He's filling his being, his moments, his life....with rich, time-tested, insightful quips.
That wise old compilation sandwiched between Psalms and Ecclesiastes. Placed right there in the middle of heart-cries and life observations.
All that wisdom right there in the middle of those honest books - it fits there well.
So on the drive to church yesterday morning - my husband had me find Proverbs 4....and I read it aloud over young voices in the van.
And verse 18 - it made me want to roll down my finger-printed window and blare it out strong and happy for all the other worshipers heading down the highways yesterday morning....
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
There's something about that first break of morning, isn't there? That initial glimmer of day, of possibilities, of starting anew - all crisp and ready. Such grandeur every twenty four hours! How often I let the splendor of it slip right past my slumbering eye.
But oh, we should awake and see!....
As this Earth rotates, and the sun becomes clearer and it scales higher in our sky...notice that it doesn't slip back down past the horizon again - until it's gone through the cycle of a full days time. There's no inching upward and then downward, upward and then downward - it's just all up! The great big ball of fire that lights our day hours - it doesn't descend until it's time for it to light up the other half of the world again.
Hence....the second half of the verse....
"shine brighter and brighter until full day"
All those who find themselves redeemed in Christ - we are to grow and grow, mature and mature, overcome and overcome. We are not meant to grow and shrink back to a seedling again. We are not supposed to mature and then turn all silly young afterwards. We are not on course to overcome some addiction or wound - just to find ourselves chained and oozing again.
We are to shine 'brighter and brighter', my friends.
This takes us back to one of last week's verses....
And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
'....from one degree of glory to another...'
The King James version says 'from glory to glory'.
Yes, this is the way!
As David Guzik wrote:
"The work of transformation is a continual progression. It works from glory to glory. It doesn’t have to work from backsliding to glory to backsliding to glory. God’s work in our lives can be a continual progression, from glory to glory."
Is it us? Is it our own resolve alone that keeps us climbing toward Him? Not at all.
The only way...for us to keep taking steps forward in all the hard areas of life....
The only way...we can pass up that temptation the next time it lures on by....(because it will)
The only way....we can transform for real.....for forever - is the Spirit...and our yielding to Him.
So please understand....that there is no condemnation or guilt -trip here. If you find yourself slipping down the slope or revisiting some weak area (like I am) - know that this little post is just a push to pursue God consistently. A motivation to keep moving forward.
So this week....as we've marched into a new month - let's take note of the areas that have fallen away again. Let's look at those things that we had victory and revelation in at one time...but that have slipped back into darkness.
Let's bring them out and offer them up.
For good. For keeps. For the long-haul.
Because we weren't claimed by Christ to waver. We weren't saved so that we could go back and forth.
We are called to shine and keep shining.
As the sun pursues its highest point each day this week - oh, may we do the same in Jesus' name.
" It is a growing light; it shines more and more, not like the light of a meteor, which soon disappears, or that of a candle, which burns dim and burns down, but like that of the rising sun, which goes forward shining, mounts upward shining." - Matthew Henry
*Guzik, David. "Study Guide for 2 Corinthians 3." Enduring Word. Blue Letter Bible. 7 Jul 2006.2013. 4 Aug 2013.
* Henry, Matthew. "Commentary on Proverbs 4." . Blue Letter Bible. 1 Mar 1996.2013. 4 Aug 2013.