“Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6
One can read these two verses and come away with some fear. Does it provoke that type of response in you? It does seem to come across as a warning in many ways. If you will allow me to expand on it I think I can show you that it’s not full of fear, but full of grace.
The KJV version states that “every word of God is pure.” The word means pure, as in tested. It really means that it’s been refined in the fire just like any metal is purified and the dross taken out. That doesn’t mean that God’s word needs any dross taken out – His word doesn’t have dross in the first place or need purifying like things in our world do. The Amplified version says “Every word of God is tested and refined (like silver).” As I was meditating on this one day, the Lord opened up the meaning to me in an interesting way. Imagine God explaining it this way: “When I speak something to you from My Word or in your spirit, it will be tested. The enemy will come along and try to convince you that My truth (what I said to you) is not truth. He will come against what I’ve told you – sometimes right away or sometimes a little later on. Hold onto what I’ve spoken to you regardless of how things “look or feel” on the outside. I will use the enemy’s tactics for My own glory and your benefit. The testing will take out all the dross (that is in you or in the world) from what I’ve said. Anything from you will burn up and anything from the world will be taken out and what is left will be purely from Me. It was from Me in the first place, but after it’s been tested it will be proven true and bring much fruit.” I hope that brings you much comfort and peace as it did me.
I wondered what the shield had to do with His word being tested and found true. When we take refuge in His word and not our own, or, not in what the world says, that is the shield. The peace that comes from knowing what He has spoken is true becomes a shield against fear, anxiety and worry. Phil 4:7 states, “And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” A shield also protects from the arrows of the enemy. Psalm 91:4 says, “His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” It’s not our faithfulness that gives us protection, but it is His care for us – which isn’t dependent on us, but on Him.
There are several places where Scripture tells us not to add to His words (or take away from them). But here it states that we might be proved a liar if we add to His word. I thought about this and it seemed to me, that if the Lord asks us to do something (or not do something) we should do only that and not add to it. Here’s an example: Say the Lord asks me to send a card to a hurting friend with some Scripture on it. If I do just that, He is pleased. But if I tell myself (which is really the voice of the enemy), “A card isn’t very much. Why don’t I go visit them in person or call them?” If the Lord didn’t tell me to do that, then I’m not obeying the Lord at all. In fact I’d be prideful in thinking I did more than what God asked of me (adding to His word). He just asked me to send a card – end of statement. But if later on if I go against what He said to do and call or visit in person and I find out right away that is not what the person needed (or wanted), then really I’m proving myself a liar – even if it’s only me (and God) that knows what God told me to do in the first place. If I go and add to what the Lord spoke to me, I’ll get this scratchy feeling in my spirit even though from the outside it looks like I did such a noble thing. That scratchy feeling is spiritual pride (or call it disobedience) and that is just the dross that needs to be burned out from our lives.
Jesus said in John 5:29, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” So if Jesus did only what His Father asked Him to do, does not stand to reason that we also only do what He has asked of us? The trouble is, we have a lot of things going on in our heads about what the Lord wants of us. Jesus meant what He said when He said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt 11). What He asks of you He will supply the strength and power to do it. But we often think He asks more than He really does because we’re mixed up in our minds and hearts about what it is He desires. When we add to what the Lord has said, that’s when things in life become heavy. When the dross is taken out, then things become light.
Just because the Lord asks something simple, doesn’t mean it in in any way weak or insignificant. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Discerning what He has asked of us is an aspect of our minds being transformed and renewed. God is correcting us with the truth of His word all the time. When you do get reproved, corrected and redirected, it will be from His heart of love. It won’t be a bashing or beating to correct, but He will do it with His Word, which is truth. Then you will be able to discern just what it is He is saying to you. This process is the testing spoken of here in Proverbs 30. Allow His work to be complete in you. Allow Him to speak His truth into your life. His work in us brings peace and much fruit.