I’ve read Proverbs so many times. To really get out of the routine of “oh yeah, I know this,” I’m reading through Proverbs using primarily The Passion Translation. Although I have translations I prefer over others, I do believe that each translation has its strengths, as well as weaknesses. Bringing them together, provides me with a fuller picture of what God may be trying to say. When I read the scriptures, I read in worship. So, I don’t just read. I posture my heart towards Jesus in worship and rely on His divine revelation to help the words on the page come alive. It’s those living words that bring transformation. You may find that I, like today, will offer the same verse in multiple translations. Each one brings a different aspect; a different dimension; a different perspective. Together, they offer a deeper understanding and a fullness that makes my heart jump.
Well, here we go. Day 1. I’ve read all of Proverbs chapter 1 and there is a verse that stood out to me.
But the one who always listens to me will live undisturbed in a heavenly peace. Free from fear, confident and courageous, you will rest unafraid and sheltered from the storms of life. (TPT – The Passion Translation)
But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil. (NASB – New American Standard Bible)
But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm. (NLT – New Living Translation)
But whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at east, without dread of disaster. (ESV – English Standard Version)
The chapter starts off by informing us why Solomon was writing these proverbs.
- To know wisdom and instruction
- To discern the sayings of understanding
- To receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity;
- To give prudence to the naive
- To the youth, knowledge and discretion
- A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
- A man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
- To understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles.
That section of chapter one is closed by a very popular verse:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The Passion Translation of that verse was very eye-opening to the depth of that verse; at least to me. Let me share it with you.
How then does a man gain the essence of wisdom? We cross the threshold of true knowledge when we live in obedient devotion to God. Stubborn know-it-alls will never stop to do this, for they scorn true wisdom and knowledge.
After this, we read wisdom’s cry to be heard. We read wisdom’s counsel and warnings. Included in the warnings are potential situational examples and outcomes that may occur when we do not heed wisdom’s counsel.
I love how the chapter ends. The last verse simply states what happens to those who listen to her (Wisdom).
Jesus’ time with the disciples, captured in John 13-17, is one of my favorites. His final teaching was so beautiful and rich of wisdom. My desire is to live what and how Jesus taught the disciples to live within the new covenant. If Jesus said they would have it, I want it. If Jesus taught them to do something, I want to learn and do it. In John 14:27 Jesus said,
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it (your heart) be fearful.
Jesus left us peace, and not just any peace. In Philippians 4:7, Paul describes what this peace is like:
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension (understanding), will guard your hears and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I sure do love the sound of that. Peace that surpasses understanding sure does sound like the peace that Jesus said He would leave us. He said that His peace wouldn’t be like the peace the world gives.
What does that even mean?
To me, that means that the way the world understands peace, isn’t the way Jesus understands peace. Peace is defined in the dictionary as a state of tranquility or quiet. According the ways of the “world, these attributes are usually tied to external circumstances and situations. I’ll use a lighthearted example to start off. If a bee was buzzing around you, pestering you, and just wouldn’t seem to leave; it’s constantly buzzing past your ear and seeming to want to rest on you to potentially sting you, the “world” would not consider that an optimal situation of experiencing peace. For most, in that situation, experiencing peace doesn’t even seem possible.
A not-so-lighthearted example would be someone living in a country surrounded by war. To the natural person, to the “world”, it’s not possible to live in a state of peace with the fear of bombs and guns going off at any moment.
The world defines peace using outside circumstances and situations. Our family life, work life, social life, financial state, home location, etc dictates whether peace is in existence in our lives or not.
What Jesus was teaching and Paul reiterating is that the peace Jesus offers is not tied to nor influenced by natural circumstances. We can experience peace even in the midst of war. We can find ourselves in the most uncomfortable circumstances and still experience His peace in us.
In Proverbs 1:33, Wisdom is talking about this level of rest; being able to sleep with bombs flying overhead. It’s achieved by listening, taking heed, and living out her counsel and guidance. I want that level of rest. If Jesus said He left it and I can have it, then I want it. But I keep hearing the question,
Just before Jesus said He was leaving us peace, He said:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
I can’t help but connect the Holy Spirit to this amazing peace that surpasses understanding. The Holy Spirit is our Helper; He’s our comforter. Wisdom speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, teaching us all things and reminding us of all God’s promises. Wow…Wisdom speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. I never really thought of it that way, but it makes sense. It is the Holy Spirit that allows us to experience the fruit of living out the counsel given to us by Wisdom. When we listen to Wisdom, we are listening to the Holy Spirit, and that is what brings us peace because when we believe and stand on His teachings and His promises, we won’t be afraid. He is for us, not against us. He is our shield and our refuge. I think it’s time to look up some promises I may need to stand on when fear tries to rear its ugly head.
- Look up and write down promises of God in my life, both in scripture and those spoken during times of prayer.
- When fear starts to creep in:
- Ask Holy Spirit to speak to me what Wisdom is saying
- Refer to the promises of God in my life and stand on them
- Believe His promises in my life over the circumstances and/or lies of the enemy
Jesus, I thank you for your Holy Spirit. I thank you for leaving us such a great peace. A peace that at times, we can’t even understand. To be surrounded by chaos and still be in peace – it’s so incredible to experience. But, there are times where I let fear creep in. I become afraid in certain situations and circumstances, especially those that impact my children. Holy Spirit, in Proverbs 1:20 it speaks of Wisdom shouting in the streets. I ask that when fear of any kind begins to creep in or I begin to align with it in any way, that Wisdom shouts in my heart, mind, and spirit. May she be so loud that it overpowers the lies of the enemy. May she shout all the promises that You have made to me so that I may remember and stand on them, just as Jesus said you would in John 14:26. I am no longer a slave to fear, but I am Your child. I will live unafraid of the storms of life because Wisdom says I am sheltered in You and there is nothing that can overcome You. You are my peace and in You I will rest. I will listen to Wisdom, and in those moments I can’t hear quite right, She will shout so loud that I will naturally listen because Your word is alive. Amen