“Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”
Proverbs 4:10-13, NIV
The first few chapters of the book of Proverbs are written as if Wisdom herself is speaking. The name Wisdom represents the Holy Spirit of God – for in Him is all truth, all knowledge and all wisdom. We read how Wisdom invites sinful man to learn of God, and through the application of wisdom be challenged, be encouraged, be rebuked, be corrected, be inspired, be healthy, be guided – and many more things which are expressed through the thirty-one chapters of this remarkable book.
We come to a very simple instruction – an instruction from Wisdom that, if followed will have massive consequences for each and every one of us – “Accept what I say”. This is an instruction which can, literally, make the difference between life and death. Do we or do we not believe that what God says is true and that if we follow and obey Him that it will be life-saving, life-giving and life-fulfilling?
I once saved the life of a terrified young boy whose canoe had capsized in a raging torrent of flood water. He was stranded on a rock in the middle of the river above a dangerous and very deep weir. I managed to cast my fishing line around his legs. Then I tied string to the fishing line which he dragged to himself. And, finally I found a rope in a farmer’s barn which I attached to the string. Even though he now had a rope tied round his waist, the force of the water was too strong for me to pull him up-stream away from the weir. To be saved, he was going to have to step into the raging torrent pouring over the edge of the weir and trust that I could pull the rope hard and fast enough across the surface to prevent him from being sucked under. This dangerous manoeuvre would only work if he accepted what I told him to do, held on tight, jumped in and trusted me. He did accept what I said. He did trust. And his life was saved. His rescue became a headline in a national newspaper.
The boy had to accept what I said and trust. And that is exactly what Wisdom is saying to us, both in the verses for today and throughout the book of Proverbs. Accept, without question that what Wisdom is saying is true and jump into the waters of life, trusting and obeying. For, Wisdom says, “I will instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.”
This is extraordinarily good news – for these are the rich promises of God to His children. But in order to enjoy the promised blessings, we must “hold on to instruction”. We must not, “let it go”. And we must “guard it well” for it is our life. If the boy in the river had not obeyed instruction I couldn’t have saved him and he would have lost his life.
Your life is utterly precious. Jesus died that you might be forgiven and given a new born-again life. He has a destiny and a purpose for you. But Satan is a destiny-robber and he wants to entice you away from God’s best and make you doubt the truth of God’s Word and, even, rob you of your life. Follow the advice of Wisdom in the book of Proverbs and God’s life-transforming keys will open the doors of opportunity for you. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. I pray that you will want to follow Him every step of the way.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for showing us that You are the way to life. Help me, Lord, to always follow the instruction of Wisdom and so enjoy the blessings You have promised in Your Word. I choose now to step into the destiny You have reserved for me by accepting all that You say as the truth and follow You all my days. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.