“My Son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands on your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.” Proverbs 3:1-2 NIV
What to do, the pretty blond fifteen-year-old wondered. She certainly didn’t agree with her parents, but had always obeyed them. Until now.
I really want this.
They just don’t understand.
They’ll probably never know.
Before you or I judge this ‘typical teenager,’ let’s first ask ourselves, how often have I thought the very same thing about God’s answer?
God, this is too hard.
God, I’ve done this long enough.
God, I just can’t.
Keep my commands in your heart.
God’s response isn’t just ‘do it anyway.’ He tells us to keep His commands in our hearts.
Why our hearts?
Wouldn’t actions of obedience be enough?
“Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
If His commands are held in my heart, they will likely transfer from God’s commands to what my conscience demands.
When His commands are in my heart, knowing what I should do becomes crystal clear. There just isn’t any question of how to respond. The question becomes, will I obey?
Not always easy to implement, but quite easy to know.
How do we get God’s commands in our hearts? How do we ‘not forget’ them?
We read them. Repeatedly.
We write them.
We listen to music which sings them.
We practice them.
We recall times we did act on them, and recall the positive consequences we reaped.
As frustrating as the adolescent attitude can be, it’s even more frustrating to recognize the same mindset in myself.
But, realizing the error is the first step in correcting it. God promises to provide for all our needs. He also promises to provide a way out of temptation. Let me work at learning His commands and tucking them into my heart.
When have I ignored God’s commands, what was the outcome?
When did I follow His commands? Did I reap peace and prosperity? (Sometimes peace is knowing I did the right thing even when the end result was not what I’d author.)
What is the best method for me to get God’s commands into my heart?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father,
Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Please remind me of those truths and help me to embed Your commands into my heart. Help motivate me to hide your word in my heart so I don’t sin against you. I also thank You that with obedience comes peace and prosperity. Thank You for Your instructions to protect my life and my heart from destruction and for rewards to my obedience. Nothing compares to Your peace in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.