“Do you spend much time with the Book of Proverbs?” Stan asked me one morning while we were waiting for breakfast.
“A little,” I admitted. “Mainly when I see a reference to it. How about you?”
“I really like the Book of Proverbs,” Stan replied. “I read it just about every day.”
“There are 31 chapters,” he continued. “For a long time, actually for several years, I read one chapter a day so I would make it through the book each month.”
“Twelve times a year,” I commented. “You still do that?”
“No,” Stan replied. “Following advice I was given some time ago, I decided to go through it more slowly, a verse at a time.” [Note to reader: See Day 13 of S. Tory Teller’s book, Waiting for the Train, “Why Hurry Through the Bible?”].
Continuing, he added, “There’s so much richness in Proverbs. When I don’t take the time to focus on that richness, it’s easy to miss. For example, earlier this morning I saw a single verse we could focus on for the rest of our time on this side of eternity.”
“Must be a long verse,” I replied with a smile, knowing it probably isn’t.
“Nope,” Stan said. “Quite short, but the words paint a fabulous picture for my faith walk.”
“Okay,” I replied. “You’ve got my attention. Let’s have it!”
“It has to do with giving way to the wicked and how that can destroy what God wants to do in and through His people. The word picture is that of a trampled spring and a polluted well resulting from giving way to the wicked and wickedness.”
“That is a vivid picture,” I replied. “A life that could be used for God being trampled and polluted by giving way to the wicked and wickedness. I can see why you say we could talk about this for a long time. Big subject!”
“It is,” Stan responded. “And it’s the same thing we’ve talked about many times. Because of the assurance of salvation by truly accepting Christ’s finished work on the cross, a Christian’s eternal destination won’t be altered. However, the effectiveness of that person’s life for God on this side of eternity certainly can be diminished or destroyed depending on how or if that person works out the salvation that was worked in by the cross. One delights God, while the other is to the delight of the world, the flesh, and the devil.”
“Serious stuff,” I responded.
“You’ve got that right, my friend,” Stan replied. “And that’s why it is so essential that each day I choose to stand firm in not giving way to the wickedness of the wicked.”
“I guess that another way of looking at it,” I said, “could be a question of whose ‘Well done!’ do I want to hear, God’s or Satan’s.”
“More than a guess, my friend,” Stan replied.
Bible verses to consider:
Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked. Proverbs 25:26.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7.
Do not give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4:27.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want me to stand firm with and for you. You know all of my weaknesses and how easy it is for me to want to give way to the wicked and the wickedness that fills this world. Please forgive me for all of the times I have given way. And please help me in following every step of your lead in helping me to choose to stand firm in resisting Satan and in not giving in to the wickedness of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: How are you doing in standing firm and in not giving way to the wicked? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense the need for change in how, where, and when you stand firm against the world, the flesh, and the devil, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?