Don Marie Banfield-Jones is the Vice President of the Consistory at Grace Reformed Church of Flatbush. She is an ordained Preaching Elder who is passionate about serving the Lord and serving others. Elder Banfield-Jones serves the members of her church but takes the time to serve the member of the community in the Soup Kitchen Ministry.
Every New Year people make elaborate plans for their success. If you ask them what they need to ensure that success will be their expected end, they have no answer. Success does not happen in a vacuum. You must have a plan.
The Book of Proverbs contains a wealth of wisdom. Proverbs 4:20a says, “My son, attend to my words;” This reminds me of a staff doctor in a teaching hospital. Many times, that doctor is the attending. The attending supervises residents, interns and medical students so they attend to his words. They take notes and listen very carefully. The bedside is more than the place where the patient resides; it’s a place of instruction because the attending it there.
In part b the verse says, “incline thine ear unto my sayings.” Incline is a verb. You cannot remain in the same place or position if you have to incline. Incline means to bend the head or body forward. When the attending enters a patient’s room, the patient’s position changes because it’s important that the patient inclines his or her ear when the attending speaks. First, the doctor would examine the patient’s chart to check the progress of recovery. Then the attending asks questions and the patient answers. When the attending makes a decision on the course of treatment, the attending gives instructions to the staff and patient alike. To continue the recovery process, both staff and patient need to follow these instructions carefully.
When you attend to the words of the Lord, He gives you the direction you need to make the right decisions. When the attending is giving instructions about the patient, those in attendance take note because they need to learn how to identify and treat that medical issue when they are working alone. Their success depends on their ability to attend to the words of the doctor in charge. Likewise, your success depends on how meticulously you attend to the words of the Lord. Then, you incline your ear. The patient listens to what the attending says, takes the medication as prescribed, in the correct amount and at the right time. When you listen to the instruction of the Lord and apply it to your life you acknowledge God.
So how does attendingt help you to make your mission possible? . In Joshua 1:8 NLT says, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” In the process of attending and inclining, you will discover that your mission is possible!