My thoughts on Proverbs Chapter 2 (all emphasis mine):
1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
When I read through those verses, I could not ignore how many action verbs they included; accept, turning, applying, call (out), cry (aloud), look. It reminded me that our relationship with Christ is work... and is active! We cannot say that we want to have a vibrant relationship - that we want to hear from God - but then not put any effort into it! We must turn to him, call out to him, cry out to him and accept what he has to say.
Because it is only then that we move on to verse 5: then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
I think, today, in our American culture, we want everything to be easy. We like talking about God's love and God's grace and mercy. But often, in all our talk about "grace" and "love", we forget that God is a holy god - a mighty god - one who is to be reverenced. He is the ruler and creator of the universe. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the All in All and the King of Kings! (Can I get an "Amen!")
We will stand in awe of the latest teen sensation, or rich businessman or sports star...but like spoiled little children, we often treat God - our provider, protector, creator and Savior - like nothing more than a drive through restaurant - demanding what we want, when we want it.
Ouch. And uff-da.
I have 3 beautiful children. I LO-OVE my beautiful boys!! But as much as I love them and would do just about anything for them, I would never allow them to treat me disrespectfully or as if I was just the local ATM. In fact, I would be deeply hurt if the only time my children called or offered to spend time with me was when they wanted or needed something. So why do we think it is OK to approach our heavenly Father like that?
God says "if" we turn to him, cry to him, call to him...in humility and respect and reverence, "then" we will find the knowledge of God. Then he will pour out his heart to us. Then he will share his secrets with us and give us understanding. And that godly wisdom (not lazy, worldly, spoiled "wisdom") will guard us and protect us and keep us safe.
That's God's words and I cannot argue with that.