We have all been asked the question, “If you could spend one hour with a famous person, who would you spend that hour with?” Maybe it’s not a famous person we want to spend that hour with, maybe it is someone who has passed away before us. Why is it we want to spend an hour with that person? I am sure there are many answers to this question, but it all boils down to one main thought.
The person we have imagined in our heads that we want to spend that hour with is not usually a crook, a liar, mean, or evil. Rather, they have gained a level of respect in our eyes because of who they are. To be able to be in the presence of someone who has done something great usually challenges us to be better people ourselves.
No one is clamoring to hear what the homeless drunk on the street has to say, rather people clamor to hear a well-known politician or a wise pastor.
Most people have a general desire to succeed, to accomplish something. Depending on what they hold valuable will often times coincide with what they spend their time invested in. Many times in life we need a chance to refocus our lives, our thoughts, or our energies.
Solomon addresses this in Proverbs 8:32-36.
And now, O sons, LISTEN to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.
HEAR instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.
Blessed is the one who LISTENS to me, WATHCING DAILY at my gates, WAITING beside my doors
For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord,
But he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.
There are some keys here that many would find helpful in their lives if they would prioritize their lives according to these principles rather than the ones they think are important.
- Stop talking
The first key to listening is not talking. We have all met people who like to hear themselves talk. When we spend any length of time with them there is nothing we need to worry about saying, they will fill the empty space with their words. When we talk, we are poor listeners.
- Start listening
Three times we are instructed to listen. When we listen there are some very positive results.
- When we listen, we learn how to keep God’s ways
- When we listen to the right instruction, we become wise. If we listen to evil, we will not become wise.
- Watch daily
Habits. The people we are show up in our daily habits. Just like we are what we eat, we are also the product of our habits. What we do daily? God wants us to meet with him daily. As we meet daily with God earnestly seeking Him in His Word and through prayer, we become wise. The word watch in the Hebrew means to be alert and sleepless. Daily literally means from sunrise to sunset. The idea here is not a quick check the box kind of meeting with God, rather it is a meeting where we yearn to know Him. We long for His presence in our lives. We begin our day devoting time and our undivided attention to reading His Word, praying/talking to God, and inviting Him to be part of every aspect of our lives. Seeking to have our lives be transformed because of our relationship with Him. We become so devoted our very words are easily influenced by these daily encounters with God. Our actions are guided by our daily meeting with God. Nothing escapes our lips or our hearts without first being checked through the filter of the wisdom that God imparts.
God is not the Jeanie in the bottle waiting for us to rub the bottle and make a wish. Rather, God asks us to wait. In the waiting, we show our faith. In the waiting, as we gain faith we begin to experience peace. The literal Hebrew meaning for wait also means to protect. When we gain wisdom, it is our responsibility to protect the wisdom we have. The only way to protect it is to continue to meet daily with God making sure our thoughts, actions, and habits are lining up with the truth of Scripture.
The results are seen in the last two verses. If we find wisdom we obtain favor. If we fail to find wisdom, we are injured or experience death.
Let us all yearn to be spending time with God, yearning to be wise through a relationship with Him. The time with Him is not meant as a box to be checked, but a relationship to be cultivated and depended on. What happens in this time is evidenced by the fruit of our lives. What we talk about and what our desires in life truly are. The greater our respect for God the greater our “fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 8:13), the more our lives will be flourishing with the fruit of wisdom.
The time spent listening, watching, and waiting is evidenced by the fruit in our lives.