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The cost of chasing two rabbits

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Many of you have read the book, "The tale of two cities", a story about relationships, hope and death. It's about two paths. An old Indian proverb says: A man who chases two rabbits, never catches either.

I once heard a preacher say, "There's a price to pay if we would gain spiritual wisdom, but there's an even greater price to pay if we don't gain it."

You know the story of Solomon. The Bible says he was the wisest man who ever lived, but his heart turned from God. That seems very strange to me. How could the wisest man who ever lived let his eyes wander to the point that he had 700 wives and 300 live-in girlfriends?

The Bible says his wives turned his heart after other gods. "His heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been" (I Kings 11:3-11). To keep his wives happy, he builds them shrines to their gods and eventually started praying to them himself. Imagine the stress in Solomon's life because of stress.

How can we not fall into the same trap of division, stress, and "pulling away from God?

First of all, I think, the thing we give our attention to matters. Pay attention to the checks in your spirit. Romans 8:14 says, "Those who are led by Holy Spirit are children of God". The Holy Spirit will "check" you. You'll feel a prompting to not do or say that. If the Spirit wouldn't lead you down a path, don't go because you'll be going down it alone, which will lead to trouble. Let me tell you, that's easier said than done, or Solomon would not have chosen the wrong plan.

He allowed his mind to be divided like the old Indian adage: A man who chases two rabbits, never catches either. It takes effort on our part if we want to stay focused on Godly living.

Solomon penned these words in Proverbs 2, that help us know how to stay focused and not allow our minds to become divided. I guess he knew from experience what works. God instructed Solomon to, "Receive my words" (Believe, understand, obey). Receiving is letting it become a part of who we are.

His next instruction was to "hide them in his heart. To treasure them". He said "Incline your ear". Lean over into and pay attention to what He's saying. Be a doer not just a hearer.

But we can't stop there. We must "Apply our heart to understanding more of him. Then, he says to "Cry out, lift up the voice for understanding" (for help). We can't stay the course without help from God. Prayer is required. Prayer is an essential part of learning godly wisdom. He says, "cry" and "lift up your voice."

And then finally, he says to "seek, search as if looking for hidden treasure". To me, it sounds like Solomon was saying, "Staying focused on God (not letting our affections and mind be divided" is a lifestyle of leaning into God and learning from him. Falling and getting up.

In the parable of the Sower (Luke 8), Jesus teaches us that there are different ways people respond to his word. Some don't listen at all. Others hear and receive it with joy, but trouble in the world, and their lives, make them turn away. Still others receive the word, but the cares, riches, and pleasures of life choke out any fruitfulness. But there are those who believe, understand and obey. These are those who bear fruit "100 fold" - they bear fruit 100 X what they sowed.

To not be troubled by division, it takes effort. It takes keeping our minds and hearts focused on what God says.

Remember what the wise old Indian said. "A man who chases two rabbits, never catch either".

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