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Posted on Apr 30, 2013 in Proverbious

What We Pursue Vs. What we Avoid – Proverbious – Day 120 – Proverbs 14:13-14

What We Pursue Vs. What we Avoid – Proverbious – Day 120 – Proverbs 14:13-14

Proverbs 14:13-14

Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and the end of joy may be grief.
The backslider will be paid back from his own ways,
but a good person will be rewarded for his.

The journey toward a righteous, Proverbious life is not an easy one. As we seek to move and live in God’s ways, we will often find ourselves having to choose between the ways of the world and God’s ways. It’s often not an easy decision. Some of them are easy, at least for most of us. For the most part, we have already decided, pretty easily, that we’re not going to rob a bank, steal a car, break into someone’s house, etc. But so has the unwise person. Most of us have decided that we’re going to be faithful to our spouses, we’re not going to cheat on our taxes or steal from work.

But, living the Proverbious life isn’t just about staying away from the bad. It’s not just an abstinent approach to life. Yes, there are many things we need to avoid. But, I would propose to you that the things we need to avoid aren’t nearly as important as those things we need to pursue.

From what I have observed, much of how the Christian life seems to have been taught through many years and generations are the things that we aren’t supposed to do. Many of them right, but not all of them. We’re not supposed to do this or that. We’re supposed to avoid this or that. We’re not supposed to get close to this or that. So, then it seems like our life becomes more about getting as close to the thing we’re not supposed to do without actually doing it. We step up to the edge of the cliff and lean out over the edge to see what’s below.

Instead, what I think we’re supposed to be doing is to be pursuing a right relationship with God. And yes, a part of a righteous life is about the things you don’t do. But that’s not all of it, and would say that’s not even the biggest part. I would say that the biggest part of the Proverious/Righteous/wise life is the pursuit of God and His Word and His Ways. He is the most important thing. A relationship with Him is what’s supposed to guide us and drive us. A relationship with Him is where the reward will come.

We don’t move forward by trying to avoid everything in life. We move forward by looking at what the destination is and going after it with everything we’ve got. It’s in that pursuit that the righteous life begins to emerge. As we go after God, and He becomes our only focus and driving force in life, the things we’re not supposed to do will become less and less of an issue. The more we see God and follow hard after God, the more those things that we used to have to work hard to avoid become things that move off in the periphery.

The reason people “backslide” is because they spend all of their effort trying to avoid the things they’re not supposed to do. The reason people’s lives are full of greif to the point that joy is the exception – and when the joy is gone the grief is what’s normal is because when all you do is try to avoid things, you will not be successful. You cannot live the Proverbious life on your own. You can’t be right on your own. That’s the whole point of the Old Testament and Jesus’ coming to earth. If you could be right on your own, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to come. If you could be right on your own, the Law of the Old Testament would have been sufficient.

But it’s not enough. The way of the Old Testament was all the things you weren’t supposed to do. Rules, regulations, observations, etc. The Law. The way of Jesus is that we pursue Him, and as we pursue him, we become more and more like Him. As we walk more in His word, humble ourselves in worshipping him, spend more time praying and connecting with Him, the more our ways will become like His ways.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.