How Should I Treat Insight?

Image result for insightHere is the deal about wisdom. God has a goal for me. God wants me to be wise. God wants me to understand Jesus. God wants me to know how to love. God wants me to have insight.

Insight is the spiritual quality that enables me to appreciate God’s mind and will in matters of behavior, truth and providence. This is important where right perception is not obvious. Some things can elude me. They seem to be a mystery. Then boom! God breaks through. All of the sudden, I get it. Yea God!

Talk to Wisdom as to a sister.
    Treat Insight as your companion. | Proverbs 7:4

Insight is akin to wisdom and understanding. It is given by God and is to be sought by believers.

  • I need to be on speaking terms with wisdom. Wisdom needs to be as close to me as family, like a sister to me.
  • Insight, in addition to wisdom, is critical to my well being. Insight should be my closest friend, always with me.
  • Wisdom and insight together should be my close companions. They go hand in hand like trusted friends and family. They compliment each other.

I can count on Jesus to give me insight. Things that were unknown are now knowable and known. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, makes plain what was a mystery.

“Consider what I say, for the Master will give you understanding in everything.”  2 Timothy 2:7 (NASB)

“By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of the Messiah, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit.” Ephesians 3:4–5 (NASB)

 

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Scared of the Subject?

Being that this time around we are not focusing so much on doing actual commentary, here are some initial thoughts regarding Proverbs chapter 7.

First, I have to wonder if discussing the content of this chapter is intimidating based on the current mood of society. Are we afraid to approach a chapter that deals mainly with the dangers a predatory woman poses? Are we afraid that we will be accused of victim-shaming in the eyes of the all-seeing “Me Too” movement?

Secondly, is it hard to comprehend a woman being the aggressor? Chapter 7 makes it pretty obvious that the woman in the story is the one seeking out her prey, while the man is the gullible sap that falls for her advances. It would seem to me that if that was the case, then women could theoretically get away with literal murder.

Personally, I give women far more credit than some. To be honest, aside from the normal physical advantage most men have, women possess a much wider array of emotional and psychological weaponry than their counterparts. And, in some ways, they’re stronger.

I find it ironic that in a world where Facebook lists over 50 genders and men and women are reduced to indistinguishable and ever-changing pronouns that women still play the victim card when it’s convenient. Men, on the other hand, are always considered the aggressor. Maybe those facts (or misunderstandings) are the very reasons we should not only teach our men to be men and our women to be women, but warn each of them – including young men – of the dangers that lurk where lust lives.

The fact that is true for all of us is that without godly wisdom someone will take advantage of us, and the end might not be an exciting, new relationship; it might be the grave.


Honoring Mothers

My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: – Proverbs 6:20 

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, but today is the last day in Proverbs chapter six. Therefore, I thought I would go ahead and give a little shout-out to my mom, Marie Baker. I thank God for her and for her wise counsel. I could have been a completely different person without a godly mother like her.

To her credit, I don’t think my mother would have turned out the way she did had it not been for her own godly mother, Lorene Cagle, my granny.

Then there was my dad’s mom, Mary (Hughes) Baker. She was an interesting woman to have as a grandmother…half Cherokee, the wife of a tractor-driving moonshiner, and one who threatened to “wear me out” if I ever got into a fight I didn’t win. She might not have been the “godliest” woman, but nevertheless I remember some of her advice to this day.

1941 Bunting Glider

Just this week I finished restoring a vintage 1940’s-era front-porch glider. The glider has been in my family (on my dad’s side) since it was new, but it had fallen into disrepair after years of neglect and exposure to the elements. I kept track of the restoration project with photos I posted on Facebook, noting the effort was an act of love for Mother’s Day.

I finished it on Friday, and my mom was completely thrilled with the result.

This morning I recorded a sermon to be aired on the radio tomorrow afternoon. Believe it or not, I preached from this very chapter, specifically from Proverbs 6:20-23. The main point that I tried to make was how godly and wise instruction from a wise and godly mother can make a huge difference in our lives.

We are told to “bind” the instruction of our fathers and mothers to hearts, even to tie them around our necks (v.21). The reason for this is pretty simple…

When you walk here and there, they will guide you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; when you wake up, they will talk to you. For a command is a lamp, teaching is a light, and corrective discipline is the way to life. – Proverbs 6:22-23 CSB

How valuable are the teachings of a godly mother? Think about it:

  • Wherever you roam, no matter how far you go, a mother’s guidance can give direction, keeping you from dangerous paths.
  • Sleep can be peaceful, restful, and restorative when you lie your head down knowing you’ve done things correctly, have no regrets, have confidence in the future, and know you’re loved.
  • As you go through your day, as you face new circumstances, the godly wisdom of a godly and wise mother will surface in your memory, giving you the sense that you’re not alone in the decisions you must make.

How many lives have been shattered on the rocks of misfortune, all because they didn’t listen to their mothers?

“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”
-Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President

When all the matriarchs in my life are gone on, and one day when I’ve passed on to my own heavenly reward, I hope my children will remember the impact my mother and grandmothers made on my life.

Maybe they’ll think about them as they sit on that old, front-porch glider.


Just Like You Said

girl-563719_1280Children have an innate ability to (at least believe they) remember something you SAID. 

Y’know, like, six months ago. 

“But YOU PRO-O-O-M-I-S-E-D!!”

Busted!

Personally, I think it’s pretty humorous.  Kids will keep you, if not broke, then at least honest, when the money goes for braces instead of a new(er) car, or into the college fund rather than a retirement fund.  Disney over Cancun, that sort of thing.

Best not to tell a kid something unless you mean it.  To them, our words are powerful, like a contract signed in blood, and once they know you’re sincere, they’ll be back for more.  More encouragement, more love…more money.  (Always more money.)

Interestingly, it can be similar to the spiritual realm—Heaven is listening to what we say.  Unfortunately, Hell is also tuned in.  Now, I have heard my husband say that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman; He doesn’t force Himself on anyone.  He is forgiving and patient.  Consider the Prodigal Son who walked away and then said, “oops!” 

 Satan,…not so much.  

 “…if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
    and are caught by what you said—”

I realize the context of this passage from Proverbs is concerned with signing off on someone else’s debt, but perhaps the principle has further applications.  Author and counselor John Eldredge posits that we make spiritual agreements ALL THE TIME, sometimes in ways we don’t even realize:

 “How can I be so stupid?!”

 “I’ll never change.”

 “I’m nothing but a mess.”

 And with whom are we agreeing when we say these things?  Certainly not God!  His words over me are more along the lines of:

 “I am a new creation”.

 “I am loved.”

 “I have authority and purpose.”

The challenge comes when I realize that I have a choice: just who will I believe? (Jesus paid dearly so that I could have that choice, BTW.)  When I verbalize choices contrary to what God Himself says about me, I’m inviting spiritual influences in keeping with those decisions.  Because that’s what my words are—decisions.  Decisions to trust what I feel (or what the enemy is saying to me through a feeling) rather than the truth of God.

I can get trapped by that agreement. 

cross-3080144_1920The Good News, however, sets me free, since that’s what the Truth does.  Always.  Sure, I’m responsible for that freedom, but it’s paid for.  Like a good Father, He promised. 

And then signed it in blood.

Proverbs 6:2 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Suddenly Broken or Adopted

12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.
13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.
15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. -Proverbs 6:12-15, KJV

For anyone who may want to say that the Hebrew scriptures, our Old Testament, is not valid anymore, look at what Paul wrote:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10

This sounds a lot like what Solomon wrote in today’s passage! Nearly identical, really.

And look at what we have been discussing for the past two weeks. Paul summed it up rather succinctly.

While it is easy to stay relatively negative – that our world is full of “naughty … wicked … froward” people – and that we may be guilty of such things ourselves, Paul continues with this:

11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Thanks be to God that, though we live in a fallen world and are ourselves messed up, Jesus has made a way and cleaned us of our sin, has given us the promise of the inheritance He shares with His own, adopted through His blood.


Stealing Passions

Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. -Proverbs 6:30‭-‬31, KJV

These two verses are in the midst of a chapter warning against adultery. Therefore, while we could discuss understandable thievery, let us continue only talking about sex.

Stolen fruit

Think about: when committing adultery, that love and passion is stolen from at least one other person (two of both are married). That time together is stealing from time that could be spent with family. Or even God.

The fruit of relationships is love, time, and fellowship, and all of that is taken away because something “feels right.”

We can understand when someone steals for unger, though it is still wrong. Our world tries to argue that if they love each other it is understandable, because they clearly were not having their desires fed at home. (Even though some people have perfectly satisfying relationships yet still “stumble”.)

Paying it back

But does that make it okay?

Look at the marriages that fall apart, the lengthy process of deciding who gets how much of whatever, or the lawsuits that happen.

It literally costs the substance of a household when adulterers are caught stealing these passions.

Adulterated Religion

Misrepresenting God, diluting or misapplying His Word, leading others astray, and otherwise treating others unlovingly is the same as stealing from and committing adultery against God.

We can understand not wanting to offend someone or bringing [temporary] comfort to others, but it is still “stealing from God” by not fulfilling His perfect truth.

And this can lead to Jesus dismissing us later with those feared words, “Depart from me. I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23)


Fearful, Bored Procrastinators

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. – Proverbs 6:6‭-‬11, KJV

There are 3 main reasons people are lazy:

1. They think they have time.

They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them
Matthew 25:3, KJV

“Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” This is a common saying, and perhaps you see the danger in procrastination. Putting things off can lead to sloppy, unfinished, and/or unstarted work, which in turn leads to problems, as seen in Jesus’ parable with the five virgins who missed the coming of the Bridegroom.

2. They are afraid.

“He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.'”
Matthew 25:24‭-‬25, ESV

“I want to make sure it is done the way they want it.” Whether it is the fear of failure, not meeting expectations, or doing something wrong, this fear stops us from doing anything. However, just like the servant hiding the talent, we could miss out on rewards in this life and the next.

3. They are … bored?

Laziness casts one into a deep sleep …
Proverbs 19:15 NKJV

“There’s nothing to do,” or “I am already doing something.” This is also an excuse for not wanting to do something. Living life, especially following Christ, is hard, so it is easier to do nothing. Laziness then breeds laziness. In boredom, everything seems pointless. At least while reading a book or playing video games or watching videos you feel engaged in something.

Yet, in all cases we are guilty of not doing what we ought.

May we follow the example of the ant. It is Christlike.