The Very Tree of Life: Proverbs 3:13-18 MSG

There are moments when fear and worry creep in, but we combat them with the word of God. I tend to let my mind get away from me when I am focused on the trouble in the world or the trouble that is on my doorstep. I feel trapped at those times, utterly hopeless. Proverbs provides wisdom that helps balance what God intends for us to do in the face of adversity.

You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom, when you make friends with Madame Insight. She’s worth far more than money in the bank; her friendship is better than a big salary. Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth; nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her. With one hand she gives long life, with the other she confers recognition. Her manner is beautiful, her life wonderfully complete. She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her. Hold her tight—and be blessed! With Lady Wisdom, God formed Earth; with Madame Insight, he raised Heaven. They knew when to signal rivers and springs to the surface, and dew to descend from the night skies.
Proverbs 3:13‭-‬20 MSG

Fear generally comes from what we don’t know so it is beneficial to fill our selves with the wisdom of God who is all seeing and all knowing.

God gives out Wisdom free,

is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding.

He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well,

a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere.

He keeps his eye on all who live honestly,

and pays special attention to his loyally committed ones.
—-Proverbs 2:6‭-‬8 MSG

And all you have to do is ask!

Royal Mess Up- Learning how to recover from mistakes you have made.

We as mankind are bound to encounter stumbling along the way. There are or will be moments of regret where we have royally messed up and feel there is no recovery possible.

The bible clearly identifies men who although were upright made huge life altering mistakes, one’s that would have doomed them to hell if it were not for the grace of God. The funny thing is that these are the teaching moments God will use to direct us back to him.

Here is an example of one among many.

King David

2 Samuel 11-12

David and Bathsheba

1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

And to this we say dang! David’s moment of passion and lust led to an undoable mistake. For a moment he tried to scheme his way out of it.

He sent for Uriah to lay with Bathsheba but he refrained out of respect for God and his fellow soldiers.

11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”

From here David becomes more desperate for a cover up.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”

16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.

It would seem at this point that David can breathe a sigh of relief….

2 Samuel 12:1 MSG

But God was not at all please with what David had done, and sent Nathan to David.

9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”

At this point I would not know if I could go on. If messing up royally had a picture next to it David’s face would surely be there. From here we ask how do we get pass messing up so bad with God and live a normal life.

See below how David proceeded.

15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth[b] on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

At this point David is desperate and his servants take note.

18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”

20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.

22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

From this we learn that because the mistake has been made we cannot undo it, but we can choose how we will mourn for it and how we will recover. David repented and turned back to God and proceeded into what God originally called him to do. He did not forfeit his purpose through this mess up. God did forgive him and his legacy was restored through Jesus. Did he from that day forth have no more trouble? No! Even Jesus advises us that we will have trouble, no one is exempt.

From here we have to ask ourselves, “Does what I did define me?” and “Can God use me after this.”

Remember that ultimately we have a choice. We can choose to let trouble dictate our lives and future or we can like David confess it, repent, and move on.

David never failed to get into the presence of God and found safety there.

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.Psalms 16:11 NLT

Take note that in God has shown a path but it up to us to walk down it. The benefit is knowing that he is with us.

Here is a departing word from the Lyrics of Tenth Avenue North’s You Are More.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade

This is not about what you’ve done,

But what’s been done for you.
This is not about where you’ve been,
But where your brokenness brings you to
This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

No Longer Passifying the Flesh

Flesh is like a two year old with a passifier. The passifier is what keeps it quiet and gives it comfort. Everything is fine as long as it is near and can be accessed whenever desired.

As we walk in the spirit we take away the passifier. The flesh will throw fits, have major outburst, and finally fall out.

Blessed is the one who can walk away from their flesh until it falls under the subjection of the Spirit.

I do remember that because my flesh will always be a part of me that I have to remove the passifier constantly to make sure it understands it is no longer in charge. It is now forced to conduct itself by walking after the Spirit.

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
Galatians 5:17 NLT

There will come a day when the passifier will be thrown out and I honestly can’t wait because the fight can be down right tiring.

We can take comfort in knowing that the Holy Spirit is with us and in us to help us overcome our flesh.

Thanks be to God who always causes us to triump in Christ Jesus!

God In Our Deficiency

The entire bible is a story of an amazing God loving, working through, and blessing ordinary people. He in his amazing mind thought us up and decided that not only did he want to create people but he wanted a personal relationship with them. These people, because of sin, were very fickle and had a short attention span so God had to come up with some solutions.

God is an equal opportunist, grace levels the playing field. His willingness to wash away sin with the blood of his son gives a chance to the world in its entirety. (See John 3:16) It’s amazing to know that when I feel like I’ve messed up I will not be turned away, but he welcomes me back with open arms.

Though out the book of Isaiah we see how people repeatedly broke God’s heart and he was angry but for a moment but still told them, “if you will turn to me and from your wicked ways I will have mercy on you.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)

It is no longer a matter of what you look like, how long you’ve been saved, where you were before you got saved, who you know, where you grew up, or what environment you were raised in. God says, “I will take them all!”

Make sure no outsider who now follows God ever has occasion to say, ‘ God put me in second-class. I don’t really belong.’ And make sure no physically mutilated person is ever made to think, ‘I’m damaged goods. I don’t really belong.’”

For God says: “To the mutilated who keep my Sabbaths and choose what delights me and keep a firm grip on my covenant, I’ll provide them an honored place in my family and within my city, even more honored than that of sons and daughters. I’ll confer permanent honors on them that will never be revoked. “And as for the outsiders who now follow me, working for me, loving my name, and wanting to be my servants— All who keep Sabbath and don’t defile it, holding fast to my covenant— I’ll bring them to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. They’ll be welcome to worship the same as the ‘insiders,’ to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices to my altar. Oh yes, my house of worship will be known as a house of prayer for all people.” The Decree of the Master, God himself, who gathers in the exiles of Israel: “I will gather others also, gather them in with those already gathered.”
Isaiah 56:2‭-‬8 MSG

Moses, one of the most influential men in the bible, admitted his deficiency to God and allowed God to fill in what he was missing. The result of Moses’ obedience moved a nation from slavery.

Moses raised another objection to God : “Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.” God said, “And who do you think made the human mouth? And who makes some mute, some deaf, some sighted, some blind? Isn’t it I, God ? So, get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.” He said, “Oh, Master, please! Send somebody else!” God got angry with Moses: “Don’t you have a brother, Aaron the Levite? He’s good with words, I know he is. He speaks very well. In fact, at this very moment he’s on his way to meet you. When he sees you he’s going to be glad. You’ll speak to him and tell him what to say. I’ll be right there with you as you speak and with him as he speaks, teaching you step by step. He will speak to the people for you. He’ll act as your mouth, but you’ll decide what comes out of it. Now take this staff in your hand; you’ll use it to do the signs.”
Exodus 4:10‭-‬17 MSG

For all of the goodness it makes me wonder why God chooses to deal with a fallen humanity. The answer is pure love, the definition of who God is.

But out of the sheer goodness of my heart, because of who I am, I keep a tight rein on my anger and hold my temper. I don’t wash my hands of you. Do you see what I’ve done? I’ve refined you, but not without fire. I’ve tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction. Out of myself, simply because of who I am, I do what I do. I have my reputation to keep up. I’m not playing second fiddle to either gods or people.

Isaiah 48:11 MSG

God is not deterred by our weakness. He does not turn away from us even when we are in sin, but calls to us to enjoy him and allow him to bless us.

Dear Friends, we have been approved by God through his word.