Proverbs 3:1 – “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments.” (ESV)
I guess I tend to think about obedience as action, not intuition. But the truth is our thought life, better described as our heart life, is the place where action begins.
This phrase from Proverbs, where a father says to his child, “Let your heart keep my commandments” lept off the page and caught hold of my heart the other day, and I’ve been meditating on it (the fancy, spiritual-sounding term for “I couldn’t get it out of my head”) for a few days while I wanted for the opportunity to sit down and illustrate the page.*
There are child-like lessons I learned over and over again about life as a follower of Jesus, and those have honestly become second nature to me. They’re engrained in who I am, what I do, what I say, how I respond. But learning things by rote isn’t something we should leave behind with childhood. There are adult-like lessons that God wants to teach me, to teach you, that require practice, intentionality, repetition. And it isn’t until we follow the Father’s advice that it will become part of who we are – our very heart.
1My son, do not forget my teaching,but let your heart keep my commandments,2for length of days and years of lifeand peace they will add to you.3Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;bind them around your neck;write them on the tablet of your heart.4So you will find favor and good successin the sight of God and man.5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding.
So what is the modern equivalent of the literary device “bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart”? How can we each take God’s Word to heart, so deeply and truly that we don’t even need to worry about our actions anymore, because our obedience, our trust, our following, comes straight from the heart?
*This year I’m trying a different approach to my devotional time, and am following the inspiring lead of many others I’ve seen in creating an art journal Bible. For more information on ideas or others doing the same thing (just with much better art than mine!), check out http://IllustratedFaith.com. And thanks to my husband for the Christmas gifts to make it possible.