Be So Inclined

“My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
discretion will watch over you,
    understanding will guard you,
 delivering you from the way of evil…

men whose paths are crooked,
    and who are devious in their ways.

“So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
    from the adulteress with her smooth words…

“So you will walk in the way of the good
    and keep to the paths of the righteous.” Proverbs 2:1-12a,15-16,20

Being so inclined is often offered as a choice: ‘if you please.’ But in God’s spiritual economy, it is a mandate toward His word and truth if we are to fear Him and be wise. So inclining our hearts is an act of will that reaps sure benefits every day.

When we incline ourselves to understanding the Lord by listening, receiving, and storing up His word, we learn the value and soundness of what He imparts. We begin to see why He does what He does, and how. We learn to trust His defense of our minds, and to renew them regularly to determine His will. We start to make a habit of thinking on things above, and true, and noble, and right. We experience that wisdom begets integrity, justice, discretion, and discernment. It fortifies our wills, and delivers from evil delusions and temptation. (Romans 8:31-34; 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 4:7-8; Colossians 3:1-2)

When tempted to detour off the righteous way, or entertain a wayward enticement, we must assess our treasure and inclination. If we really value godly wisdom, we will determine every decision in light of it: will this add to my knowledge and understanding of the Lord? Is this motivated by proper fear of Him? Does this exhibit wisdom that’s from above, and therefore pure, peaceable, open to reason, full of mercy, impartial, and promoting a harvest of righteousness? (James 3:17-18)

“May the mind of Christ, my Savior, 
Live in me from day to day,
By his love and pow’r controlling 
All I do and say.

May the word of God dwell richly 
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph 
Only through his pow’r.

May the love of Jesus fill me 
As the waters fill the sea.
Him exalting, self abasing:
This is victory.

May we run the race before us, 
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus 
As we onward go.” ~Kate Wilkinson (1925)

Lord, incline me to seek and treasure You in every thought, impulse, desire, and effort, and so gain wisdom and glorify You.

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