Guarding Instruction

by Jonathan Bailey

“Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her for she is your life.”
Proverbs 4.13 

Reading this morning I stumbled over a passage of scripture and it stirred my affections once more for Jesus. There is truth in the Proverbs. It is reliable, sound and concrete. And it is Jesus-soaked. (Colossians 2.2,3)

Where do you receive instruction? Where? I have found that Jesus has all of the wisdom and knowledge I need for actual living. He embodies the Proverbs–He lived them. 

So my goal is to take hold of them. Grasp them and never let go. I do let go. Sometimes I forget. I get lazy and complacent. That is why this Proverb rang true in my ears this morning. Once you find this instruction, guard it! Protect it! Watch over it! Cultivate it! Why? It  is because it is the narrow path that leads to life. 

There are so many things I have learned in the last four or five years. Little pieces of instruction that have proved to be like seeds, bursting with life inside. At times I have guarded them with braveheart-like-faith and other times I treat them complacently, like a gardener carelessly forgetting to water his plants day in and day out.

One piece of instruction that has proved life giving is waking up at 6 AM and discipling myself to Jesus: praying in the shower or study, reading and praying through the Psalms, reading through the Gospel of Mark, journaling about my experiences, memorizing large amounts of scripture, blogging, watching the sunset as I skim the Proverbs and reading my favorite authors. All of these things are instruction Jon–never let them go–guard them. 

It is these that draw me closer to Jesus and transform my character more and more into His. That is all I want.

Seek the Kingdom,