Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:3-8 ESV)
Never let steadfast love, faithfulness, loyalty, mercy, truth, and kindness leave you. Different translations say it differently, but the point is the same. Walk in a way, live in such a way that is pleasing to God. Make His ways a part of who you are – bind them to you, write them on you.
As I was seeking God’s face this morning in obedience to this call to write, I sat waiting at my dining room table on Him to reveal to me the direction I should take. My usual writing location is at my desk, but this morning I had to move from there to the dining room where I could completely focus on God. While in prayer, I looked around the room and noticed for the first time that I have two decorative items in this room with scripture on them and it is the same scripture. I had never noticed that before. So of course I had to look up that passage. Mixing up the order a bit so that I can really grasp the words in this “well known to me” passage of scripture:
Trust in the LORD with all of your heart.
He will make your paths straight.
Acknowledge God in all of your ways.
Turn away from evil.
Do not lean on your own understanding.
Be not wise in your own eyes, FEAR THE LORD.
You will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
Healing and refreshment. When we can humble ourselves and trust in God life is better. But when we try to be enough – when we trust in our own ways of thinking not seeking the wisdom that God has to offer and then trusting in that wisdom, life starts to unravel. This life is hard. It is filled with challenges, frustrations, loss, greed, evil, pain, suffering and death. Left on our own, we reap an eternity in hell. Our nature puffs us up to think that we can be like God – know all the right things. Haughtiness. Self-righteousness. Justified in our bitterness and anger.
But God has a better life, an abundant life that He is calling us to live. He offers eternal life with Him to us as a free gift through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It brings healing, peace, joy, freedom, blessings, love to the forefront of this difficult place we live in. God’s merciful offer of salvation frees us from bondage to our sin and self so that we can serve Him in love and faithfulness. Grace. He wants us to acknowledge Him in all that we do. He is to receive the glory from our lives, not us. His word is the only source of absolute truth that this world has. As Christians it is to be our guide and light. His word is a lamp for our feet so that we might see the path we are to take.
When we have tied those things (loyalty, faithfulness, love, mercy, truth, kindness) to ourselves, written them on our hearts, walk them out every day in our life, our relationships are blessed, and healing results. Joy takes root. It is the work of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives that provides the power and ability to change our hearts to be like Jesus.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24 ESV)
I don’t know what reminders you have in your home of God’s word, but I’d encourage you to start posting it in every room of your house. Read His word daily. Get to really know who God is, what His unchanging character is like. See what a great, powerful, loving, just, faithful God He really is. Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, to give you wisdom, and to change your heart that you might find favor and have good success in His sight. Trust in God with all of your heart. He is worthy, holy, good, and true. Be encouraged. Press on!
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV)