As my morning walk along the serene shoreline came to an end, my arm refused to pull the handle of the car door. Suddenly, tingles went up my arms and the tips of my thumbs went numb. It had been a while since I’d visited the chiropractor for preventative adjustment, and this proved I’d put it off too long.
“Have you been looking down a lot?” my doctor asked me.
“Not more than usual,” I responded. But as I walked away that day, I took it to heart. I had been failing to do the work required to prevent my neck from being pulled out of place.
Looking in the wrong direction can cause damage. It can pull things out of place and prevent us from seizing certain opportunities in life. Bad habits are bad news, for our physical bodies, minds and souls. If we are to steer our lives in the direction God has purposed for us, we’ve got to look up.
Looking down too often can pull the bones in our neck and back out of place, causing nerve pinches and numbness. Failing to meet with our Father in His Word and in prayer pulls us down into the doldrums of what the world has to say to us …what others have planned for us. Only in the effort we make to meet with Him does He faithfully adjust our perspective. As we fix our eyes on Him – fix our gaze on the truth of His Word, we are more apt to look up and realize our place in this world.
Proverbs 2:1-5 gives us wise action steps we can practically apply in our daily lives, so we are mindful to look up, and diligently create a habit of fixing our gaze where it belongs – on Jesus. This passage is full of action words: accept, store up, turn, apply, call out, cry aloud, look and search for. The proof God meets us in His Word and blesses our obedience jumps right off the page, too: “you will understand …and find.”
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God is not hidden from us. He calls to us. There is a pang of longing in every human heart to be closer to the Father, because He created us for relationship with Him! His love for us is unimaginable, that He would sacrifice His one and only Son on our behalf. And Jesus fully accepted the Father’s will. The Holy Spirit in every believer enables us to live out passages like Proverbs 2:1-5 by obediently looking up, letting go of our agenda, and letting the power of Living Water in us strengthen and uphold us to set our gaze upwards, on things not of this world but of Christ.
There is protection in the wisdom of God. “Wisdom is inextricably bound to a relationship with the Lord, the pursuit of either one leading to the other,” David Finkbeiner explains, “This is because wisdom (and it’s counterparts, knowledge and understanding) comes from the Lord, who bestows it to seekers” (Moody). Where we look matters! The NAS translation of Proverbs 2:1 uses the word receive in place of accept. In it’s original Hebrew translation, it means to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, acquire.
The knowledge of God lies at our fingertips! But we have to take action. The ability to see the world through the perspective of our great God requires us to take obedient action and meet Him in prayer, worship, and His word. He intends to give us more than we can ask for or imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21). Our heavenly Abba Father loves to bless us! He hears our prayers and is a personal, loving and compassionate God. But so many of us, on so many days, trudge and run through each day on our own agenda, neglecting to make time for Him or talk to Him.
Following Christ isn’t easy. One glimpse into the testimony left behind in the New Testament up to present day will reveal hardship and difficulty. But the power we have in the Holy Spirit sustains us, providing supernatural strength to pursue with joy the hope set before us. The action words in Proverbs 2:1-5 direct us in how to access the wisdom we need to unlock the full potential God has knit into our lives since before we were even a thought in our earthly parent’s minds. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Jesus waits with open arms to welcome us into a life washed clean with forgiveness and grace.
Look up … accept, store up, turn, apply, call out, cry aloud, look for, and search for the wisdom of God. He will answer in His own way and in His own perfect timing. He is faithful to grow us into the people He already sees us as, without the sin and weight of the world that so easily entangles us (Hebrews 12:1). All are welcome, with open arms, to “understand and find.”
Moody Bible Commentary, Copyright 2014 by Moody
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Meg, freelance writer and blogger at Sunny&80, is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” and “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” She writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters, which led her to pursue her passion to write. She has led a Bible Study for Women and serves as a Youth Ministry leader in her community. Meg, a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, lives by the shore of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters, and golden doodle.