God intends for us to become.
My Prayer Today: … Lord, thank You for your truth to guide my steps and for surrounding me with others wise in Your ways to help me walk with You. Amen