“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” (Prov. 4:23-27)
This is great instruction, and as Proverbs 4:13 says, “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” But I’ll be honest, a lot of this is really hard to do. Actually, it’s impossible to consistently follow this and the other instruction given throughout Proverbs (let alone in the rest of the Bible), on our own.
That’s why fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10). Without acknowledging who God is, we cannot grasp His wisdom. Without acknowledging we are sinners and accepting His gift of salvation by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, we will not have the Holy Spirit as our Helper.
And for those who truly believe and trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior, we are promised the Holy Spirit.
In John 14, Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments. I will ask the Father to give you another Helper, to be with you always. He is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. But you recognize him, because he lives with you and will be in you. ” (John 14:15-17)
People can pick up a Bible and try to “follow the rules” on their own strength and discipline, but they will fail. Without a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are destined to fall short of what God requires of us to be in fellowship with Him. That is the beauty of Jesus’ gift on the cross- because of His sacrifice, we can be saved, resulting in righteousness and salvation (Rom. 10:9-10).
Godly instruction from the Bible is great, but there’s no use in trying to do it on your own. Our relationship with Him is more important than simply trying to follow the rules. Acknowledge God through worship and fear of the Lord, and the Holy Spirit will enable you to do things that are otherwise impossible!
[From December 4, 2018]