Hi there! I’m Tosin. I live in Lagos, Nigeria. I’m a blessed wife and a super proud mum. When I’m not writing, I’m working as a Human Resources professional. I love Jesus and He’s the one who sent me here! So, thanks for stopping by!
When I started writing and expressing my thoughts on this blog, I had a heavy burden in my heart for single ladies who are waiting to be married. God saw me through diverse experiences in my journey as a single lady and I felt He wanted me to share this journey with His favourite girls. It definitely takes grace to wait! (See how I got the name of the blog?)
A year or so down the line, I felt God saying I needed to share more of my thoughts and experiences beyond issues surrounding waiting. So, while my single sisters will always have a special place in my heart and on here, this blog reaches out to anyone and everyone; and here, we talk about anything and everything, Jesus being at the centre. So, welcome! I pray that God speaks to your heart and that you’re greatly blessed by this blog.
Bonjouuuuuuurrrr ma famille! Whoosh! Has it been a hot minute or what?!
It’s been nearly 3 years since I showed up here, and while we’ve engaged on other platforms and in other ways, I’ve totally missed writing and sharing my heart here.
I didn’t think I’d be blogging again any time soon, but my heart has been so drawn to this place in the last couple of days. I want to say I’ve missed writing, but the truth is, I’ve never stopped writing – whether it’s on Instagram, to my mailing list, or just in my journal. I’ve just really missed being here!
My life has been SUPER eventful (I mean it’s been three years!) and I have so much to share with you, but there’s no rush! By God’s grace, we have a very long time to unpack some of my biggest learnings as I share my journey with you in all vulnerability.
Honestly, I’m so proud of the woman I’ve evolved into within the last three years! God has done and continues to do such heavy work within my heart and soul that I’m transfigured into this person that former versions of me do not recognise. I love it so much!
A whole African queen o!
My evolution wasn’t without days of tears, wrestling with God as He unearthed stuff buried deep beneath layers of fear, pain, and insecurities. It wasn’t without questions and sighs, contemplations and doubts. Mehn, there were days where I felt like God, do you want to tear me? Dis work no dey finish (doesn’t this work ever end?)? But I can tell you for free that the rewards of God’s work of transformation are beyond wonderful! Goshhhhh, it’s so sweet to look back and see how far you’ve come! It’s so wonderful to go over God’s dealings with you (especially if you have a habit of journaling) and see His ways and patterns with you!
I really, truly love the life that I now live, and it’s not because of any material possessions – far from it – it’s because of a deep work that continues to be done within me that produces the kinds of realities that God designed me to walk in. Walking with God is sweeeet!
I sat in my living room last night, just looking back on some of my experiences and thanking the God of my journey for all that He’d done, and most especially, for conquering me!
The idea of being conquered by something or someone surely doesn’t sound positive. I know! Being conquered makes you defeated, vanquished, or simply put, a loser, not so? Well, it really depends on who or what conquers you!
You see, with God, to be truly victorious is to be conquered by Him. When God conquers you, nothing and no one else can! When God conquers you, you rise and remain victorious in all the battles of life.
There’s a portion of Scripture in Psalm 23 that I really love. It’s in The Passion Translation (TPT), and it says:
“Fear will never conquer me, for you already have.” (verse 4)
Whoooooosh! It’s so good!
I’ve definitely wrestled with God in this my life and I’m just so glad that He won!
To be conquered by God is to be progressively and completely surrendered to Him in every single area of your life. It’s to be ruled, controlled and dominated by His Spirit regardless of how you feel about any matter or situation. It’s to be Spirit-led even when your flesh is crying out for mercy!
It’s to realise that you’re under no obligation to live by the impulses of your flesh, and to choose God above all else. It’s to be daily transformed by the renewing of your mind. It’s to be subscribed to heaven’s philosophy such that no human wisdom makes sense to you if it’s not derived from God’s own superior logic as expressed in His logos (His word).
It’s to be brainwashed by the Spirit into life in the Spirit! It’s to have a broken and contrite heart. It’s to throw yourself recklessly at God’s mercy knowing that He’s ever merciful. It’s to seek heaven’s interests and be motivated by them. It’s to have a heart that is circumcised by the Spirit and an appetite that is conditioned by Christ. It’s to learn and keep learning Christ that you may progressively be conformed to His image.
To be conquered by God is to lose yourself in Him – to cease to exist as His life becomes formed within you and the life you live reflects the life in Him!
Galatians 2:20 is one of my favourite scriptures. It really anchors me, and it summarises this so powerfully. It says:
“My old identity has been co-crucified with Christ and no longer lives. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, dispensing his life into mine!” (TPT)
Whooooosh! The old me (the old you, too) is dead and gone! It’s been conquered by God, and I’m steady being conquered by Him! Amen to that!
Ahhhh God and His ways! I marvel at the depth and riches of His great wisdom – that though we’re conquered, we’re more than conquerors!
We conquer fear, shame, guilt, condemnation, anxiety, depression, pain, heartbreak, bitterness, resentment, the flesh and the adversary in God’s conquering of us! We conquer the world in His conquering of us!
So, let me re-introduce myself to you.
My name is Oluwatosin Sanni, and I’m a CONQUERED VICTOR.
What a blessing it has been, having you on The Proverbs challenge! It’s been such a joy hosting you and I have been so honoured to serve you. I celebrate your dedication and commitment to knowing God more through the study of His Word. I know He is so pleased.
As we wrap up our challenge in Proverbs 31 today, I can’t but point out this already glaring truth: Woman, you have a voice. You have strength. You are capable. You are smart. You are diligent. You are shrewd. You are an asset. You are a priest. You are praise-worthy!
I love how extra mindful the Lord is about women. I love how He often makes it clear – even from the days of old when the traditions of men didn’t give much room for female expression – that women have a firm, secure and vital place in His agenda.
There are two major things I’d like to highlight from Proverbs 31 – and these lessons particularly speak to the powerful voice that we have as women.
All through the book of Proverbs, we have read the sayings of King Solomon to his son (and the sayings of a few other men), but in the closing chapter of Proverbs, we see a woman arriving the scene, taking her place as an instructor to her son and giving counsel that will set him up for a life of peace and prosperity. It is true that the words in Proverbs 31 are those of King Lemuel, but the Bible records that they are originally the teachings of his mother. (Proverbs 31:1)
I find it so instructive that in all of the Book of Proverbs, this is the only chapter that records a man teaching so convincingly, something he had been taught by someone else – and especially his mother. Her teachings must have stuck in a powerful way!
Woman, you have a voice in your home. You have the God-given authority to voice-print your children’s destinies. You have Spirit-given wisdom to steer your kids in the direction of peace and prosperity like no one else has! Your lessons have the ability to stick like no one else’s. Believe it and take positive advantage of it!
Oh queen mother! I celebrate your God-given influence and the co-creative power you have with your Maker. I pray that you fully recognise it, own it and harness it. Let’s raise our children like we’re raising kings – because we indeed are. Let’s groom them for the throne and prepare them for the palace.
The second point I’d like to share with you has me nearly screaming! My mental block concerning this matter has been dissolved and my mindset has been forever shifted just by reading this one verse. Take a look with me.
She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gown.
proverbs 31:22 (NLT)
I first read this verse in the NLT and the moment I saw the words “linen” and “purple”, my heart leaped within me! Do you know why? They are symbols of priesthood. (I find it so interesting that our official TPC colour is purple. Even though I was intentional about the colour, I didn’t really remember that there was such an apt reference in Proverbs 31:22)
Look at the way AMPC puts it.
…Her clothing is of fine linen, pure and fine, and of purple (such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made)
proverbs 31:22 (AMPC)
In the old testament (OT), women were not permitted to serve as priests. Priestly service was strictly reserved for Levite men. While I know that the Proverbs 31 Woman certainly wasn’t serving as a priest in Israel, this verse shows us clearly that she served as a priest in her home; and her choice outfit typifies our spiritual role as women today!
Have you ever heard someone say “A man is the priest of his home?” Lord, have mercy! I have said it so many times. But guess what? Scripture doesn’t actually say this. We have only drawn conclusions based on the leadership responsibilities resting on the fact that the man is the head of the home.
Nowhere in God’s word is it written that the man is the priest of the home. Dear woman, you share just as much spiritual responsibility as your husband does. Settle it in your heart that your husband is a (not the) priest, and you are too! You both share equal responsibility in setting the spiritual tone and atmosphere of your home.
In the OT, priests had responsibilities to carry the presence of God with them, to worship God, and to pronounce blessings on their people. There’s nothing solely patriarchal about this – not especially now that Jesus has died, risen and the torn the veil, stripping away the old and establishing us in His new covenant!
Say with me, “I am a priest in my home! My husband and I carry the very presence of God and lead our family in the worship of Him!”
So, bye bye to thoughts and ideologies that place spiritual responsibilities solely on the men. If you’re currently unmarried, don’t just say “I want my man to be the priest in our home.” Say instead, “My husband is a priest in our home and so am I”
Don’t delegate your spiritual authority or abdicate your priestly responsibility.
Dear wisdom crew, it’s been amazing, sharing my heart with you! I’d like to say a big thank you to all our guest writers who shared such powerful insights with us; and of course, to everyone who was on the mastermind group sharing daily wisdom and mind-blowing truths with us.
I love you all!
Till we meet again, keep your heart fixed on His love for you.
“Every promise from the faithful Godis pure and proves to be true.”
That’s what Proverbs 30:5 says in The Passion Translation (TPT) of the Bible. In the New International Version (NIV) it says
“Every word of God is flawless.”
I don’t know about you, but for me, this verse is like the sight of a stream after a long trek on a dessert stretch. When you set eyes on it, you know everything will be okay.
In a world where everything seems to be in flux and very little is guaranteed, we’re reminded by this verse that God’s character, His Word and His promises are more certain than the sun that rises every morning. Joshua 21:45 firmly establishes this truth saying:
“God keeps his Word. Not one of God’s good promises has ever failed.”
And Isaiah 55:10-11 quotes God as saying:
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
I don’t know what your current circumstances are or what’s waiting to unfurl in the future, but what is certain beyond a doubt are the things that God has said in promise to us, his children. In his wisdom, he has made and continues to make us promises that speak to every aspect of our lives, from health to purpose, protection to provision, establishment to forgiveness. There is no part of our lives where the father has left us defenceless. There is a promise for every season and issue of life in His Word!
Is your heart heavy, are you feeling lost or forgotten, whatever it is that causes your heart to skip a beat or race without rhythm, look no further than the word of God. In His Word are promises which are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’ in Him, they are anchors for our souls on the stormiest of days.
As you go through the rest of 2021, whenever the devil rears his head spewing lies about how your story will end, do like Jesus did, and remind him by scripture how his efforts will end in futility and frustration because your victory has been bank guaranteed by the The Great I AM!
For that person thinking I know the promises of God, I have quoted them all my life but somehow, my legs still give way under me when I’m faced with contention, my answer is “You have not seen the face of your promise-maker.” When you look into the face and heart of the Lord Most High, when you catch a whiff of how rich and relentless his love and commitment to you is, you will enter into your rest about whether or not he will do what he says he will do.
It’s been a wonderful season of learning at the Father’s feet in the company of God-loving, wisdom-seeking people. Thank you Tosin for the opportunity to share my learnings with the house. As we look into today’s chapter, I pray that you find a suitable word for yourself.
If any chapter of the Bible did open with a sense of urgency, it is Proverbs 29. To my imaginative mind, the first verse reads like a final neon sign flashing desperately in warning to that stubborn person who has ignored one too many cautions to make a much-needed change; or perhaps disregarded the soft, yet persistent invitation of God to do change their ways.
“He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” – Proverbs 29 vs 1
If you grew up a heady child, you would be familiar to some degree with this situation – your parents warning you while pulling their ears about a habit you either needed to drop or develop, but you shrugged off their advice, believing that they were out of touch with the times. If we’re honest with ourselves, it was only a matter of time before our refusal to heed wise counsel caught up with us and we had to pay the price for our choices.
If this was your story, thank God you’re still here. Thank God you survived those mistakes and hopefully learnt a valuable lesson or two. But as that popular song goes ‘yesterday’s gone, today I’m in need!’, so today’s verse is that neon sign reminding you of yet another habit, behaviour, or tendency that needs a change; or maybe an emotionally handicap or questionable association that God has been pointing to as something you need to let go of before it takes your life irredeemably off the course that he has set for you.
The Bible says ‘Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying…’ Don’t yield to the temptation to postpone your reform by saying “tomorrow, I’ll do better.” There is never a better time to start on the path of wisdom and righteousness than today.
My second critical takeaway is a series of verses which I have loosely strung together and called ‘The Leaders Lamp’ which opens with verse 2 saying
” When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.”
If the grapevine of your organization or the team you lead was a wall that you could put your ears to, what do you suppose the testimony of your leadership would be? You see, no one can hide their true colours when set on the pedestal of leadership. Our insides are almost always on display. Whether in the workplace, at home, or in our social circles – do the people you have influence and authority over have cause to thank God for your presence or do they groan in silence, praying for a messiah? What impact do your words have on the people around you? Do they feel built up, established, reduced or torn apart by your words?
Today’s passage centers around the wicked, the rebellious, the destitute, those who reject the law, evil men and how what they do will have consequences. It also admonishes us to be discerning, upright and righteous.
I would want to lay emphasis today on verse 13 which clearly states that “the one who conceals his sins will not prosper but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.
What then is termed as sin? The Bible says every unrighteousness is sin. Romans 3:23 says – all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Have we ever wondered why when we sin and ask God for forgiveness, we sometimes find ourselves there again and if not careful, make excuses for them with words like “that’s how I am”, “it runs in our family”, etc.
The passage says if we confess and renounce, we will find mercy- what this simply teaches is that confession isn’t enough. Making up our minds to renounce them will further help us forsake them.
Another catch for me is verse 19 and 20 – “One who works his land will have plenty of food but whoever chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.” The striking thing here is that the Bible encourages us to “work”. It says he that doesn’t work should not eat.
I remember I used to fantasize getting married to a very wealthy man and not having to lift a finger- while this in itself isn’t a bad idea, what happens if I am used to being waited upon and this wealthy man is no more? I would be left struggling as I wouldn’t have any ideas on how to cope etc. Scripture says fantasies without work will lead to poverty- that’s why proverbs tells us to go and learn from the ants.
The concluding part says it’s only a fool who trusts himself but one who walks in wisdom will be safe. We should always trust in God and not in our abilities. It further says we should help the poor- most times we feel we don’t have enough to help and tend to withhold instead of helping- verse 27 says if we help, we won’t be in need but if we turn our eyes away, we will receive curses.
I would rather help the poor and not lack than withhold and receive curses.
I fantasized about many things when growing up as a child. I wanted to have a big house, a lot of money and material things. Looking back now, I realize that those were just mere dreams and desires with no justification of how all I wanted to own would help or impact others. It was just all about me.
As I pondered on what to share, the opening verse struck me: “Don’t boast about tomorrow for you do not know what a day might bring” – Prov. 27: 1
I began to ask myself- what plans am I making in confidence without the backing of the Holy spirt?
Any plans, desires. e.t.c. without reliance on the Holy spirit may end up not coming to pass as planned because the Bible tells us clearly in 1st Sam2:9b – By strength shall no man prevail. The parable of the rich fool who said to his soul, “eat and be merry” is also a typical example of who verse 1 is referring to.
Let’s go further along in the chapter and talk about friendships.
We should be able to tell our friends salient truths irrespective of whether it will hurt them or not. Verse 6 caught my attention- “ the wounds of a friend are trustworthy”.
This implies that we should have accountable friends who can call our attention in case we are going off track. The latter part of that verse says the kisses of an enemy are excessive. Remember Amnon in the Bible who raped Tamar his sister? His so-called friend was the one who gave him the strategy to carry out that act.
Let’s be wary of people or associations who tend to want to be involved in all aspects of our lives, those who like to force their views and opinions down our throats and those who like to give unsolicited advice and counsel- they are the ones the Bible is referring to here. It is advisable to create boundaries to avoid such people.
One thing that will be of great help in life is to have foresight. This is what is captured in verse 12 – the ability to see ahead and prevent disaster. It says the sensible see danger and take cover. When you see danger- it isn’t a time to start binding and casting- it’s a time to flee and take cover. Don’t try to justify or rationalize some things- it’s better to avoid them altogether.
I take a bow with this insight from verse 17 which says- iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another. Since we are now wisdom people by reason of this challenge, we cannot afford to take counsel, advice, make decisions by consulting just anyone. It means we are only permitted to do so with people of like mind- (only Gods children) who will reason like we do and proffer only godly counsel. So when faced with storms of life, who sharpens us? When challenges come in relationships, marriage, in our health, finances e.t.c. – are we being sharpened by fellow “iron” or do we run to blunt instruments to get sharpened?
Let’s go the wisdom route always as wisdom is the principal thing!
What causes a fire is sometimes just a little spark and then BOOM! The whole place is blazing within seconds.
It takes fuel to have fire- a fire dies down when you run out of fuel. So quarrels disappear when the gossip ends. Proverbs 26:20 (TPT)
Add Fuel to the fire and the blaze goes on. So add an argumentative man to the mix, and you’ll keep strife alive. Proverbs 26:21 (TPT)
Some people are positive fire-lighters; they stir up holy emotions that lead you straight into a realm of possibilities while some are negative fire-lighters that just serve as gossip centers which ignite emotions of anger, rage and hurt.
These negative fire-lighters end up causing nothing more than just trouble. Sometimes they may seem like people with just good intentions and often times if not watchful, one can easily get in the mix of these negative fire-lighters. One of our verses has this to say:
Gossip is so tasty! How we love to swallow it! Proverbs 26:22 (GNB)
Proverbs 16:24 teaches us how our words should be live-giving, pleasant for they release sweetness to our souls and inner healing to our spirits. Proverbs 18:8 then shows us that the words of a gossip merely reveal the wounds of his own soul.
So as you step out today, choose to be a positive fire-lighter stirring up the right emotions in people. Also, I think it’s time we took an audit of those around us – are they positive or negative fire-lighters? What sought of emotions do they stir up within us?
I would like to say it has been an absolute pleasure to write and speak with you through this medium. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Back when I was a child I would play this game with my relations. It was so fun and thrilling; the joy of having to find someone in hiding was just so surreal, once found I would scream for all to hear ‘I found you’.
Now, one of our verses for today reads:
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter– Proverbs 25:2
Imagine taking the time out to search the scriptures like a treasure hunt – yes, because it is.
The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law- Deut. 29:29
And like all treasure hunts have a guide, so do we – the Holy Spirit who is ever ready and capable of leading us into the hidden mysteries of God.
Isn’t it amazing that God wants to hand over treasures to us? You know, as an adult I find myself wondering why I sometimes get flooded with a desire to shower my little ones with gifts. It’s because it’s in our nature – our DNA as God’s children – to do so for the ones we love.
If you, imperfect as you are, know how to lovingly take care of your children and give them what’s best, how much more ready is your heavenly father to give wonderful gifts to those who ask him? – Matt 7:11
So now you can imagine how much our heavenly father just wants to love up on us!
He is inviting us into a glorious treasure hunt today.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Thank you, Tosin Sanni for this amazing opportunity – a challenge well received with openings of new possibilities in Christ Jesus.
Special shoutout to The Proverbs Challenge Mastermind crew – a.k.a #WisdomCrew. The last 23 days with you guys have been fiery! No plenty story today, let’s get right into it.
As I read this chapter, there were many lightbulb moments, but I would like us to zone in on just 4 verses in this conversation.
Verse 3: “Wise people are builders – they build families, businesses, communities. And through intelligence and insight their enterprises are established and endure. (MSG)
I read this and thought, how have I not seen this verse before? As I checked other versions, I realized I had. In the Amplified version, it reads, “Through [skillful and godly] wisdom a house [a life, a home, a family] is built, and by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation]”.
It looks more familiar now right? There you go! From this verse, we can agree that wisdom is a fundamental building block for life. Whether you’re a newlywed or veteran building your family, an entrepreneur building your start-up, a change agent implementing a social impact project, a mid-level executive building your career, etc. – wisdom is your plug! This is why Proverbs 4:7 says,” Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.”
But catch this cruise, wisdom isn’t just essential in building, nope, it’s deeper than that! It comes along with its brothers – intelligence, understanding, discernment and insight to ensure that your life is established (i.e., installed, settled on a stable basis) and that it endures (i.e., holds out, continues to last, and sustained). Ah! How can you not want this? This is the assurance of wisdom. Get it oh!
Lord Jesus, baptize me with your wisdom. Help me to seat at your feet and feast on your Word. Help me promptly take correction. Let my ears hear your words and let my heart retain counsel. Let my lips speak your words and let the meditations of my heart glorify you. Amen.
Verses 4 & 5: Because of their skilled leadership, the hearts of people are filled with the treasures of wisdom and the pleasures of spiritual wealth. Wisdom can make anyone into a mighty warrior, and revelation-knowledge increases strength.
Yo! See this verse now! This means that when you have wisdom, you become skilled for leadership – like you have a divine MBA from Heavenly Harvard!
*Bursts out in tongues!*
You become a skilled leader, and you cause transformation in the lives of people you engage with. I’m not overreaching, believe me. Let me show you.
1 Samuel 22:2 reads, “All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him”. David was a commander of deeply troubled people; but by 2 Samuel 23:8-39, The Bible records, “These are the names of David’s mighty warriors.” Something must have happened! Their story had changed!
The men who were once in distress, debt, and discontented, plus their commander, David had been transformed by wisdom. David had fought battles hinged upon the revelation knowledge of God (see 1 Samuel 30) and had been transformed inside out. His strength and that of his men had reached 1,000 megajoules. Energy everywhere! You cannot even tell me you don’t want this kind of transformation! This is exponential catalysis and growth!
Verse 6: Wise strategy is necessary to wage war, and with many astute advisers you’ll see the path to victory more clearly.”
Guys, not only does wisdom help you build, establish, make you endure, and transform you from the inside – it gives you a roadmap to victory.
Wisdom gives you strategy (blueprint, roadmap, plan of action) to achieve a long-term aim or outcome. It is not short-lived, haphazard, shoddy and concocted on the go; it doesn’t ‘rough it’ – nah! It is superior, strategic, focused, result producing and long-term. So much so, that when you need to wage war, you are assured of victory like how David finished Goliath with common catapult and stone. Yes, it may not make sense to the world, but that’s fine. It is not of this world; so how can world people understand it; it is DIVINE; and the proof of its authenticity is in the quality of results delivered.
Then, this same wisdom further has the capacity to connect you to astute advisors – men and women of deep insight who also help you see a pathway to victory, and even handhold you to execute par excellence. (Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 15:22)
Let me end by saying this. Wisdom gives you staying power! Verse 10 reads, “If you faint when under pressure, you have need of courage”. Wisdom gives you courage, tenacity and grit; and where necessary, alternative strategies to get out of tricky situations. But faint, you will not because you are backed up.
If you’ve been reading for the last 7 days or even from day 1, I must say well done! You have prioritized your growth and development over the myriad of things that consistently place a demand on your time. I pray that the seed of God’s word blossoms and bears good fruits in your life.
To our amazing host, Tosin Sanni – thank you for the privilege to write this post; and more importantly for following through with God’s instruction to host The Proverbs Challenge. The last 22 days have been most rewarding and nourishing for my soul and spirit. I pray that the Lord refreshes you as well.
Alright, let’s get talking.
If I could give this chapter a title, it would probably read ‘A Practical Guide to Controlling Your Appetites’. The Message translation aptly titles it, ‘Restrain Yourself’ because this chapter is a call to control our appetites – be it for money, possessions, in people relationships, with our emotions, sex, and food; there is a lesson for all of us here.
Dictionary.com defines appetite “as a desire for food or drink; and a desire to satisfy any bodily need or craving; a desire or liking for something”. Contrary to popular culture, which is loud on satisfying our cravings and desires, this chapter is the voice of a loving father presenting to us a tested and proven appetite blueprint. She is called WISDOM. Come along and let’s review a few modules.
Module 1: On People Relationships
The chapter opens with an admonition to consider our manners when invited as guests in other people’s homes. I like to think of this as a call for sensibility and moderation in our people interactions whether before a king (as seen in verse 1) or before a stingy man (as seen in verse 6). Like Daniel (in Daniel 1:8), we need to allow the Holy Spirit to animate our desires, and super-impose on our cravings, otherwise pursuing them head long will tip us overboard, drive us into competition, greed, and ultimately to slavery.
The admonition continues in verse 3 by instructing us to discern motives and missions. We need the Spirit of God to teach us in King James English, how/ when to ‘abase’ and ‘abound’; or as the New Living Translation puts it ‘the secret to living in every situation’. For instance, there is when to take a selfie with someone you admire, and there is when to establish a connection, so you can glean the wisdom they carry. It takes a discerning and understanding heart to capture such moments and to maximize them – as they can be pivotal in the outcome of your life.
Module 2: On Money & Material Possession
Growing up here in Lagos, Nigeria; I’ve seen firsthand how the unchecked desire for money has led good people astray. Irrespective of the city you live in, I’m sure you can testify of the same. The drive for wealth has led good folks into making unbelievably bad decisions. But that’s the catch!
Being ‘good’ isn’t enough, we need wisdom. Growing in wisdom is the only assured way to continually making the right decisions- financial decisions included. (See Proverbs 23:19; Proverbs 21:5). ‘Brilliant ideas pay off and bring you prosperity, but making hasty, impatient decisions will only lead to financial loss’.
Look at verse 5, ‘Don’t compare yourself to the rich. Surrender your selfish ambition and evaluate them properly. For no sooner do you start counting your wealth than it sprouts wings and flies away like an eagle in the sky—here today, gone tomorrow!’
Friends, it takes wisdom to live free of comparison, objectively evaluate your excesses and most importantly, surrender your ‘ambition’ to God. If your sole ambition is to amass wealth, I’ve got breaking news for you, it flies away – it is short-lived, transient and pales to the true wealth that comes from allowing Him to direct the course of your life. Your bright future is only assured by immersing yourself in Him. (See Proverbs 23:18 MSG)
Let’s wrap up this module with verse 10 which reminds us to respect the terms of agreements and desist from attempting to take advantage of the ‘defenseless’ because their mighty protector, the Lord of Lords would stand up for their cause. This one is a clear warning oh! Take heed and be guided! End of story.
Module 3: On Promiscuity, Food & Alcohol
‘Don’t live in the excesses of drunkenness or gluttony or waste your life away by partying all the time’. (Proverbs 23:20, 29-35).
‘Stay far away from prostitutes and you’ll stay far away from the pit of destruction. For sleeping with a promiscuous woman is like falling into a trap that you’ll never be able to escape!’ (Proverbs 23:27)
These verses are instructive advising us to stay clear of illicit sex, alcohol, and food. Why? Not because God doesn’t want you to ‘enjoy’ your life but rather he wants you whole – body, soul and spirit. Whereas indulging these appetites leave you broke, with poor decisions, in anguish, wounded and bruised souls, and a shadow of your best self.
‘To love pleasure for pleasure’s sakewill introduce you to poverty. Indulging in a life of luxurywill never make you wealthy’.(Proverbs 21:17)
So, what’s the solution? How do I effectively control my appetite?
Step 1: ‘Embrace the truth and hold it close.Don’t let go of wisdom, instruction, and life-giving understanding’.(Proverbs 23:23) Posture your heart to glean wisdom from God daily. As you receive it, hold on to it – don’t negotiate it. Allow it to be the final authority and reference for everything.
Step 2: ‘Don’t allow the actions of evil men to cause you to burn with anger. Instead, burn with unrelenting passion as you worship God in holy awe’. (Proverbs 23:17) Don’t allow popular culture sway you; rather burn – be fiery, unrelentless and recklessly passionate in your love for God. Let loving Him be your highest ambition.