It was a simple challenge, or so I thought.
My uncle challenged me to write out the entire book of Proverbs, word for word, as a way to position myself to hear God more discerningly.
I thought it would take me a few weeks, but that was two years ago.
All I had to do was:
- Stop if questions came to my attention. Write them down.
- Look up words that didn’t make sense. Write them down.
- Pray if I found myself with confusing thoughts. Write them down.
- Journal things I was learning about God and myself. Write them down.
With 31 chapters and 915 verses about wisdom to work through, and me thinking it would be an easy challenge, the first thing I learned is how unwise I really am. Go figure.
Take for example the word forsake, a word I’ve been recently mulling over – to abandon someone or something, to desert, leave, dump, ditch, renounce, relinquish, disclaim, disown, disavow, discard, drop, ditch or scrap.
Sounds like a mean word except when it applies to control – to forsake the need to have control, and instead, place everything into God’s very capable hands.
So there I was worrying about my kids. I was having a parenting moment that caused me to wonder if they were/are going to turn into teenage delinquents. But forsake floated through my mind and I knew. The Holy Spirit was asking me to forsake control and pray instead, to release them into His hands.
There I was in the middle of a meeting, panicking about the number of tickets that were not selling for an event I was planning. No sooner had the words came out of mouth, “I’m not sure how we’re going to pull this off, guys,” when the work forsake reminded me to trust instead.
And there I was tossing and turning in bed, again, for the third night in a row, with anxious thoughts about the future, when the word forsake quickly jumped into the mix to remind me …
The wisdom of Proverbs is not just 31 chapters to write out, it’s a lifestyle to embrace.
The truth of the Bible is not something you half-heartedly read, it’s a book you study, think about, wrestle with, dig through and search. It’s wise counsel you absorb, promises to hold onto and trust to lean into.
Moments of wisdom don’t happen easily or effortlessly. They happen when you purpose to put daily practices of wisdom into your day-to-day life. You may think this is a simple challenge, but trust me; fools think everything is simple.
But when you do, wisdom will invade your life moments when you need it most.
“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.” —Proverbs 4:5-9
So let me ask you this: in order to experience more moments of wisdom in your life, what is God asking you to forsake?