Are you a hoarder?
Over the past several weeks, we have been exploring this topic of wisdom. Being something we all need so desperately to be the guide over our thoughts and the "governor" over our actions, we certainly haven't wasted any time by learning what we can about wisdom. Yet, if we look outside of the Proverbs, we even see hints of what Solomon was sharing as he described the thought processes of the wise, their motivation for action, and the determination to live by the principles God teaches. One such "hint" comes from words penned by his father, King David, as he recounts the relationship he has had with our heavenly Father. This psalm begins with the reminder of God "looking deep into our hearts and knowing everything about us" - a thought which might just intimidate some of us! One such reminder about the awesomeness of our God is this whole idea of God knowing our thoughts - looking down from heaven and actually "discovering" our thoughts. To some, this almost flies in the face of needing to confess our sins, since God knows our thoughts anyway. To others, this comes with a rather unnerving sense of dread that God might actually discover some of the stuff we have been pondering in our heads for quite a while. Truth is - God already knows what is in there - he even created our power of thought, so it stands to reason he would also know what makes up our thoughts! So, why do we need to confess our sins to him if he already knows what we have been thinking about? I think it might have to do more with us getting into a frame of mind which actually begins to realize the thoughts we have been entertaining are not really all that great! Confession has a way of helping us "uncover" what we sometimes don't even realize is there. In the process of talking things out with God, we find we have deeper roots in the issue we have been considering, not just the stuff on the surface we thought we needed to bring into the open with God. The discovery of what is deeper comes when we invite God into our hearts and actually ask him to uncover what is at the root of our thinking. Trust me - there is no better person to get at the root than the one who created the mind in the first place!
Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything I am thinking. Don’t let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way that time has proven true. (Psalm 139:23-24 CEV)
Wisdom comes in spurts - it isn't something we go to bed one day without and suddenly awaken the next day with a boat-load of the stuff. I honestly believe the beginning of wisdom is exactly what scripture says - inviting God in so he might begin the investigation into our lives and show us the right way to form our thoughts. The moment we invite God into our thought life, the things we have been thinking begin to take on a new form. Some of those things will become cemented principles we will hold onto for the rest of our lives. Others will become things we immediately recognize as frivolous and really not worthy of much more of our attention. Then there are the other things which are a little harder to come to appreciate as not being the best for us - those things which have deeper roots in soil which is really producing some pretty bitter fruit.
When God does a "deep dive" into our hearts, it isn't done in a forceful manner. He is welcomed into this place - we open the door to him. This is the beginning of wisdom - the welcoming "in" of God's Spirit to begin to find what is hidden in the corners! We have all probably engaged in some form of what some refer to as "spring cleaning". Let me just tell you, we have no idea how much stuff we can "pack away" in those drawers, shelves, and even in places we didn't think anyone would put stuff! If we don't have enough storage space, we create more, don't we? We get shelf expanders so we can divide shelves to put more stuff in the cabinets and buy self-standing cupboards when the installed ones aren't sufficient to hold all our stuff. Those "deep dive" cleaning expeditions actually uncover stuff we have held onto and probably not used in years!
In essence, we are "hoarders" of stuff! The same is true in our thought lives - we store away stuff - some will be needed and used on a very frequent basis, while others will only clog up the recesses of our minds for years to come! This is why David values so much this "deeper dive" by God into his mind. He doesn't want to deal with the "clogs" which will form when there are neglected areas of focus. God's eyes have a way of going right toward the issues - but he is grace-filled in how he does it. He doesn't just dig around in our thought life, uncovering the hard stuff, then leave us to deal with it. He might expose it, but he also comes with the resources to help us clean it out, putting those areas in our life in order, sometimes for the first time in a long, long time!
The goal of God's "looking around in our thought life" is this whole idea of walking in paths time has proven to be true. We need to be shown where we have been walking in paths which are a little less than true. In my way of thinking, it is like erecting a structure with supports that are less than plumb. We can put it up, but will it be as pleasing to the eye, or as strong as it should be? Probably not. We all need to get things "in plumb" in our lives. The one way we can do this for sure is to invite God to show us places where we have been "out of plumb" for a while - beginning with what we have stored away in the recesses of our minds. Just sayin!