Do you ever have those days where you just don’t feel like doing what you set out to accomplish? The days when the road seems too long, too rough or too challenging to continue on? Me too. In fact today is one of those days. It’s got me thinking, wow at two verses a week it’s going to take me another eight weeks to get through this. Perhaps it was insane to go so slowly? Perhaps I should rush to try to get through it?
Yet, I am reminded that God has a plan and a pace that He wants to walk in. So many times, it’s not the plan that I want and definitely not the pace that I would prefer. I, I, I, me, me, me. Admittedly, I am an extremely selfish and self-centered person. It’s about God, not me. It’s about His love, His goodness, His faithfulness, His grace, His mercy, and His rich blessing. All of which I desire, but none of which I deserve. If you look upon my sinful nature, my actions taken & not taken and my impure thoughts, I am completely undeserving.
It says in Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His Word I put my hope.” My physical body waits, my soul waits and my spirit waits. Isn’t it easy to assume that waiting means do nothing? I’m guilty of that thought. Funny, God doesn’t tell us just to wait. He says we should put our hope in His Word. That means when I feel like not going on, when I feel unworthy, that is the most important time to dig into the Bible.
So, as hard as it may be this morning, I will press on like it says is Psalm 119:15 “I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.” Today’s verse to reflect upon is Proverbs 31:16.
“She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.” Proverbs 31:16 NLT
“She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” Proverbs 31:16 NIV
“She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.” Proverbs 31:16 Message
As I began to ponder this verse yesterday my first impressions were that a Proverbs 31 woman is good with her finances and does her due diligence before making a purchase. Considering, inspecting, looking over…to me all of these describe a woman who is slow to act. She takes time to examine and think through the details. She must not be rash or impulsive.
That’s good financial advice. Don’t be rash or impulsive. Just think about how much better off I would be if I didn’t ever give into rash thoughts or impulses. How many times have I done something because it was an opportunity I thought I couldn’t pass up or because it felt good in the moment? More than I would like to admit. It seems like this is another battle that begins in my mind. I want something, so I focus my thoughts on it. Generally, I want it now and the benefits seem to overshadow the costs or negatives.
Knowing that the Proverbs 31 woman makes financial sound decisions based upon logic and reason makes it easy to understand why her husband trusted her so greatly. She was applying God’s wisdom in her life. I think it’s much easier to apply God’s wisdom to our lives when we are thinking about it. I act out of my thoughts.
One of the biggest things that I struggle with is my sinful desire to eat whatever I want whenever I want. I wrestle with temptations over bacon cheeseburgers, pizza, onion rings, nachos and hot fudge sundaes. All are usually rash and impulsive decisions beginning as seeds in my mind. It will taste so good. It’s easy, just go through the drive thru. It’s just today, you can eat healthier tomorrow. It will make you feel better right now. Go meet friends for lunch, splurge together. Life is short, enjoy it now.
Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Those are just icky thoughts that have gotten me into trouble many, many times before. That’s not how a Proverbs 31 woman should think. Look at what she did, she planted a garden. How healthy is that? She providing home grown food for her family. Not to mention moving her body in the process. Gardening takes physical effort. That garden and vineyard was also probably a source of financial earnings as well. As I look back, I don’t think my trips through the drive thru ever amounted in earnings.
If the Proverbs 31 woman was important enough to God to put a detailed description of her in His Word, it makes me think that she spent time with Him. When she was deliberating or considering what to do, my guess is that she was seeking God’s direction. I don’t think she was out doing all of this on her own power. The impression I got is she was operating under God and in the direction of her husband. Which makes me think of this passage from Romans 8:5-8 in the Message.
“Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.”
I want to trust in God’s action. I want to see God’s Spirit living and breathing in my life. I don’t want to end up in a dead end. I want my focus to be on God, not the opposite of focusing on myself. I want to see God and have my eyes open to what He is doing around me. God first. So again I repeat:
God + me = Proverbs 31 I shall be
May my thoughts be focused on You God! Thank You so much for being so faithful! Thank You for how You use the Bible to take my thoughts off of me and place them so sweetly upon You. God I need You to overflow my mind with thoughts of You. May Your grace fall like rain through my soul, cleansing me and filling my thoughts of that which is noble, pure and true.
Lord please do what it says in Ephesians 1:18 “may the eyes of our hearts be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which You have called us to“. Bless each of us with new revelation about how great You are. Please show us glimpses of the ways that You are working in our lives and the lives of others.
Lord, thank You for giving us the Bible as a tool to help us get turned around. Thank You for the way You call to us out of Love. Thank You for the ways You convict us to help us become more of what You designed us to be. You are amazing!
Trusting in You! In Jesus name, Amen.