Awe and wonder, amazement and surprise. These are the words that come to me when I ponder the majesty of God – His omniscience and creativity. “What do I mean”, you say. I read Proverbs 20, and certain verses just jump off the page; like verse 27: The spirit (breath in Hebrew) of a man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the inner depths of his heart ( NKJ Prov. 20:27). And then I re-read it, pondered it, and then it hits me, “wow God! You really know me! You put my spirit within me. You put it in each one of us. The spirit inside me is your lamp that allows you to search the depths of my heart. Like a miner with the light on his helmet, going deep underground, You see things deep inside me. You know me! I am humbled and amazed. And then I think that you created us this way: “And the LORD God formed a man's body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath (same word as Prov. 20:27) of life. And the man became a living person”.(NLT Genesis 2:7)
Now, I am not talking about Holy Spirit, but the human spirit that is in every human. We are 3-part beings – body, soul and spirit. God gives everyone He creates a “spirit” that can make decisions based on evaluation and motives. This is that part of us where morality is located. Some call this the conscience: “an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior.”(Oxford) God connects even with unregenerate people through their spirit, which is dead because of sin. But, there is just enough life left to be sensitive to God’s light shining and searching, drawing us to Himself.
God uses the spirit He put inside of us to communicate with us before we are “born again” and to search our innermost being. That’s why it is written, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. ”( NIV Hebrews 4:13) Then after we are “born again”, our spirit becomes sensitive to Holy Spirit now living inside of us (Read 1Corinthians 2:10-16).
How well do you know yourself? Do you ever sit and examine yourself – on the inside, to see what makes you tick – what makes you do what you do. You can know yourself: “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?”(1 Corinthians 2:11) Friends, this is why it is so important to read the Word of God! Number 1, to know God; and number 2, to know yourself! Listen to Hebrews 4:12 – “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.” (NLT) It is impossible for us to change to be more like Jesus without allowing His word to search us, so we know what needs changing. Do you want victory over sin, then the Word will expose the “thoughts and desires” that cause you to sin. Do you wonder why you keep repeating the same cycle over and over? The Word of God will reveal that, if while you read, you allow God to “search” you (Prov. 20:27)
“Who can say, "I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin"?”(Proverbs 20:9) The answer to that question is “no one”. Only God can purify the heart, because only He can see deep inside us, and change us as we submit to Him and His transforming power. Only He can take away our sins, and change our heart. (Read Psalm 51:1-10; Psalm 103:10-12).
Maybe you are saying to yourself, “I just can’t seem to figure out why I do the things I do, and say the things I say” – “I’ve prayed, and read the Word, and asked Holy Spirit, yet I still can’t figure it out.” Maybe you need a wise person to come alongside you to help you know yourself better. That’s the role of a counselor, or a close friend; a listening ear to discern what is “going on” on the inside of you. The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. ( NIV Proverbs 20:5)
Maybe, you have a situation that needs to be dealt with, and in your frustration and anger, you want to deal with it ASAP. God is saying, “wait”! Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and He will deliver you. ( NIV Prov. 20:22) It is dangerous to make a rash promise to God before counting the cost.(NLT Prov. 20:25)
God is in control of our lives. How much - we may never know. But we do know this: the more we let Him in to lead and guide us, the better our life will be. We need His light and His Spirit to enlighten and guide our steps. Without Him, we are lost! The more I read these proverbs, the more I realize that life is full of encounters, situations and decisions to be made. Life is a field full of land mines that can blow me up or people around me. I need the Lord to guide my steps to avoid disaster. God leads me from the inside, as I allow Him in to take over.
A man's steps are of the LORD; How then can a man understand his own way?