Summary: If you can change your thinking, you can change your life.
The thought recently came to me that if a Christian would just obey the wisdom found in the book of Proverbs, he could live a very successful life. Since there are 31 chapters in Proverbs, one can easily read the chapter each day that corresponds with that particular day of the month, thereby reading this important book of wisdom 12 times each year.
Proverbs 4:20-27 is one of a number of passages that outline some of the benefits of receiving and doing the word of God. Verse 20 says, “Give attention to my words.” The words are the words of wisdom, which is the word of God. God’s word is designed by God to guide us through life, in such a way that we live successfully. Living successfully can be defined as prospering in every area of life. Every area includes not only our spiritual walk with God, but also our emotional, physical, relational, and financial well-being. The verse also says that we are to incline our ear to the word, meaning that we are to make a conscious decision to turn our attention to it.
In 1 John 1:4, John is writing under the inspiration of God, and he says, “These things we write unto you that your joy may be full.” One of the primary intents of the word of God is give joy to the child of God, as we find it “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,” (2Timothy 3:16.)
When we receive God’s word, concerning a particular need in our life, we must receive it by faith. Faith is the connecting link by which we receive anything, and everything, from God. Verse 21 says that we are not to let God’s word depart from our eyes. We are to see ourselves the way God tells us to be. We are to see ourselves living in the manifestation of the fulfillment of God’s promises. As a teen-aged boy, I wanted a car so badly, it was the foremost thing on my mind. I was not born-again, and I knew nothing about bringing God’s word to bear on my situation; however, there was a spiritual law at work, that works as surely as the law of gravity works in the physical realm. That law is believing you receive what you desire. I could see myself driving that car. I would tell people, “I’m going to get a car.” I didn’t know when, and I didn’t know how, but I was intent on it. Guess what? I got it! A poor country boy, 15 years old, in a day when not nearly every boy my age had a car, I had mine. In retrospect, I can see how the spiritual law of believing and confessing worked for me, even though I was not a Christian. When one is a Christian, there is a very powerful element that gets added to that spiritual law, and that is the favor of God, but the working of the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to just struggle all their life? You could give them a sack full of money, and it wouldn’t be long until they would be in the same shape again. The problem is the way they think about life. If you can change your thinking, you can change your life. Then, there are other people, whose lives seem to just take off. Many of the people who come to this country from poor countries of the world, soon become wealthy. The reason for this is the way they think about the opportunities that America offers. They see themselves as being successful in this country, and it happens. The mind and mouth of man-kind is so powerful, that if you can change your thinking, you can change your life. The word of God is designed to change your thinking! God doesn’t hide the fact that apart from Him, people are doomed and without hope. Apart from Him, no matter how high a person might think he has risen in this world, he will come to utter failure. One reason is because, when death comes, he will have to leave it all. Job 1:21 says, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither:” An unsaved man’s money can make him comfortable while he’s miserable, but it can’t take away his misery. I love what Proverbs 10:22 says: “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” Haven’t you seen people whose money became a curse to them? I’ve seen people’s money make them suspicious of everybody they see, and even turn their children against one another. I’ve seen people’s money just totally captivate them to the point that they really can’t enjoy life for trying to figure out how to keep from losing it. Man, if they could just get in the Bible and learn how to handle their money, God’s way, they could start experiencing the abundant life that Jesus talked about.