Proverbs 21:1-4 ESV
“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
the lamp of the wicked, are sin.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, our hearts should be being directed by God. We should be living our lives by God’s design for our lives. The Lord Jesus should be the one directing our thoughts, our ways, our inner purposes, and our preferences, that we might please him in all that we do and say.
But just know this. If we allow the Lord to direct our hearts and to turn them wherever he will, and if we truly follow him in his ways, according to his will and purpose for our lives, we aren’t going to please a lot of people. Many people may not want to be with us because it makes them uncomfortable.
Yet, it is the Lord Jesus who examines our hearts, not because he doesn’t already know what is there, for he does know. But it is for our sake, to show us what is there, and to reveal to us either where we are doing what is right in God’s eyes, or to show us any areas of our lives where we are doing what is right in our own eyes, instead.
For, the Lord is not interested in what we are willing to sacrifice for him, thinking he will be pleased with our sacrifices. He chided the Israelites of old on numerous occasions, for they were making sacrifices to God, and even fasting, but they weren’t living in obedience to the Lord, but in sin.
What the Lord wants from us is our hearts committed to him, moldable to his will and purposes for our lives, willing and obedient to doing what he desires of us and what he requires of us, too. For, he has called us to be a holy people, different (separate) from the world, becoming like Jesus.
We aren’t supposed to live our lives in the pride of our own flesh, doing what our flesh desires, living in sin, doing what the ungodly do. For our Lord delivered us from our slavery to sin that we might now be for his glory and praise, now living in slavery to him and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23).
Proverbs 21:7-8, 10, 16 ESV
“The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
The way of the guilty is crooked,
but the conduct of the pure is upright…
The soul of the wicked desires evil;
his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes…
One who wanders from the way of good sense
will rest in the assembly of the dead.”
There are many people today claiming faith in Jesus Christ who are refusing to do what is just and what is right in the eyes of the Lord. For, they are convinced they don’t have to. They have bought into the lies which tell them they can be saved and have eternal life but they don’t have to obey God.
So, they are living in hostility towards God. “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:7-8).
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom 8:12-14).
So, if we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God, we can’t be like those who are living in hostility towards God because they refuse to obey the Lord and to do what he says we ought to do (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; Rom 6:1-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
Our conduct, as believers in Jesus Christ, is to be pure and upright, and not mixed with the world of sin. We are to be holy (separate from the world) in all of our conduct, living godly lives, pleasing to the Lord. For Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26).
So, know this. If we live to the flesh, making sin our practice, we will die in our sins no matter what we profess with our lips or think we believe in our hearts. We will not inherit eternal life with God (Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8).
Proverbs 21:25-27, 30 ESV
“The desire of the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
how much more when he brings it with evil intent…
No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
can avail against the Lord.”
There are many people claiming faith in Jesus Christ who may or may not be living in gross and immoral sin, but who are lazy gluttons, living mostly to please and to entertain themselves. They may not be lazy with regard to working in this world, but they are slothful when it comes to serving God.
Their cravings and their passion are focused mainly on themselves and on pleasing themselves rather than on pleasing God, on serving him, and on serving others. But they may be ones who make a show of righteousness, who go through religious rituals, thinking God will be pleased.
This show of righteousness, as well, may be a cover for evil, masking evil behaviors, trying to look good in the eyes of others, or trying to deceive others into thinking one is living right while he or she is secretly engaged in all sorts of sinful, wicked, and deceitful behaviors.
But the Christian is not to live like this. This describes the lives of many of the ungodly, but it should not define those who are believing in Jesus. For, the life of one believing in Jesus Christ should be a life surrendered to Jesus Christ who is walking in obedience to the Lord, but not necessarily in absolute perfection. But lack of perfection is never an excuse for willful sin.
We are to be people who are listening to the Lord and who are following him with our lives in surrender to his will for our lives. Our purpose should be his purpose. And we should be operating in his wisdom, not in the wisdom of humans and the flesh. For the wisdom of this world is opposed to God and to his purposes for our lives. So, we must do what the Lord says.
What the Lord Says
An Original Work / February 24, 2014
Based off Isaiah 43:1-44:5
This is what the Lord says to you:
Fear not, for I have chosen you.
I have summoned you by your name.
You are mine. I died, you to save.
When you go through your trials, so deep,
I will be with you; you will not sink.
You are so precious always to me.
Trust in your Lord, Savior and King.
This is what the Lord says to you:
He who gave salvation to you;
Who delivered you from your sin;
Takes your burdens now upon Him:
Forget the former things of your life.
Give of your heart not now up to strife.
See all the new things I have for you.
Walk in vict’ry. Trust in what’s true.
This is what the Lord says to you:
He who made you; who will help you:
Do not fear what humans may do.
Walk in freedom. Follow what’s true.
Drink of my Spirit given for you.
Trust in my mercy, for I love you.
I have a plan for all of your life.
Follow my ways. Do what is right.