14 Sep 2018
Proverbs 23:12 says:
“Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge.”
‘Apply’ seems like an old-fashioned word for an old-fashioned principle. What exactly does it mean in this context? If you apply paint to canvas you deliberately dip your brush into the paint, purposefully placing brush strokes onto the canvas. Your intent is to change what you began with; to enhance it; to make it beautiful and unique in some way.
To apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge is an intentional, deliberate choice. The intent is to transform your heart and mind. To apply means deliberately letting godly instruction and wise words sink deep into your being so that the Holy Spirit, who dwells in each believer, does what only He can do: He begins to sanctify you.
Sanctification is the continuous cleansing by the blood of Christ that changes us from the inside out, setting us apart and making us holy. Our job is to feed our hearts and minds on the right food, nourishing and not poisoning ourselves with what the world would have us feed on. The Holy Spirit then works from the inside out, exploding His life within us so that instruction and words of knowledge become living words of life.
Just as a microscopic drop of water in a kernel of corn explodes, making that hard kernel into the fluffy popcorn we all love, so the life of the Holy Spirit changes our hardness into the pliable softness that God can use for His kingdom.
Pause and reflect: “Father God, help us to see that instruction and knowledge alone will never bring life, but by applying ourselves and humbly surrendering to You we can be forever changed and see our relationship with You grow and deepen. Amen.”