Give Me an Undivided Heart (Proverbs 7)

By Pastor Shane

I woke up this morning and before my feet could even hit the compressed strands of fiber of our vanilla carpet I was already thinking of the million and a half things that I had to do today. I wish I could say that such an experience is the exception but I find that life always seems to be a web of complicated scenarios that entangle us in the sticky quandaries of captive existence. In Proverbs 7 however, we are offered a piece of wisdom that provides a way of navigating the difficult space of life. In this passage the teacher implores the student to “store up the commands of wisdom” in such a way that they are always present.But here is the tricky part… wisdom knows that life will always offer us a deluge of choices that range from what we will eat, choosing our attitude in the middle of a conflict, who we will marry, or whether or not we will believe in God’s design for a life lived by faith.

The choices are many and thus traversing their ebbs and flows requires a kindred to wisdom that is embedded in every fiber of our being (“Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart” 7:3). Yet, what is it that makes a particular decision wise or foolish? Often the recourse of decisions that we make aren’t totally clear until we follow the ripples to the shore line. Upon the banks of our lives we experience the effects of the decisions that we have made, both good and bad, and live with the influence of these upon us like a shore buffeted by its waves. This is why possessing wisdom is so important but often this is where we are challenged the most. Like the foolish lad who is led astray by the seductive words of the temptress we are constantly being lured by the glit and glamor of choices that are less than God’s best for our lives. These decisions can be putting money ahead of a friendship, allowing that hurt experienced to fester in unforgiveness, making things happen in our own strength instead of trusting in God’s, and doubting God’s promises concerning our lives.

The symptoms of such a malaise are usually reflected in the way that we encounter each day. Do we allow life to simply happen to us and navigate the choices on the fly or do we live on purpose in the focused plan of God for our lives each day. Here wisdom is helpful again: “My child, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye” (Pr. 7:1-2). What we need then is an undivided heart that refuses to be tossed by the whims of life and is purposeful each day to ground ourselves in God’s purposes by focusing on His words to us in scripture and listening to His voice in prayer. When the trajectory for our existence is tempered this way we have the opportunity to enjoy life rooted in God’s wisdom.

This wisdom understands that failure isn’t final and that struggle is the pathway for greater blessing and so come what may today… God’s wisdom is enough to illume our path in His hope. – Pastor Shane Comellas