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Listen to Your Father’s Words


My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their whole body.
– Proverbs 4:20-22

MY SON: This verse is directed to an individual, and since I’m the reader, I can take it as being addressed to me–Anabel. When I’m singled out, addressed in this way so personally, I should be very attentive to what is said.

A father is speaking to a beloved son.
Does he have the authority to speak? Yes.
Will he have his sons best interest at heart? Yes.
Will this advice be based on love? Yes.

GIVE ATTENTION: Take notice. Lay aside whatever you are doing. Discipline your eyes, your mind, and your body so that you will have one thing only on which to focus.

TO MY WORDS: My rapt attention is to be given to his words. I must realize that he is speaking out of the depths of his heart. This is very important to him.

INCLINE YOUR EAR TO MY SAYINGS: Cup your hand behind your ear and lean toward the one who’s speaking . . . you don’t want to miss a single word.

DO NOT LET THEM DEPART FROM YOUR SIGHT: “Let” is a word signifying choice. I choose to keep the words before me. Now how I do this will be unique to me, but the command remains. What I see passes through my thinking processes. What I see I think about. It will help me to remember.

KEEP THEM IN THE MIDST OF YOUR HEART: Meditate on them. Make room for them in the deepest part of your being. Realize their worth. Plant them so they cannot be lost. Love them. Place them with your most cherished possessions. (My paraphrase: Clutch them closely to your breast.)

FOR THEY ARE LIFE TO THOSE WHO FIND THEM: Do I want this “life”? Yes, I do.

A. W. Tozer makes this statement: “Spiritual gifts and graces come only to those who WANT them badly enough. It may be said without qualification that every man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he WANTS to be. He may not be as full as he WISHES he were, but he is most certainly as full as he WANTS to be.” *

AND HEALTH TO ALL THEIR WHOLE BODY: Taylor paraphrases this: “real life and radiant health.” Gods Word says, “It is appointed for men to die once” (Hebrews 9:27). This is a God-planned process of aging, deterioration, and death. I accept this and do not intend to ask for deliverance from this process. “Radiant health” does not mean that I will never be sick, but radiance emanates from the Spirit in spite of my physical well-being…and Ill settle for that any day.


*A.W. Tozer, The Best of Tozer (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978), p.37

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.