This week, we’re in Proverbs 3!

Hi there! In case you missed it, I extended an invitation a few weeks ago to join me in walking through Proverbs. Jump in ANY time. You can read the chapter we’re looking at before reading on (optional but definitely good for you if you can swing it!) I also recommend asking a friend to join you on the journey. (Click this link to take you to the introduction to this series if you want to know more.) 

Think fast! I’ve got two flashback challenges for you!

1. Can you remember the difference between declarative and imperative sentences from your middle school English class?

2. Can you remember playing Follow the Leader as a kid on the playground?

Think hard, and read on…

There’s something that stands out to me about this particular collection of Proverbs (in chapter 3) more than anything else. So many of the Proverbs are observations. If you’re lazy, this is what will happen. Foolish people do this or that. Wise people go this way or that way…

But rather than being ‘observational’ this chapter seems particularly directional. If you were examining the grammar sentence by sentence, you might notice a change from ‘declarative’ to ‘imperative.’ We’re being told — do this and reap the good fruit of it. Go this way and find life.

My tenderhearted second son found some beloved books at the library years ago about Otis, a sweet little tractor on a farm. He loves Otis, and we’ve checked out those books again and again. {Here’s a link if you want to fall in love with Otis, too…Otis and the Kittens makes me cry EVERY time.} In one of the stories, Otis and the other animals play a game of the follow the leader every evening when their work is done. While Otis and the little calf always start, the different animals take turns waddling or prancing or strutting their way around the farm, with everyone else following the leader.

One day a tornado comes up, and the farmer and his hands hurry to the cellar, without even the time to free the animals from their pens. Otis sees the tornado, realizes it’s headed straight for the barn, and springs into action to free the horse and cow and pigs and sheep and ducks from their stalls in the barn, and they do precisely what they’ve been practicing for as long as we know: they follow Otis, the leader, as he leads them down to a low ditch on the lowest part of the farm, where they huddle together in safety and wait out the storm.

Even the bull who has never wanted to play before and has always been harsh with the other animals is willing to follow Otis when Otis leaves the other animals safely in the ditch to free the bull from his pen.

When we listen to the ‘imperatives’ — the instruction and the wisdom of God and His word, we may not realize we are being trained to follow the Leader who has a plan for our souls. 

Who knows how often listening to that gentle whisper from the Holy Spirit has saved your life, or someone else’s?

As we continue reading the Good Word and talking to the Lord about His goodness and our races with and toward Him, ask God to help you find understanding, and find a way to apply those imperatives to your life.

He says give your first fruits, so follow the Leader, and give your first fruits.
He says look for wisdom, so follow the Leader, and keep on reading the Word and asking for understanding.
He says accept His correction, so be willing to hear Him when He corrects you. Repent quickly and ask for help to better follow the Leader.
He says mercy and truth are good. Live like that.

He sent His Son as an Incarnation of His mercy and truth, a tangible, visible manifestation of His love for mankind — His very Word, fully expressed in human form. Isn’t He a Leader worth following?

So here’s a question worth a good ponder: Are you willing to follow the Leader? Are you willing to follow Him day after day like most of the animals on the farm followed Otis, or are you waiting until a tornado of trouble is headed your way to lean on Him to lead you to safety?

You might be familiar with Prov. 3:5-6… perhaps even have a little song in your head for those two verses? Even if they’re extremely familiar, give those words a fresh look today. The New Living Translation puts verse 6 this way:

Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

He’s not only willing to show us which path to take, He’s the Leader that’s willing to walk us down the path, step by step. Are you willing to follow the Leader?


Now… take a moment to give some thought to how you make decisions about your life. Are they part of a game of Follow the Leader for you, or are you mostly letting instincts and intellect call the shots? If you want Jesus to be the Leader you follow, ask Him to help you hear His voice, and follow it. Write down a verse that meant something to you today, or a whisper from the heart of Jesus you heard. I’d love to welcome you to jump onto the With Love, From Here Facebook Page if you’d like to respond to this post and share something God has said!
I hope you’re encouraged today, friend.
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