The Early Bird Gets This….
In early 2001 I began to read the Bible regularly. I had no clue of how to do it. I would simply open my Bible randomly thinking, “God will lead me to what I need”. Honestly, I did not sense it was helping much with my connection with God but I was committed because I was told it would be good for my spiritual growth.
I used to travel a bit back then. One time, after rushing to the airport and through security (I had a habit of pushing the limits), it hit me that I had forgotten to bring my Bible. Ugg! I was going to be gone for the better part of a week and I didn’t want to mess up my new discipline.
There was only one Bible at the airport bookstore. It was a “Read the Bible in a Year” format – Each day’s reading had a section of Old Testament, New Testament, Proverbs and Psalms. Not what I was looking for, so structured, but I bought it anyway. It changed my life. Time and time again, what I read was just what I needed. I was shocked. How could such a structured approach to scripture be so relevant to my life? This is when I realized God is real and knows just what I need and when I need it.
I learned to ask, “God, what are you saying to me through this?”
I have followed this structured approach ever since, continuing to ask this question. Through this, the book of Proverbs has become a real gem for me. Usually Proverbs are quoted one at a time to make a point. Though good, the bigger picture can be lost.
Reading whole chapters of Proverbs is particularly important as you pursue the Adventure God Made You For.
Proverbs 8 is a great example. Wisdom is personified as a woman, in contrast to the seductive, immoral woman described in Chapter 7. Wisdom, desperately wants to get our attention:
Listen as Wisdom calls out!
Hear as understanding raises her voice!
2 On the hilltop along the road,
she takes her stand at the crossroads.
3 By the gates at the entrance to the town,
on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
4 “I call to you, to all of you!
I raise my voice to all people.
5 You simple people, use good judgment.
You foolish people, show some understanding.
6 Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you.
Everything I say is right,
7 for I speak the truth
and detest every kind of deception.
8 My advice is wholesome.
There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
9 My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
clear to those with knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction rather than silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
Nothing you desire can compare with it.
Proverbs 8:1-11 (NLT)
Wisdom opens the gates to what matters most. She offers the true path to life: “Nothing you desire can compare with it.” and goes on to say her arms are open wide: “Those who search for me will surely find me.” Then she proceeds to lay out her credentials, how she was the architect at God’s side at the beginning. All creation was formed through Wisdom. It just takes a simple look to know this is the truth. Yet, easily deceived, we seem to prefer to defer to the ways of the world, the immoral woman.
You won’t make it far into the Adventure God Made You For by following the immoral woman.
The Adventure God Made You For is full of crossroads; the opportunity for making wrong turns is great. We need Wisdom when we are at the crossroads and she tells us where to find her.
Joyful are those who listen to me,
watching for me daily at my gates,
waiting for me outside my home!
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 8:34-35 (NLT)
When you are at the crossroads, arrive at Wisdom’s gates early, before she opens them. The early bird finds favor with the Lord.
Clearly not to be an afterthought or something to pursue after all else fails, we are to be watching and waiting for Wisdom before the gates are opened. Eager!
Going back to travel… have you ever overslept and arrived late to the gate, after it has been closed? Watched your plane take off without you? There are consequences for arriving late. If you fail to meet Wisdom at her gates, you may miss out on the favor of God. Navigating a crossroads without the favor of the Lord is treacherous. You need his favor to succeed in the Adventure God Made You For. Rise and shine!
Are you pursuing Wisdom? Often it comes through godly counsel, a carefully selected team you build as support. Who do you have on your team? Let’s talk.
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