He who loves transgression loves strife,
And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.
He who has a deceitful heart finds no good,
And he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil.
Proverbs 17:19-20 NKJV
Another translation states:
He who loves transgression loves strife and is quarrelsome;
He who [proudly] raises his gate seeks destruction [because of his arrogant pride].
He who has a crooked mind finds no good,
And he who is perverted in his language falls into evil.
Proverbs 17:19-20 AMP
One time, I felt very strongly God told me to “slow about 300% down, grab a glass of wine, and watch your favorite chick flick.”
Now, I know this may break your theology for a minute (which is okay) but stick with me.
I was going through a really dry, legalistic period of my life where God really wanted to show me how to be still. To sit with Him and enjoy His presence. To build a relationship with Him.
Instead, I was ferociously tearing through scriptures daily (as if I could win an award for most pages read), living as perfectly as I could, and trying to prove my worth with an abundance of good works.
Yet, BECAUSE I was reading like a madwoman, I knew that the Word said that it’s not by works, but by grace through faith that everything happens in the Kingdom. I knew that it said that His grace is sufficient for us, and His power is made perfect in our weakness. I even knew that it was by faith and patience that we inherit the promises of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Hebrews 6:12)
Again, instead I lived by the motto of:
“MEH, I’ll just keep striving, too busy, THANKS!”
Have you ever been here?
Internally I was screaming: “LOOK AT ME GOD, LOOK HOW GOOD I AM! DID I WIN THE PRIZE?”
And you know what Jesus said to me?
He replied, “Um… I already died on the cross for that. There’s literally no price you could have paid to be worthy. There’s no “prize.” What are you doing? Why are you striving?”
At that moment, it was like a shock to my system. A loving shock that both made me sit more erect and also felt like a hug. So… I got still.
I put a blanket down in my office and laid down. I turned on my favorite instrumental worship music and said “God, I open up the eyes and ears of my spirit. This is you and me time. I’m ready to hear from you. I am listening.”
I opened The Word, and asked God: “What do You want me to learn today?”
It was in that moment that I felt like I was instantly sent into His presence.
When I laid down my works, He gave me more of Him. When I surrendered the strife, it made room for His grace.
Instead of hours that I already didn’t have of reading, grasping, and trying to claw my way into connection with Him, I was led.
You know how it says in Psalm 23 that He leads us beside still waters and restores our soul? That’s exactly what I would describe it as.
And He wants to do the same for you.
So can I invite you to slow down today?
See you tomorrow,