Establish His Purpose – Proverbs 15:22

Proverbs 15:22 “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.”

When I look at this verse, several questions come to mind. “What is God’s purpose for me? How is His purpose for me being established in my life? What counsel have I sought?” While we all know that our purpose is to bring God glory, that He is worthy to receive glory, honor, and power, and that we were created for His pleasure; how do we daily work out this truth in our lives individually? (Rev. 4:11) Well first off, we need to go to the “Whole Counsel” of the Word of God (Acts 20:27). God has created each one of us with a specialized and customized purpose tailored just for us which fits into the broader purpose of giving Him glory.

While at first thought, it might seem to us that God is selfish because everything was created for His glory. There is nothing farther from the Truth (Rev. 4:11). God is love (1 John 4:8). He has loved us with so great a love it caused Him to give His only Begotten Son to die for our sins while we were His enemies (1 John 4:10, Romans 5:8). In this was manifested His unfathomable love for us, which is a manifestation of His glory. We have the privilege to bring our most worthy Creator glory through living for Him. As we behold His glory as in a glass that is the mirror of His Word we are changed into His image from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18).

Thus, our purpose is to bring God glory. Some other purposes that are subsets of this broader purpose are clearly spelled out in God’s Word. Some of these purposes or God’s will for us are found in the following nine passages: Rom. 12:2; Eph. 6:5-6; 1 Thes. 4:3, 5:18; 1 Pet. 2:15, 3:17, 4:2, 19; 1 John 2:15-17. Since gaining a framework of God’s will or counsel for us is so important, I have included these verses in today’s ProWisdom Text. As you read through the verses, prayerfully consider how you are fulfilling God’s will or purpose for you. Don’t let His purpose for you be disappointed. Like me, you will find yourself saying, “Ouch,” as you read these verses. When you do say, “Ouch,” ask God to give you wisdom and the grace to take practical steps to obey His will and fulfill His purpose for you.

  1. Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  Application: I ought to start each day by sincerely praying these verses back to God and asking Him to help me obey the truth of these verses.
  1. Ephesians 6:5-6 “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;  Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;”  Application: Is my goal to do everything I can to make my boss successful for God’s glory? Do I work at my job as a God-pleaser or a men-pleaser?
  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:”  Application: What is my thought life like? Jesus said that whoever looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Mat. 5:27-28) How is God leading me to be set apart from worldliness, and thus to be set apart to Him?
  1. 1 Thessalonians 5:18  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  Application: Do I realize that when I start to complain, I am no longer Spirit filled and am walking in the flesh? When I complain, do I confess my complaining as sin and ask Him to fill me with His Spirit so I can walk in His Spirit.”
  1. 1 Peter 2:15 “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:” Application: Do I have a good testimony and reputation for the Lord?
  1. 1 Peter 3:17 “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.Application: Am I willing to suffer for doing what is right? Jesus was tortured to death because He chose to obey His Father’s will, and willingly laid down his life for us. Am I willing to lay down my life for Him whether in life or death? Will I live for Him with all my heart today? If not, why not? His love for me is glorious.
  1. 1 Peter 4:2 “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Application: Would others that know me, say that I live to the lusts of my flesh or to the will of God?
  1. 1 Peter 4:19 “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” Application: Those that live Godly in Christ Jesus are promised persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). Am I living right, and have I committed my soul to Christ’s keeping?
  1. 1 John 2:15-17 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” Application: An inference can be made from this passage that if it is not the will of God to love the world and the things in the world, it is the will of God to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30, Mat 22:37). Who has my love? Are the lusts of my flesh my love, or is Christ my consuming love and passion?

We do not just magically do the will of God, though it is supernatural. It is not happen stance. We must consciously and deliberately choose to yield ourselves to Him allow Him to live His resurrection life through us (Romans 6:11-16). Without Godly counsel, God’s purposes for us are disappointed or made of none effect and the devil’s purposes are advanced. All the devil has to do is get our eyes off God, and he has accomplished his devious purpose. Take hold of the counsel of God’s Word and do not let it go, and God’s perfect will for you will be accomplished in your life. Just trust Him (Prov. 3:5-6). Keep your eyes on Him. He knows what He is doing. He is God only wise (1 Timothy 1:17). You and I certainly are not. Your purpose will become His purpose, and He will establish His purpose in you. His Word, the Word, is our life (John 1:1, Proverbs 4:13). May we surround ourselves with the light of His counsel and those who would wisely follow the light of His counsel (Proverbs 13:20).

2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Don’t let God’s purposes for you be thwarted by sin, the devil, or any weight that easily besets you (Hebrews 12:1). Remember, the good is the enemy of the best. Seek God’s counsel, His purpose for you, and His purposes for you will be established. Run with patience. May this be our prayer as it was David’s “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” (Psalm 17:15)

Praise God, someday the purpose of being conformed into His image will be a reality in all those who have trusted in Christ as their Savior!

God bless!

“I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My heart” – Proverbs 15:13

Proverbs 15:13 “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”

A paraphrase of this verse after looking at the Hebrew word meanings is “A joyful attitude makes for a beautiful face, but through a wounded attitude the life is broken.”

To be without spirit or life is to lose courage. Why is there this loss of courage, this sense of hopelessness? Well, looking at the Hebrew meaning for “sorrow” gives a great insight. The root Hebrew word from which the Hebrew word for “sorrow” is derived means, “idol, worry, worship.” Thus a person who has made someone or something an idol considers it worthy of their attention. Their mind is focused on this idol and it consumes them. When this idol does not bring satisfaction as expected, this person is discouraged. If this discouragement is not resolved, it can lead to a broken spirit, that is, despair.

The Hebrew word here for “broken” (H5218) is used only four times in the Old Testament. AMG’s Dictionary defines this word as the following: “An adjective meaning broken, beaten, crushed. It describes the life, the vitality, the drive, the spirit of a person that has been oppressed, broken by a grieved heart. A spirit broken, crushed, renders a person hopeless (Prov. 15:13; 17:22; 18:14).” – Warren Baker and Eugene Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), WORDsearch CROSS e-book.

This broken spirit is despair and is to be distinguished from the broken spirit that God does not despise which is translated from a different Hebrew word (Psalm 34:18, 51:17) The one is hopelessness without God. The other is hopelessness in self that causes one to turn to God in faith.

The hopelessness without God is not only detrimental a person’s emotional and spiritual health but also to one’s physical health. It causes one’s bones to age prematurely (Prov. 17:22).

On the other hand, a merry or joyful heart makes a cheerful countenance and is like medicine. It gives emotional, spiritual, and physical vitality to those who have it (Prov. 15:13, 17:22). We as Christians all ought to have merry hearts. God ought to be the health or life of our countenance. Is He the health of your face because of the joy you have in Him? When He is not, let’s say as David did, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42:11).

Pleaser or Appeaser – Proverbs 15:18

Proverbs 15:18 "A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife."

The wrathful man seeks to please himself. He has a very bad temper that flares up quickly and easily. When he is around, his anger is like stoking up a fire. The Hebrew word for "stir" means "to grate (irritate, fret, vex, offend)." If he is not being pleased, everybody knows, and he expects them to bow to his expectations. He is not concerned with pleasing God, but is all about pleasing himself. This results in discord, dissension, and disputes that once started are impossible to stop (Prov. 17:14). His pride erects barriers between people and damages relationships (Prov. 18:19, 13:10).

On the other hand, the man slow to anger appeases the issues which could easily be turned into an argument. He quenches the fires of strife. Solomon describes this patient individual as being of great understanding (Prov. 14:29, Eccl. 7:8). This guy sees beyond his own expectations, and is able to remain calm, tranquil, and undisturbed in spite of one grating on him. He is not prideful. He is known for his wisdom and for being well advised (Prov. 13:10). He is a leader that sees problems as opportunities to improve and from which to learn. He is a peacemaker (Mat. 5:21). By the way, this guy is fulfilled too unlike the wrathful man who is seeking to please himself. Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." My friend Brad shared a great definition of "blessed" with me. It means to be "supremely happy."

Today, are you a pleaser or an appeaser? Do you instigate discord or bring peace where ever you go? Have you yielded your rights and expectations to the Lord? Is your love for the others covering a multitude of sins as God’s love does for us? When we seek our pleasure instead of God’s pleasure, we run into problems (Rev. 4:11). In the end, the pleaser is never appeased, but the appeaser is more than pleased.