Vs.1. Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.
Vs.4-5. Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them."
Vs.10. Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.
Vs.13. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.
Vs.20-21. My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart.
Wise people hear God's words and pay attention to them. They incline or lean their ear towards them so that they receive them into their heart. Just because God speaks doesn’t mean we are listening or receiving his word. Hearing well requires focused and undivided attentiveness.
Once we have received God’s words, we are then to retain and keep them. We must not forget them or turn away from them. We need to embrace them, take a firm hold of them and do not let them go. We do this by keeping them in front of our eyes and in the midst of our heart. We have to make sure we hang on to them once we’ve got them.
It's one thing to learn to hear God's words, it's quite another to hold on to them so that they continue to impact us a long time after they have been given. To do this, we must capture them, write them down and then read them regularly so they go into our hearts and bring about life change.
This is a challenge to bridge the “knowing-doing gap”. John Maxwell says, "Most Christians are educated beyond the level of our obedience." Ouch! C.S. Lewis once said, "We need to be reminded more than we need to be instructed." We don't just need to learn new things, we need help putting into practice what we already know. If we don't, we deceive ourselves and we never really change. This is the root of much of our frustration - continually hearing but not experiencing God’s changing power because of not applying his word.
What do you already KNOW that you need to DO today?