The psalmist declared, “I have set the Lord always before me”, Psalm 16:8.
Jesus declared, “…..for your heavenly Father knows you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”, Matthew 6: 32-33.
God first. When man gets the order right, everything falls into place. When men or things take priority, God takes second place, the order is wrong resulting in lack. Lack is evidenced in many ways but is a result of the wrong order.
Proverbs 3:6 instructs us: “In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”. His direction is for our highest good and blessing.
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God……”. All “our beginnings” need to be in God, otherwise we are left with just our good ideas. If they are not God ideas they will just produce “wood, hay and stubble”……and a mouthful of splinters! God wants to be wanted! He desires intimacy with us on a daily basis…….”In all your ways acknowledge Him”.
Proverbs 3:3 “Do not let mercy and truth forsake you. Bind them about your neck, write them upon the table of your heart”. In the amplified translation of this text, it says of mercy and truth, “let these qualities define you”.
All the fullness of God is embodied in His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore all the attributes of God’s spotless character are found in Him in perfect balance. There is no imbalance in Him or His attributes. Mankind can often be found operating in extremes causing malfunction. For example: A company of Believers adopted mercy to be their daily goal. Unfortunately, they omitted truth in their dealings with each other. The Word declares, “Do not let mercy AND truth forsake you”. God married them to each other to balance them. The people constantly showed mercy in forgiveness to one another, but because issues were never addressed in truth, nothing was properly dealt with and thus the errors of their ways continued causing eventual breakdown.
Whenever I operate in mercy and truth, it pleases the Head, our Lord Jesus. Why would God specify such a significant part of the body, the neck, to bind mercy and truth to? When the Head, (Jesus Christ), is held correctly on the neck in mercy and truth, then the Head operates the whole Body to function correctly.
Colossians 2:19 “…..holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God”. God gives the increase when, and where, He sees His Son is held correctly as the Head.
Jesus teaches us, “Come unto me…..take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”, Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus offers us to share His yoke. It comes with a promise. It is a shared yoke that goes over our neck and yokes us together with Him. To take the yoke I have to bow my neck in surrender to Him, and receive the yoke. This is a glorious yoke, not a yoke of bondage. Here I find the truth of His word and promise fulfilled – “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”.
Truth can often come to me via a confrontation from others. It can be a confrontation with unreality in my life that the Holy Spirit enables others to see that I am blind to. No-one enjoys criticism in the natural, but, under the Holy Spirit’s spotlight, I need to check every challenge and criticism that I am confronted with, no matter who brings it. I cannot afford to dismiss it because I dislike the vessel it came through. God can use any person and any circumstance. In the economy of God there is no waste and He will use everything to bring me higher and closer with Him, producing another measure of the stature of the fullness of His Son in me…..because He loves me and desires that we all become vessels fit for purpose, to live, demonstrate and carry the glorious life of Jesus Christ……all for His glory!
When I embrace the truth He is showing me, His mercy is released and it will change my life…..and me! The negative grave clothes are replaced by His royal robes. His life in me enables the change. I surrender, embrace the truth and a divine exchange takes place. The life of Another begins to operate in me as His mercy marries truth and a divine partnership is created to function to the glory of God.
Decades ago, mothers would give their children cod liver oil for constipation from a poor diet. It was not tasteful but it did the job, and removed the blockage. Truth can be likened to a dose of cod liver oil if embraced. It may not be tasteful, but it removes the blockage. Here is something else though: God can give us an acquired taste for the truth because we learn the benefits of embracing it – a closer walk with our beloved Lord.
There will always be the choice of the broad way, the popular route, or the narrow way, (“few that find it“), the route that is pleasing and acceptable to the Lord. Why should I settle for second best, my way, when God has a glorious destiny mapped out for me in His plan?
He gets sweeter as the days go by……