Dallas Willard gives the instruction to do the “next right thing” when you are attempting to live out the God life. And I see that reflected in this verse. Don’t make your life about trying to hold your face just right to please God. Don’t work on outer form. Work on inner assessment. Is your heart toward God? Do what He says. He cares more about your sincere heart that any amount of money you could give or service you could perform. Let the Lord weigh your heart. It might be the most freeing thing you could do. No fear, just honesty between you and your Maker.
“All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” Proverbs 21: 2-3
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Proverbs 2: 9-11
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
Sometime we get so caught up in keeping the rules, or avoiding them, that we forget to engage our hearts with God. God is the good path. His wisdom changes our lives and the course of our lives. So to grow in wisdom is to see it as a “must have.” More than hair color, or latest fashions, understanding God’s way of doing what is right and just and fair becomes our greatest gain. He promises when we adjust our lives to that end, we will experience great benefit.
Proverbs 1 :32
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Complacency is a scary word. It means: A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy.
When it comes to spiritual blindness, numbness or ignorance, those three things being distinct, complacency is toxic. We don’t look or ask or pursue the things of God because we are content with our own perspective. Yet our perspective is “unaware” of pending danger.
Proverbs is meant for one thing, making one wise. Listen to the way of God. View things through His lenses. Be actively engaged in your world through the power of Christ. Then you will live without fear of harm.
Proverbs 14:12 makes a frightening statement: “There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads only to death.”
Is this possible that I can be so insistent on my own way, so oblivious to all the danger signs, so in denial of the truth that my actions will result in death? Death of my own soul or body? Death of relationships? Death of others?
As a woman who has walked through abortion clinic doors and walked out a murdering, mangled mess, I see the reality of this wise word. It seemed right, at the time. But in the end it led to death in many, many areas of my life and the lives of others.
But God. This warning proverb also has an inferred, mathematical hope. If the negative aspect of this proverb is true, then its counter positive aspect is also true: there is a way that seems right to God and in the end it leads only to life.
What are you facing? Is it is right to you or to God? Are you seeing areas of death in your life? Are you willing to follow God’s way and trust that despite the odds, it will lead to Life for you and life for people around you?
“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know,” Jeremiah 33:3
Lord Jesus, protect us from willful sins. Give us a willing spirit to sustain us and to lead us in the way everlasting. We fix our eyes on You, the author and perfector of our faith. Amen