Pro 4:20-21 - (20) My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. (21) Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. (22) For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. (23) Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
I ran across this scripture this morning and I have to say it convicted me! Verse 21 in particular tweaked my conscience. This is my regular pattern. Get up in the morning, maybe spend time in the Word maybe not, and get about the business of my day. I will usually at least glance into the Word at one point during the day even if I "don't have time" to do any real study, but then it is back to normal life and what I read is, more often than not, quickly forgotten.
In this Proverb Solomon is warning against precisely this practice. He commends His Son to make an effort to receive the Word and then watch over that Word to make sure it remains in his head. I love the picture: "let them not escape from your sight" . I picture myself; feet spread wide, hands outstretched, head up and eyes alert dancing back and forth in front of the door of my mind. The goalie of my soul. "OK Word of God you're not getting out of here". You know I've always read vs 24 as a warning to keep bad things OUT of my heart, but in light of the two previous verses I think it is also a command to keep the good things IN!
This is not the ONLY place in scripture where this admonition can me found - In the parable of the Sower (Luke 8) Jesus spoke of the soil that was shallow and could not hold the seed that was planted. I guess this verse is Jesus guard against shallow soil. HOLD ON TO THE WORD and make SURE it bears fruit.
Another echo of this is in the parable of the vine and the branches. Jesus says in John 15:7 that if we remain in Him and HIS WORDS remain in us we will bear much fruit AND anything we ask He will do for us. That's a pretty amazing promise, especially when combined with the promises from Proverbs vs 22 of life and healing!
So Lord I respond to your command. Help me to know the best ways to guard over your word in my heart to keep it in place. To not let it escape from my sight. To remain in you and let your word remain in me that I might bear much fruit. That I might have power in prayer, that I might be filled with life, and be healed of all my afflictions!