Proverbs 23:1-7 - "When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite."
Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee".
When meditating on these words of wisdom, I tried to take a peek into the heart of the Preacher. King Solomon in his time was the richest man on earth and the Bible says, the wisest as well. And since then there has not been anyone qualified with such attributes (apart from Jesus when He walked on the earth). So it is great wisdom to pay attention. You would expect that when you are privileged to dine with the king, it is an opportunity to open your belly and eat to the finish as they say. But no, this king must have seen the foolishness of some, who are invited to eat with ruler and they get carried away with the temporary satisfaction of filling the belly. He says, at the king's invitation to his table, "consider diligently what is before thee". It is a rare opportunity to be at the king's table, and the Preacher is advising that you must not waste such opportunity but to savour it make make use judiciously.
He says further, "And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite". Wow! Simply put, don't even look at the food, just make sure you milk the opportunity and get benefits that have longevity. A time at the Kings table you are privy to have insight to governmental structures at close quarters. You are sited with power brokers and kingmakers who formulate strategies and policies that affect the people. So your main objective is not to eat the food but to learn self control and not be fooled by the wide spread of fine foods laid at the table. He says "put a knife to thy throat", in simple English meaning close your eyes and pay attention.
So it is when we come before our Father, who is the King of kings, we should be mindful of the thoughts of our hearts and what we present before the King, because the Preacher is saying this is what defines us. As privileged children of the King, Ruler of the world, sitting at His table enables to learn of His heart and His Will. We ought to sit before Him soaking in the Glory of He presence and wanting to know more of Him and not consumed with the personal desires of breakthroughs and worldly prosperity We should be yearning to feel His heartbeat for the lost souls and His pain about the disobedience of a wasted generation. To intercede for grace to humble themselves and answer the call of God and be reconciled. Our thoughts should govern what we speak. Jesus puts it this way in Matthew 12:34-35 -"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things". There is a clear distinction here being the make up of what is our hearts, so whether you are good or evil is dependent of how your heart is producing thoughts in your mind, that inevitably comes out of your mouth.
A greater percentage of those who press to be before the Lord, predominantly are concerned for their selfish desires to be accomplished. So you want the Lord to bless you, I want you to ask yourself this question. Why do you want God to bless you so bad that you are on a forty fast and doing night vigils? What is your motive of being desperately desirous of these blessings? In the midst of all your desires, is there a hunger to save souls? Is there any intention of relieving someone who is remotely not related to you, of any burden that money can resolve? The Bibles says in the opening Scripture of this text, "Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: A lot of us Christians are so caught up in this invisible phantom of "making it". What is the yardstick for making it that you risk losing your Salvation that Jesus paid a painful price for? We have become so blended with the world that there is no dividing line and anything goes as long as it makes money.
This brings to mind as I was going through my post this morning (yesterday), there was this very bold and colourful envelope with the inscription "NO ROLLOVERS". Curiously, I paused to consider its content and opened the envelope to find the name of my street boldly written in large letters, and guess what? To my amazement and annoyance, it was an advertisement urging me to "Register your postcode today" for the postcode lottery. What? In my own space? Can I not even have the serenity of not being corrupted in my own house? These epode addressed the letter to me on a first name basis as if they were my friend - Dear Joyce". Somebody is chasing me with an invitation to gamble playing the postcode lottery. I was completely offended. I cannot watch my television after 12 midnight because wherever you go, there is a gambling program trying to programme the people's mind into this demonic addictive entertainment. The devil is a liar!
Evil is being paraded as good and it is right there in your face trying to engineer the ways of thinking. Prior to now, a person would have to go to the corner shop to buy a lottery ticket, or go to the bookmakers. But no, we are now in the digital age and life is made easy for you to win 'big money'. Everything is online!!! You only have to sign up with a certain amount every month and bingo, you can be part of this madness in the world. There is no safe place, every where you turn, there are signs identifiable with Matthew 24. The Word of God by Apostle Paul warns us in Romans 12:2 - "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God". It is critical that our thought process is guided and guarded by the Holy Spirit.
To bring all of this into perspective, my message simply is for us Followers of Christ to have a microscopic scanner on our hearts and review the contents of our thoughts when we are before the Lord. It is by the privileged Grace through Jesus Christ that we can sit before the Throne of God. Therefore, if what we become is formed by our thinking then it is crucial for us to think on heavenly things. Because the goal is to be like Jesus. of I want us to look at the Scripture in Matt 6:21, we are told "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". The World English Bible translates this passage as: "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also". The Master Himself explained why we should store our treasure in heaven rather than on earth - Matthew 6:19-20 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal".
This corroborates King Solomon's wisdom saying "Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven". If your labour to be rich does not have a Spiritual purpose, then it has no Eternal value and you are Spiritually bankrupt. I am mindful to state at this point that if what drives you, is your treasure is here on earth, then your heart and focus will be on earthly things to the exclusion of God, because God searches the heart.
Beloved, it is a sad situation today that while some say Lord, Lord, their hearts and thinking have been consumed with the pursuit of earthly things which will not matter in eternity, but in the mean time they risk losing out on the inheritance of the at the end of the Promise. For the Preacher says " as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee". They serve God with their lips but their hearts are with mammon.
As you read this message, I want you to search your and if any part of it speaks to you, the Grace of God is available through the Blood of Jesus to rewind and reset our thinking process in line with Heaven 's agenda.
Jesus loves you so much, He came to make sure that through Him you are seated with The Father, the King of king's in the Heavenly places.
Beloved, think on these things. May the Grace of God abide with you richly in Jesus Mighty Name. Amen.