My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Proverbs 3:1-2 (ESV)
The nature of ultimate reality is a sovereign Father who created the universe to exalt his Son. In doing so, he created mankind to be sons who enjoy the Father just like the eternal Son of the Trinity does. As we look at the life of Jesus, the Son incarnate, we see that he lived life at its very best on earth by submitting to the words of his Father:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the son and shows him all that he himself is doing…”
John 5:19-20 (ESV)
From the beginning in the Garden, the enemy of God’s plan has insisted that life is better lived without regard to the words of the Father. His incessant attack has insisted that God is not deserving of our submission. Satan presents God as wanting to withhold the best from us. After Adam and Eve sinned they could not see God clearly and were vulnerable to the false images of God presented by Satan. Still today, we are bombarded with these false images. God is portrayed as an insecure dictator demanding that everyone follow his instructions and give up their ability to think. The list of false images of God is almost limitless. The common accusation from the deceiver, however, is that God is not really in charge of everything, or, if he is, he does not have our best interest at heart.
Think of the story of Job. The devil asked for and received permission to attack Job, then insinuated that God was not really in charge of Job’s situation. Job’s friends were stymied trying to figure how God could keep his reputation and still explain why Job’s life looked like the results of a random reality.The wisdom of the Father as reflected in this section of Proverbs suggests that life at its best can only be experienced as a result of remembering and obeying the words of the Father. But one might ask, “Which words?” God has spoken in times past in many ways, but he finally and fully spoke when he sent Jesus as the living Word of God (Hebrews 1:1-2). Jesus is greater than laws, statutes, and principles. He doesn’t deny them, but fulfills them. We don’t have to live according to a rulebook. We can live in a vital relationship with the Father and Son through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
How does that work? The indwelling Spirit opens our eyes to the nature and dynamic of the Father/Son relationship. He continues to convince us of the privilege of sonship. He reminds us of the limitations of living as orphans when we could be living as sons. He empowers us to embrace and express the love that is already in our hearts because of being born of the Spirit. He lifts our heads to exalt Jesus as our daily savior. He saves us from everything orphan.
Our culture has mostly bought into the idea that we can live successfully without heeding the words of the Father. If you choose to follow the culture, you will miss the life that has been purchased for you at great cost. If you choose to listen and obey his words, you will find a fulfillment in whatever assignment you have been given and you will rejoice in whatever time you are given on earth to do it. When it is time to leave, you will die with hope, and as you leave you will mock that last enemy, death.