Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful.Proverbs 16:20 (NLT)
Have you ever met someone who thought they had the answer to everything? No matter the discussion that was being had, they were always quick to jump in and supply the correct answer (even if it wasn’t). They were so full of themselves, and the belief in their knowledge, that they wore a look of superiority on their face. They were right, all the time, and they knew it. Have you met this type of person? If you haven’t you eventually will.
Here’s the problem, we’re all sinners. This means that our cranial capacity (brain power) is lacking. In other words, sin has made us dumb when it comes to making proper decisions in life. So, those who think they know it all should check themselves, otherwise pride will take over and their very salvation comes into question – just ask Lucifer.
As our verse today is telling us, we must take instruction from God. But, it’s not enough just to learn about God’s instructions, we need to follow what He is calling us to do. Here are a few examples. God calls us to forgive anyone, or anything, that has done us wrong. God calls us to love those we don’t particularly like. God calls us not to gossip or slander others, but to speak only words of love. God calls us to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. God calls us to lift one another up, not tear each other down. God calls us to worship together on Sabbath. God calls us to mentor those young in the faith. God calls us to spread the Gospel message (The Good News!) to every corner of the earth. Hopefully, you get the idea. God has given us a plenty instructions to follow. And, they are for our good.
Notice, too, that the verse says that when we follow God’s instructions, two things will happen. 1) We will prosper. No, this doesn’t mean we will get rich and live in luxury. It means that our lives will have meaning. 2) We will be filled with joy. Despair and anger cannot coexist with God’s love in our hearts. The joy of serving Him boots them out.
If you aren’t experiencing either number one or two from this list, get on your knees and ask God to show you the instructions He has been giving you that you aren’t following. It will most likely be obvious. Then, take steps to follow His instructions. Prosper. Be joy-filled.