The book of Proverbs is filled with ageless, practical wise sayings that have inspired even the secular world to take note. In fact, the emphasis in the book of Proverbs is godly wisdom which brings blessing, honor, keep you safe, guide you on the journey of faith, help you navigate choppy waters, provide, soothe, and comfort you with practical instruction for the life of faith. “Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom,” Solomon wrote. “And with all your getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7) Where do you start? “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10) And then? “You who fear the LORD, praise Him!” (Psalm 22:23)
In Proverbs 30, the author presents two very significant requests of the Lord, whom he wants so greatly to please- two deeply held desires that resonate deeply even today – from the heart of a worshipper, someone who desires to draw even closer to the Lord yet understands what it means to struggle against the flesh to do so. “Vanity” and “lies” is what Agur calls them- pride and deceit, self and selfishness – two of the mightiest enemies we will fight as we journey through life and two of the primary ways the enemy seeks to disconnect you from the Spirit of God so you never fully know what life is like when you are vitally connected to Him through worship. Worship facilitates us drawing near to God into His presence, which is a different dynamic from when He draws near to us where we dwell: “Two things I have required of you; do not deny me them before I die…”
1. “Give me neither poverty nor riches… lest I be full, and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”
We tend to worship as a response to God’s goodness when we see it when, really, we need to worship as a response to God’s goodness when we don’t see it.
One of things we all tend to slip into is the habit of worshipping God only when things are good. Agur noted, “…lest I be full and deny You.” We tend to worship as a response to God’s goodness when we see it when, really, we need to worship as a response to God’s goodness when we don’t see it. That is the essence of faith. Worship is an act of love as much as it is an act of faith. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits,” David wrote. (Psalm 103:2) Why? Because we do forget. Remember when Jesus healed 10 lepers? (Luke 17:11-19) Only one returned to give Him thanks. Agur asked the Lord to help him find that balance, to be content with enough- looking neither to the lack or the plenty – so that his worship would remain vital. “Godliness with contentment is great gain,” Timothy wrote. (1 Timothy 6:6-11)
2. “Feed me with food convenient for me… lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
Desperation is one of the worst things you can allow yourself to lapse into – desperation for anything: a husband or wife, money, healing, a miracle, even a word from God or freedom – anything. Why? When you are desperate, you make bad decisions. This is exactly why Paul wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) Decisions made from a mind operating in peace will be the right ones because your heart and mind will be protected by God. Agur noted that his desperation could drive him to make decisions that would bring shame to the name of the Lord. Have you evern done that?? I HAVE!
“Feed me with food convenient for me…” Agur wrote. Why? Because submission to the Lord’s way of doing things is proof of our trust in Him. You presented your request. God heard you. God has the answer. Your job? WORSHIP. Stay close to Him, in His presence, so you can hear what it is! “…for I have learned in whatever state I am to be content. I know both how to face humble circumstances and how to have abundance. Everywhere and in all things I have learned the secret, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13) If you start to feel like you’re slipping into panic, get into worship and don’t stop until you’re back into PEACE!
Thought for today
Did you know that wisdom is displayed in your worship? “I was the architect at His side. I was His constant delight, rejoicing always in His presence.” (Proverbs 8:30) It’s true! Wisdom rejoices in the presence of God. Your worship is an act of faith, and act of love, an act of sacrifice and an act of wisdom. Worship is the act of removing your mind from fixating on yourself and deliberately focusing your mind on the Lord, to minister to Him. Worship was not designed to minister to you. Worship was designed to minister to the Lord which facilitates God’s connect with you, and it is through that connection God ministers to you. (Write that down somewhere!)
If you need wisdom for any of these things, get wisdom! Wisdom is yours for the taking so do follow Agur’s example and do what James said: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and without criticism, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) Then… WORSHIP!