Proverbs 2: 1-5 – My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
When I was in school, I always dreaded “grammar time”. We would lug those ancient language books out of our desks and discuss exciting concepts, like pronouns and prepositional phrases, then we would practice identifying them by copying massive blocks of sentences and underlining different parts of speech. For me, that was easily the most boring part of the school day, and most of my classmates felt the same. That explains why we often goofed around during those lessons . . . which explains why our teachers had to teach the exact same concepts year after year. We never seemed to master them.
Maybe THAT explains why so many of us (Christians) fail to notice the VERBS in Scripture. (If you don’t remember what a verb is, you’re even worse off than me! Think, “action word”.) Scripture is chock-full of strong action verbs, and we overlook many of them. Instead, we act as if life with God is passive; as if it just sort of “happens”. One day, as I am just walking along, BAM!, God grabs my heart, and from then on I effortlessly grow and mature in Christ. Then one day, I morph into this “super-Christian”, who always knows the right answers and the right ways to respond in every situation. Life with Jesus just happened!
I probably don’t have to tell you that that is not how it works . . . in any arena of life. I can’t lose weight by sitting in front of the T.V. and hoping my waistline will decrease. I can’t gain muscle by buying exercise equipment and storing it in the closet. I can’t gain knowledge by keeping my books on the shelf. Growth requires effort. In the same say, though I can’t “earn” my salvation, (Paul describes it as a “gift from God”), growth in Jesus Christ requires action on my part. It means following, and following means effort.
In Proverbs 2, Solomon describes the process by which we gain Godly wisdom. Look again at verses 1-4. Pretend you are in elementary school again, and circle the verbs in these sentences.
Accept, Store, Turn, Apply, Call, Cry, Look, Search
Solomon says if you will do these things – if you will actively pursue wisdom with all of your heart, you will find it. Oh, how wonderful that type of wisdom will be! Re-read the remainder of the chapter, beginning with verse 9, and notice the benefits of Godly wisdom. Understanding and discretion! Who could ask for more?
God calls us to grasp hold of wisdom; to climb above the confused wanderings of this culture and walk a better path. He calls us to a more excellent way – a life that is truly life. Getting there will be worth it, but it will not just “happen”. We must get up and pursue Him. We must remember that FOLLOW is a verb.