A Divine Equation

Todd Stiles   -  

Genuine desire evidenced by gritty diligence results in godly growth.

Solomon showcases this principle in Proverbs 2 through two words: “if” and “then.” Three times he uses “if” (2:1, 3, 4), and two times he uses “then” (2:5, 9), with an additional two “so’s” that serve a then-like function (2:16, 20).

Through the word “if,” Solomon calls for desire and diligence in relation to God’s wisdom and understanding. He applies several metaphors and word images to the concept of desire and diligence, such as “treasuring up my commandments,” “making your ear attentive,” “inclining your heart,” “raising your voice,” as well as “searching for treasure” and “seeking silver.”

When it comes to the effect of such a posture and passion, Solomon employs even more descriptive and picturesque language to indicate what awaits the one who is diligent because of their inner desire. He assures they will “understand the fear of the Lord,” “find the knowledge of God,” “wisdom will come into your heart,” “knowledge will be pleasant to your soul,” and “discretion will watch over you.” And that’s not all—in the latter portion of the chapter he lays out the incredible protections that are afforded to the one who prioritizes his or her pursuits to seek the Lord first and foremost.

Proverbs 2 is a classic”if/then” divine equation, showing that deep appetites and diligent actions produce definitive blessings; that genuine desire evidenced by gritty diligence results in godly growth.

But it all starts with the desire. It’s our affections that must be stirred if we are going to be motivated to action that results in growth. That’s why Solomon began the chapter with the all-important “if.” He knew, at the root of it all, was the issue of thirst.

How’s your thirst for God? What’s your level of desire for spiritual things? How intense are your inner appetites for the divine? Without a doubt your spiritual progress is connected to your spiritual action, but your spiritual action is dependent upon your spiritual affections.

Over the next several weeks we are going to be sharing ways we can increase our spiritual thirst; ways we can awaken, even deepen, our affections for Christ. Today, however, simply rest in this divine equation: If you’ll focus on asking God to increase your affections for him, then you’ll find the fuel to act in the necessary ways that will result in deeper growth with him.

Pastor Todd