My day started bright and early at 6:15 a.m. with a verse from my desk calendar, “The Lord hath chastened me sore; but He hath not given me over unto death.” (Psalm 118) I have been chastened a lot lately it seems. The more I draw towards Him, the more I have to let go of. You see, there is this one thing that I have been asking the Lord for- one thing that I have been pleading and begging Him to give me. But it has not happened yet. I see the need; I have the heart desire for it, but still nothing. I prayed this morning that if this was not His will for me to please take the desire from me. If this was His will for me, then give me wisdom and understanding. I got what I asked for, just not exactly the answer I wanted.
There are some things in my life that I have not given over to the Lord yet. Things that I know He has specifically asked me to let go of, to give up- but I have not. This morning, after the verse from Psalms settled in my heart, I picked up my bible and turned to Proverbs. A few verses in, the chastisement came. I realized that I have not been walking in obedience. There is this one aspect in my life that He has clearly spoken to me about- and I have not listened. I am a hard headed, rebellious child at times, and He knows that- so sometimes His rebuke has to be a little harsh upon me.
Proverbs 1:20-33 tells us about Wisdom, and how it cries out to us. It warns us, it cries out to us- sometimes it has to break us to get our attention. (Or slap me up alongside the head!) Wisdom sounds like such an easy word, and it is a very simple word, it means exactly what it says- wisdom means wisdom. But Solomon has already told us that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Whenever I have a problem, an issue or a situation I go to the Lord and ask for His help- He is always faithful to give us wisdom when we seek it. Sometimes, as in my case, I fail to heed that wisdom that He has offered. And that is the place I find myself today. He has clearly told me the way that I need to go, the one thing He is asking me to let go of- and I am not listening.
Proverbs 1:20 says, “Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares.” The Lord has been telling me, over and over again what I need to do and how I need to do it, but I am not listening. I hear Him, I hear the words He is speaking to me, the direction He is giving me- but my heart is closed because I don’t want to let go of this one thing. Yikes- I am a mess! Thank God for His loving kindness and longsuffering towards me! He gave me a sharp rebuke this morning, but He followed it up with a promise, too. Proverbs 1:23, “Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make my words known to you.” If I just do what He is asking of me- then He will do the rest. I will receive that which I am seeking and He will give me the wisdom and the understanding I need so that I can let go of this one thing I am still holding onto so tightly.
As I kept reading through this chapter in Proverbs, there was a reference to Jeremiah 7:13, which confirmed to me again what the Lord was speaking to me this morning. “And now, because you have done all these works,” says the Lord. “And I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not answer,” He has been telling me for almost a year now what I need to let go of, but I have not listened. I have not answered His call. Does this mean I am doomed? Does this mean that I am never going to get what it is I seek? Does this mean the Lord is angry at me? No, of course not! What He is telling me today is to listen, make today the day that I say, “Yes, Lord, I will.” Let today be the day that I answer the call He has given me. Let today be the day that I begin to walk out this scripture, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn from the right or to the left; remove your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 3:23-27)
In doing this simple thing, in letting go of this one thing that I have refused to let go of I will find the answer I am seeking, and He will be able to work what He has been wanting to work in me. The Lord does not want to withhold any good thing from us. But He also gives us a choice to either listen and receive, or rebel and lack. It is our choice ultimately. I am amazed however, at His patient and great love towards me. Even in my disobedience and my rebellion, He still works, He still answers, He still loves, He still forgives, and He is still here. He will not leave me because of my disobedience, but He will and does rebuke me because of it. The chastening of the Lord in our lives just proves to us that He is with us, that He loves us and that He is working all things out for our good. If we would just listen!
My mother used to say these words to me all the time, “Stephane, if you would just listen for one minute…” The Lord used the same words to me today- “If you would just listen to what I am telling you, then you will get what you are asking for.” Listening is hard to do for someone like me- I want to talk more than listen, but wisdom, wisdom is calling us to listen to His voice today. What is it that He has asked you to do, is there something in your life that He has asked you to let go of and you have not? Is there a relationship in your life that is broken and He has called you to work it out? Whatever it is that He has asked of us, whether it is something simple or something big- we need to lay it at His feet today and say, “Yes Lord, I will listen.” When we do, His promise will follow- His promise for those of us who have yet to let go is, “But whoever listens to Me will dwell safely, and will be secure without fear of evil.” Proverbs 1:33.
May we all open our hearts today to Him, may we ask Him what we have not obeyed and begin today to answer the call of wisdom in our lives. May the God of all wisdom and knowledge and peace fill you all today, and every day. In Jesus Name, Amen.