Today’s reading: Proverbs 5
Today’s focal verse: Proverbs 5:8 Stay away from her!
Don’t go near the door of her house!
Today’s Focus: Guarding against sin
This week’s memory verse:
Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best of everything you produce. Then He will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
Today’s devotion, focusing on Proverbs 5, comes from one of my sweet friends and a Yahoo Proverbs study member, Susan Aken. When you think of God’s commands, do you feel slighted? Deprived? In the following devotion, Susan challenges us to think differently, realizing God’s loving and faithful and always has our best in mind.
God’s Plan for sex by Susan Aken
The wisdom shared in this chapter concerns immorality. Various translations refer to the woman in v. 3 as adulteress, immoral woman, strange woman, forbidden or loose woman. Obviously it is about being tempted to have a casual sexual relationship, and I think the principle would apply also to a woman being tempted by a forbidden man. Her lips “drip honey” and her (or his) speech is “smoother than oil”.
These verses apply so well in today’s world. Our society is so saturated with sex. We are not even surprised or shocked by casual sexuality anymore. But wisdom warns here that though he or she looks so appealing, “in the end she is…sharp as a double-edged sword”. Regret will come. (v.12) God’s wisdom is spurned in our society. “Drink water from your own cistern” v. 15 sounds archaic to most, it seems. The truth is that God’s ideal for us, one man and one woman committed to each other, is the best for us.
Jesus took it further when he said that even looking at a woman lustfully is like committing adultery. The abundance of pornography, graphic TV shows and movies, books that promote depravity, all these are like the woman whose lips drip honey. They promise a thrill that sounds so good. Keeping pure in heart sexually is a challenge for everyone in today’s world. Our flesh faces the sweet lies of sexual immorality everywhere we turn. But, in the end, we will regret that we did not listen to wisdom. God is not trying to steal our joy by calling us to purity; he wants to give us true joy that is free of regrets.
Susan Aken and her husband, Russ, will celebrate their 30th anniversary in May. They have one son who just turned 20. She was a school media specialist for 17 years. She quit when their son was 2 to be at home with him. She returned to work as a substitute teacher when he was in 5th grade and is still working as a sub. She has two books she self-published some years ago and has a blog she neglected in 2012 but wants to do better with it this year. She grew up knowing about Jesus and personally acknowledged him as Lord when she was 13. She’s had many ups and downs but He has been her solid rock. She used to think that by the time she was this age she would be this spiritual giant who would have figured things out. Instead she’s learned that we are all on a journey. Sometimes we move forward and sometimes we slide back, but we won’t reach full maturity until we see Jesus face to face.
Visit Susan online at: http://aken53.wordpress.com
So how do you guard your heart from sin? Not to sound cliche, but I suggest to you the best defense is a good offense. Or, in other words, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions” (Galatians 5:16-17 NLT).
Let’s talk about this.
What are some ways to guard our minds and hearts against sexual immorality?
We all know the physical dangers of sexual immorality–unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. But how does sexual immorality affect us at our core?
How might memorizing and meditating on Scripture help insulate you against temptation? (And yes, that was sly nagging that translates as: You are working on memorizing this week’s verse, right? How’s that going? Because tomorrow begins a new week with a new verse. And yet another opportunity for us to set our hearts and minds on the things of God.)
I’d love to know your thoughts! You can share them in the comments below, at Facebook, or through our online Bible study. If you’re looking for a cyber-study to join, it’s not to late, and we’d love to have you!