I'm a type A personality.  When I hit the “enter” key on the computer and the little timer comes on, I’m the guy that hits “enter” again…and again!  The computer can’t take the overload.  The more I hit “enter” the longer it sits there…the egg timer icon mocking me. My wife says to me, after you take the steak off the grill, let it set for 5 minutes so that the juices won't come streaming out when you cut into it. It will be more flavorful, she says.  5 minutes!  Who does that?  I take the first bite of the steak before I get it into the house. It’s a cultural thing.  "They say" success belongs to those who make decisions and move on: control your own destiny we’re told.  No time for reflection.  No time to consult with the One who can guide me and protect me from impulsive decisions. We make such big decisions in our lives. About our education, jobs, who we marry, how many children we will have, where we will live, our vocation, where we will worship, who will be our friends, setting up financial plans, sending our kids to school. If I’m honest, I confess that I do too many of these things in self-reliance.

The woman named Folly is brash.
She is ignorant and doesn’t know it.
— Proverbs 9:13

Unruly/brash:  Not submissive or conforming to rule; ungovernable; turbulent; intractable.

Our ways will lead to folly if we are unwilling to take direction from the One who wants only good in our lives.  But how do we hear from the One who “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”?

We can avoid folly if we will submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If we will pause long enough to ask. And then pause long enough to listen. Our culture is full of turbulence. There's no time to reflect. We're on the phone, in front of the TV or computer. When do we have time to wait on the Holy Spirit?  We have deadlines. We have "activities". We are under pressure. Sometimes I get on the internet, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and realize that I’ve been there for two hours when I planned on spending 20 minutes. In total, the average adult spends more than 20 hours online a week, which includes time spent on the internet at work.  No wonder we don’t have time for God -- time to seek his guidance for our lives. 

We make exceptions for what we know we need to do -- draw closer to God.

Exceptions ruin my plan for spiritual growth; the time I spend with the Lord consulting Him about the important decisions in my life.  When I have had those mountain top experiences with my spiritual life, when I was the very closest to God, it was in those times when I just didn’t make exceptions for anything.  When it was time for quiet time, it was time for quiet time.  It was every day at the same time without exception.  It was disciplined and dedicated and too rewarding to make exceptions.  So this is my resolution as a result of this study of Proverbs 9: I will set aside one hour for my quiet time at the same time every day AND I will not let circumstances sidetrack me.  My time may be delayed but never eliminated.  In that time, I will seek Him in His word and in prayer and study.

“Rebuke a wise man and he will love you.  Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still.  Teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.”  Lord, make me receptive to your instruction.  Teach me to be still and wait on You.  Discipline me to spend time with you every day.  Help me to tell the difference between what is important to you from what is important to the world.  Give me wisdom without resistance to your rebuke.  Bless me that I might be a blessing.

Read Proverbs 9

Bill Pryor