3. Grow in wisdom (vv 23-27)
Growing up includes growth pains and deepening our roots in Christ. Walking in grace and freedom has its own hazards as well responsibilities...while walking in wisdom means keeping the vital spiritual organs healthy and functioning. The writer brings us to the very basics of growing in wisdom where checkpoints must be set up to prevent foolish choices and preserve a godly path:
* Guard your heart (v23) -- Everything rises and falls in this inner sanctum of the soul -- the heart. "Follow your heart" can be the best and yet the most devastating advice. Before you follow your heart, know its real condition first. A wicked and unclean heart is a wrong guide, it is even "wronger," (my English), to have an unused heart...ask God to cleanse and sustain it and only then can we listen to it!
* Guard your mouth (v24) -- avoid all perverse talk, stay away from corrupt speech -- I remember the confession of the prophet, Isaiah, that he was a man of unclean lips. It took God's holy coal to fry the tongue of Isaiah to cleanse it! Likewise, let's all ask God to guard our mouths, because this is big deal before our Lord
* Guard your sight (v25) -- "Look straight ahead" -- See the bigger picture in wisdom's view. Depend upon God as we walk through the future and don't forget to enjoy the nows of life.
* Guard your feet (vv26-27) -- When the heart is cleansed then the feet will follow a new direction. The challenge is not in the excitement of walking the new direction; it is in staying focused on it. Follow Christ!
Abba, there are so many voices, so many convincing voices I hear; train my ears to listen to your voice. Help me focus my sight on Jesus. Lead my path to you. Lord, hear my prayers. Amen.
Abba, may I know the difference between weakness and wickedness. It's my weakness that leads me to depend on you. It's a wicked heart that causes a wicked lifestyle. Lord, in my weakness, be thou my strength. Deliver me from the wicked one that we may freely do your will and walk your path. Lord, have mercy on me a sinner. Amen.
Abba, in getting wisdom, help us get rid of a wicked lifestyle; growing in wisdom, help us stay focused and rooted in your path. Guard our hearts above all; cleanse it so I can listen to it again. Let your holy fire purge my corrupt speech and perverse talk. Lord Jesus. in my life Lord, be glorified. Lord have mercy on me a sinner. Amen.