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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Simple but Powerful Directive From God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Proverbs 3:7 (NLT) says, "Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil." When people read these words, they often get stuck on "fear the Lord" because they are unsure what these words mean.  Some think these words mean be afraid of God. Then they think, Why should I have to be afraid of God if He loves me? Others see these word to mean reverence God and they would be right. But, they don’t want to think about it because the thought of reverencing the Lord sounds like something for religious fanatics. And, they get stuck on the words "turn from evil." 

Turning from evil can seem like a daunting and impossible assignment because evil or making unhealthy choices that are contrary to God's directions are so interwoven into the fabric of our daily life. Consequently, it seems easier to overlook and bypass these words than to let them confront and redirect our life toward God and away from sinful life choices. Once someone begins to blow off reverencing the Lord and His instructions to shun evil, they have become “wise in their own eyes.”  They are going to do life their way. That is making yourself smarter than the one that created this world and who knows how He designed it to work. That is not wise or wisdom! It is only when you embrace, meditate on this life-changing directive from God, and pray for His help to do so, that you gain the very revelation, insight and strength to experience success in it.

Hebrews 12:1 NIV gives us greater insight as to why we should shun or turn from evil in our life saying, “… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” These words reveal that sin gets us tangled up and hinders our course of living for God and the blessing that would come with it. It clouds or mind and will, and weakens our walk with God. The rest of Proverbs 3 tells us what would happen if we took “shunning evil” seriously. Look for the blessings declared because of “shunning evil.”

Proverbs 3:7-18 NLT  “Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn your back on evil. Then you will gain renewed health and vitality. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces. Then He will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with the finest fresh juice from the grape. My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when He corrects you. For the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. Happy is the person who finds wisdom and gains understanding. For the profit of wisdom is better than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. God’s wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.”

Sometimes we want to over-complicate or over-think simple truths. We want to argue or debate them in order to make allowances and hold onto things that are worthless, time wasters, and that steal from and destroy our life. Why not just keep it simple? Your heart knows these words from God are true. Jesus broke the power of sin and it no longer has power over you. You have the power of His Holy Spirit in you and therefore, the power over sin! Why not just start saying no and shunning evil as it surfaces in your life. You can do it! Replace sinful choices with choices that are good—choices you know would please God. The blessings above are His promise and reward for doing so. These instructions from God are simple and straight forward. And because you love and reverence God, you want to do obey them. So do it! You can and it's right to do! And you'll be blessed in your doing!

Jonah 2:8 "Those who protect and cling to empty, destructive, or worthless things, forfeit the kindness, mercy, and instruction from God that could be theirs.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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