Wisdom’s Road (Proverbs #15)

Text: Proverbs 4:10-27

Notice in these verses the path, the way, and the steps; all of these determine the course of one’s life.

Guided by Godly Principles (vss 10-13)

  • Every generation faces new obstacles that the previous generation did not face.  But those new obstacles can always be met with the principles and standards of the past.
  • Value of training.  Much of our discipline is a result of a lack of training.
  • principled living, ethics, wisdom, you will not get boxed in or put in a position where you have to walk a thin line to stay out of trouble.
  • Principled living, ethics, wisdom, you will have assurance even when the pace picks up and you don’t have as much time to ponder every decision.
  • Where are you going?
    • Before you travel you generally have a destination in mind.  And your life is the same way.
    • Paul said he finished his course.  There was a very clear understanding of his call.
    • Paths are important because of where they end.
      • Bob Jones said, The right road leads out at the right place.
      • Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
      • Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
    • Think ahead 2 or 3 years and consider where you are heading.
    • What was the last thing in your life that changed because the Holy Spirit pointed it out and said, You know that needs to change?  And you said, You’re right.  And you changed it.  When is the last time that happened?

You will be influenced on your way (vss 14-17)

  • enter not, go not, avoid it, pass not, turn from it
  • bread and wine show up several times in the Bible together
  • you will be influenced by what you have an appetite for (vs 17)
    • Sports, music, movies, TV, whatever the case is, it will be the thing that will get in the way of your fellowship with Jesus Christ.
      • Doesn’t make it evil and I’m not saying stop doing that thing unless its sin.
      • But what will inevitably happen is your appetite will get cross with God’s work and you will have to decide.  And the point is if it was something you don’t care about, the decision is already made.  The reason it is a decision at all is because it is between something you enjoy and something God wants.
    • Where do you want to go?
      • Your direction defines you
      • David vs Saul – two different directions.  They both did things right and they both did things wrong.
  • Where are your interruptions?  That’s a question that will help you understand where you’re headed.

Wisdom’s Road is Brightly Lit (vss 18-19)

  • nature of light is that it must be blocked or hindered in order to stop its work
  • God is light the Bible says.  In Him is no darkness.  Many times God gets the blame for our unclear path when the reality is we’ve blocked the light and our confusion is not God’s fault, but our own.
    • Sometimes you and I treat God like he is the author of confusion.  Saying things like, I just don’t understand because God hasn’t shown me.  Do you understand if you’ll put yourself in a position to show you, he’ll show you.
  • Not only that, but the path of the just is as the shining light.  A testimony to those around you.
  • The other side of that is that the wicked never come to understand why they have trouble.
    • They are unaware of the fault in their own lives or the sin that keeps putting them in the same position.
    • There is nothing new under the sun.
    • If we aren’t careful, we become like that, unaware of the sin that keeps us in the same stagnant position.

Wisdom’s Toolbox (vss 20-22)

  • It’s like having the tools for the job before you go to the job.  As parents, as teachers, as Christians trying to pass on godliness to the next generation, you and I will not make the journey, but the tools and principles don’t change.  And we provide the tools and principles that will be needed to progress.

Shepherding Your Heart (vss 23-27)

  • Things that affect the heart are valuable.  People pay lots of money to have their heart affected.
  • Influences are meant to travel through your ears or eyes and affect your heart.
  • God made your physical heart to issue life giving blood to your body.  God said the life of the flesh is in the blood.  As early as 3 weeks after conception a heartbeat can be detected with the equipment we have.  In the same way that your physical life is sustained by a healthy heart and circulatory system, God made the spiritual life of a soul much the same way.  You and will go in the direction our heart takes us.
    • Set your affection on things above is the admonition to the Bible believers. Why? Several reasons.  Too much emphasis on this life will lead to vanity and confusion.
  • Your heart is NOT a blank slate – The second thing to know about the heart is it’s nature is sinful and rebellious.  That means it is naturally selfish, seeks out its own comfort at other’s expense and its hopes and dreams are wicked (Genesis 8:21).  Galatians 5:19-21 lays out the works of the flesh in an adult, and Matthew 15:18-20 points to the origin of these works in the heart.  All these things are naturally bound in the heart of a child.  How many of you had to train your child to lie so he or she’d know how to do it?  How many of you had to train your child to disobey so he or she’d know how to do it?  Those are things that come naturally and are refined over time if they are never checked.
  • God puts a heavy responsibility on the heart.  Over 800 times in the scriptures the heart is mentioned.  Believe in thine heart, foolish heart is darkened, secrets of the heart, purposed heart, and many other verbs associated with the heart.