My thoughts

Sip & Refresh: How Do You Guard?

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Being busy is overrated, slow down, take a sip

and refresh yourself with the Word.

-Starla Smith 

Today’s Sip & Refresh:

Ecclesiastes 5:1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.

When I think of guarding my steps I think of being careful when I walk. I am watching my feet as I take each step. I imagine my mouth is closed because I am paying full attention to what I am doing and where I am going. I see myself looking and watching careful observing where I am, like walking through a Lego landmine in my son’s room. Be on guard. Those things hurt!

In this verse, it tells us to guard our steps when we go to the house of God.  The house of God is a place of holiness. It is a place to be in awe and reverence.  As I ponder, I realize I am the house, I am the temple of the Holy Ghost. I am where the One who is holy dwells. How much more careful should I walk knowing the Holy One lives in me? When I am full of care I will look out for myself and for others because foolishness is rampant and can break out in my life at any time. I am human. I am not perfect. Mistakes happen. Life happens and sometimes I jump past action into a myriad of reactions.

I want to be known as one who is ready to hear. The Bible says faith comes by hearing and this faith comes from hearing the word of God. Not just anything carries the truth like the word of God does. Hearing truth is at times a very hard thing to do! We need to hear the truth in many ways. We need hear from God.  Hear what is true in us, and through others. How many times have I known that I was dealing with the consequences of my selfishness and I just let it be? I did nothing to change how I was motivated. Why is it so hard to see the truth of the matter and deal with it? When we give into our own selfish desire or those of others, are we doing  us or them any good ignoring it? No, we allow it to root and spread just like the honeyvine I talked about in my last post.
We have to get proactive!! Over and over the Bible says that fools have mouths that yammer on.

Ecclesiastes 10:12-14  The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness. A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him?

This portion really stuck out to me:

To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools.

Is the sacrifice of fools, lip service? Isn’t it talking about what I will do but not ever actually do it. Later on, in our main passage of Ecclesiastes 5, it tells us to keep our vows that we vow to God. Why? I am thinking it is because a fool will make grand promises to themselves, to others and to God. They keep flapping their jaws and do nothing to perform the words they speak. They are full of wind constantly blowing on and on. As a mother, I don’t want my children to be those who speak and don’t follow through. I just talked about how people don’t always do what they say, with my son yesterday morning. He was telling me about what the kids in his class were saying. How they were going to get him certain things for his birthday. He has been talking about his birthday for 3 months. He is very excited. It’s in March. I don’t want him to be unaware and become disappointed when it doesn’t happen how they say it will. I said to him, “David, you can’t always bank on what people say. The kids in your class have no control over what their parents will actually do. They may say it but it may not happen. You have to watch and wait for what they do. Sometimes people say what they are going to do, but that isn’t what they can do. So with grace, you will have to accept what is given with a thankful heart.” Some of us adult haven’t yet learned not to say what we can not follow through with and like fools, we sacrifice words without counting the cost. Sacrifice always costs something. If it doesn’t then that sacrifice was worthless, evil, a smokescreen. I am glad that Jesus didn’t just come to talk some good news and make a name for Himself, without His sacrifice we would all be lost.

 

SACRIFIC
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Jesus didn’t just come to talk some good news and make a name for Himself, without His sacrifice we would all be lost. – Tweet This!

ACTION STEP: Ask yourself some questions!

  1. Am I being foolish?
  2. Do I say what I should not say?
  3. Do I make more out of situations than what it is, going on and on in exaggeration?

The fool doesn’t consider that they are doing could be evil. So, if you are answering those questions you are moving in a wise direction. Fools don’t see what they are doing at all. Their selfish desires and sinful wants and urges run their lives. They have no boundaries on their mouths. They say what they want to do regardless of what it may or may not create or consume. Rather than watch out for others they guard their evil desires. They do not watch their steps.

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If life is a mess and you find yourself in another “around the mountain” experience where you are making foolish choices and find you are surrounded by those who also are making foolish choices. Realize that you are awake to your life in this moment and by God’s grace you can see. It is time to move your attention from excuses to guarding your steps. That starts with “God help me!”

Side note from the author: Apparently, guarding steps looks a whole lot like putting a guard on the gate of your mouth. 

Thanks for Listening,

Starla

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

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