Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out. – Proverbs 20:5
Today, I came across this verse in my devotions, and it stopped me for a moment. A couple of things crossed my mind: the first being that God truly is a wonderful poet with His words, and second that this verse offers a lot of power.
Something I struggle with is verse memorization. Oftentimes, I can memorize a verse or group of verses rather quickly, but within a short period of time, I forget what I learned. Why? I memorized them to my mind, not my heart. It is important that God’s Word gets stored deep inside so that we can access it at times needed.
Let’s look at this verse closely. Solomon writes “Counsel in the heart of man.” What counsel? God’s Word. The Holy Spirit. When we develop a close relationship with the Lord, we receive the counsel of the Holy Ghost inside, and we receive the guidance of the Scriptures. Remember that most of the Bible will not make sense to lost souls because it is meant to guide God’s children. We need to seek this counsel on a daily basis.
Solomon continues by saying this counsel is “like deep water.” Have you ever stared out at the ocean? If you are like me, you are hypnotized when you do. It is a large abyss of water that appears to never end. It goes deep down into the earth and way out to shores you cannot see from where you stand. When we grow in the Lord, this should be our hearts for the Lord. We should build up a deep abyss of counsel in our hearts that will guide us and help us through everything the world throws our way – good and bad. If our waters of counsel are a shallow river, we won’t get very far. We will dry up.
The verse ends with “but a man of understanding will draw it out.” It is one thing to have the deep water of counsel; it is another thing to actually draw it out and use it. There are many people who could call themselves Bible scholars because they know God’s Word better than most. However, if they never use it to grow and glorify God, what’s the point? We need to draw upon that water of knowledge in order to gain the power and strength of the Lord in our lives. We need to access what God gave us for the purpose of becoming more Christ-like in our ways.
Have you ever been talking to someone, either witnessing or discussing doctrine, and suddenly a verse jumps into you heart concerning the matter? Have you ever felt doubt or fear over something and all of a sudden something in God’s Word springs forth, and you feel comforted? Have you ever wondered if something was right or wrong and suddenly the verse you read in devotions comes to mind, and you understand the answer? That is drawing from the deep waters of counsel.
God did not give us His Word to collect dust on the bookshelves or to read as an “interesting history book.” God did not give us those 66 love letters to read as fiction (as some secular colleges now do). God’s Word changes lives, and it is full of truth. It provides wisdom, direction, and counsel to our lives. As the great Psalmist wrote:
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11
Are you seeking the counsel of the Lord or the counsel of the world? Are you drawing from the waters of your heart – are they waters of God’s grace or waters of worldliness?