(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
Well, we’re looking at principles that set up what the Proverbs are about and here's the next one, “Every Proverb exposes a great moral spiritual war.” I can say this for sure, you will simply not understand your life, you will not understand what you face every day, you will not understand how to deal with the things you face every day unless you understand this great moral spiritual war.
This moral war is what makes marriage hard. How could this person that you love so, draw such irritation and impatience out of you? It's what makes parenting exhausting and discouraging. I can’t tell you how many conversations I've had with parents who are just ready to tear their hair out. It’s not that they don't love their children; they deeply love their children. But there are things inside of their children that make this hard. It's what makes church life messy, confusing, sometimes hurtful, in a place it ought to be a spiritual sanctuary for us often isn’t. It’s what makes sexual purity difficult. Why is sexuality such a huge battle for us? It's what makes just reigning in your mind hard. It's what makes financial sanity so hard for so many.
You see, the Proverbs presents to us this great moral battle between wisdom, that's God's perfect, righteous, holy way; the Creator, who formed this world and who made us in His image, knows exactly what is best for us. The battles between that wisdom and foolishness, that's our self-orientated, selfish, me in the center of the world, my pleasure, what I want when I want it where I want and how I want it who I want it with way. And every place in life is a war between those two themes, a great moral war.
It upsets me often the way we talk about spiritual warfare. You hear those terms and people think demons and deliverance and weird things; and actually, spiritual warfare is a very normal thing. It takes place in all the normal places of life, this great moral war lives in the hallways and kitchens and family rooms and vans of everyday life. And so, Proverbs pictures life, right here, right now, as a spiritual warfare battleground; and the epicenter, the turf of that battleground is your heart.
And so, the war is played out in all the places where you live every day. It's a war out there. This isn’t peacetime. Peace is coming, but there's a war going on, and that war is fought in our hearts between God's holy righteous way and our desire for our way. And that desire to have our own way will be with us as long as sin still lives inside of us. It’s why you get mad in traffic, it's why you get mad at the person who stands in front of you in line, it's why it makes you mad when somebody disagrees with you, it's why it hurts you when people don't pay attention to you; it’s that moral war.
And here’s what the Proverbs presents, the only weapon that works in this warfare is the ‘Fear of the Lord.’ The only thing that is a defense for me is when I surrender my thoughts, my desires, my choices, my motivations, my purposes, to my Savior-Creator who knows better. It's the one place in war where surrender is victory! And when I’m willing to surrender, then I can defend myself in this great moral battle!