“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you … then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1, 5 (NIV)
Have you ever felt something stirring in your spirit that wouldn’t go away?
I have one of those things on my heart right now. And it all started with my middle daughter Ashley.
Ashley is a driven and responsible girl. Last fall, she went off to college and while she’s always excelled academically, the same couldn’t be said for her spiritual life.
As her mom, my heart broke over her struggle in her relationship with the Lord. I just couldn’t understand it — she grew up going to church, learned Bible lessons and saw my husband Art and me read Scripture each day.
But no matter what we did or said, we just couldn’t make it connect for her.
If you’re in that place right now with your child or in your own walk with the Lord, I understand. I think for Ashley, the Bible felt complicated and disconnected from her everyday life issues.
As I cried out to the Lord on behalf of my daughter, the word that kept coming to mind was poverty. Poverty might seem like a strange word for this situation but when I saw the lack of spiritual nourishment in Ashley, the parallels from physical to spiritual lined up.
I chased down this thought a little more — what causes poverty? A lack of opportunity. So many people around the world simply don’t have the opportunity to access the nourishment they need to survive.
But this wasn’t the case with Ashley. Good gracious, we are like most Americans and have multiple copies of the Bible under our roof. So the poverty I sensed was not caused by a lack of opportunity.
So what was it? As I wrestled with this, God brought me to the book of Proverbs.
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:1-5).
There is one word in this passage that’s repeated over and over: understand! Solomon says if we want fear of the Lord and knowledge of God, then we will crave understanding.
Meanwhile, at school, Ashley found herself in a Bible study being challenged by her leaders to just spend the first 5 minutes of her day in the Word.
After admitting she hadn’t been reading her Bible and hearing many of her friends talk about the benefits they were getting, she finally gave it a try. Each day, little by little, her interest in the Bible grew. Her life and attitude was being transformed.
I recently visited her at college and could hardly believe my eyes.
She’s a completely different girl.
At one point during our time together, I asked her, “What finally made following Jesus wholeheartedly click for you?” She said, “Mom, I’ve made friends who love Jesus. I saw a joy in them that I wanted. So, I started doing what they do even when I didn’t want to. At first I thought getting up to read the Bible was unrealistic. But as I kept doing it, the Lord started changing my thought patterns. And when I started thinking about life from the standpoint of Truth, I had so much more joy.”
I can hardly type these words without crying.
As Ashley began to share with me what was happening, I also had a light switch go on. Her spiritual poverty wasn’t caused by a lack of access but rather a lack of understanding.
In that moment, the burden on my mama heart turned to a vision for a hurting world. What if Proverbs 31 Ministries could help every mom recommend a tool to really facilitate their daughters getting into God’s Word for at least 5 minutes first thing every morning?
What if we could bring the Word of God to college students, moms, daughters, business owners and grandmothers across the globe in a way that made the first minutes of every day life-changing? So, the minute they pick up their phones in the morning, instead of getting distracted by other things, they can get invigorated with Truth.
We must exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world. Instead of immediately checking in with social media with the first moments of our day, we can truly make God first by giving Him our first thoughts.
With God’s vision and your help, Proverbs 31 Ministries is striving to eradicate Biblical poverty. And we want to start by developing a free mobile app called the “First 5” to:
Bring life and Truth to the First 5 minutes of every day.
Provide a healthier alternative to hopping on social media in the first moments of our day.
Give us the opportunity to share hope with the people in our lives who struggle with putting God’s Word first.
We need people whose hearts are burdened like ours to bring the Word of God to women across the globe. We need you. Join us today.
Together, all hands in, we can take the burden and carry the vision to change lives with the Word of God.
Dear Lord, I want to get into Your Word and let Your Word get into me. Help me to understand and apply what I’m reading as I study the Bible so I can help others do the same. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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