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Eighteen Inches

Updated on January 14, 2010

Lean Not Unto Thine Own Understanding

Down through the years, many cliches' have been used to signify that something or someone has missed the mark. We were handed down lines like, " A miss is as good as a mile", and " Close, but no cigars." I'm sure that as you read, you can think of many that are not listed here, for it seems that every generation had their own sayings. Yet, there are some things that we should purpose in our lives to not miss, at any cost, and the most important being Eternal Life.

Proverbs 3: 1-7,

My Son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

Many Sons and Daughters of God today, like the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus's day, are missing the mark. And many are missing the mark, by "Eighteen Inches."

In this day and time, there are schools of theology and divinity, which many servants of God are prompted to attend by their religious structure, in order to be recognized by the church. In so many cases today, one heeding the call of Christ would have to have credentials from an up-standing institution of higher Christian learning even to be accepted in certain Christian circles. Very few of our churches and religious organizations truly recognize the calling and anointing of God as our qualifier to preach or teach the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Fewer even remember that, " God doesn't call the qualified, God qualifies the called."

Then there are also many, who are or have become seasoned in the word of God. Servants who have been " in the way" for long periods of time.

The problem being, that far too many have begun to lean on their own understanding, and have begun to use their command of rehearsed and remembered scripture to make themselves appear as wise or knowledgeable in the ways and the will of God. Many would much rather be seen and held in the high esteem of man, by their knowledge of scripture, than to actually do what the word says, and be found pleasing unto God.

Let Not Mercy and Truth Forsake Thee

Let's talk briefly about " Eighteen Inches."

Eighteen inches is the approximate distance from our heads to our heart.

Eighteen inches is what keeps us entangled in religious pomp and circumstance, and keeps us from following after the divine will of God as Dear Children.

What I'm saying is this,  There are far too many Christians praising, worshiping, and honoring God with " Head Knowledge", and far too few, who come do the will of God from "Heart Knowledge."

Jesus said in Matthew 23: 23,

" Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites !  For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."

Eighteen Inches will be the determining factor that keeps many Saints from being at eternal rest in Christ Jesus. We have succumbed to being Men and Women of God, who endeavor to impress other Men and Women of God, with our Head Knowledge.

During a spring revival held at our church, one of the visiting Pastors, upon coming to the close of his sermon, told our congregation and those in attendance, " I know all of the scriptures in the bible, from Genesis to Revelation."   They call me a " Walking Bible."  That's Head Knowledge. I would have liked to hear him say that he was known for having a Heart after God. Not just being a walking bible, but rather, living a life that's a testimony.

We are following all of the old laws and statutes, but we have forsaken justice, mercy, and faith. There is no true and real compassion on display between the Children of God, one for the other.

For it is by Grace that we are saved, yet we fail to extend grace and mercy to others.

Eighteen Inches, the distance from our heads to our hearts, is going to cause many who thought that going through the motions of Christianity, or dressing like a Christian, and speaking with the proverbial  thy's, thou's, thee's, and thus's  was going to ensure them a place in God's kingdom, to realize on that day, that they came short. They came short by Eighteen Inches.

Jesus said, when he comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, he will sit in heavenly glory. And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the PEOPLE one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

Then He will say to those on His right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father, receive your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

" For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. And they asked, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink ? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and cloth you ? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you ? And Jesus replied, Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me."

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, admonishes us, To forget not the law, but to keep the commandments with our hearts, in honor, love, and mercy.  Solomon says,  " Trust in the Lord, and Lean not unto your own understanding."

Don't be caught short by " Eighteen Inches."


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    • godpreacher profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Atlanta,Ga.


      That is exactly what this hub is alluding to.

      There are too many people trying to teach others how to live for Christ, and their lives are not reflections of His. People can actually feel your spirit, and know where your heart is, regardless of what words you use.

    • febriedethan profile image


      8 years ago from Indonesia

      Godpreacher, that's exactly what's our Church leaders done! Look, I live in a country where Christianity is a minority, how would you introduce Jesus, the Savior, God, the Way, the Truth, the Light, etc if you not touched them by your heart?

      Just to hear the Christian symbols, and many kinds of biblical themes they've already allergetic :) So, the only way is bring Jesus's heart to them, bring Jesus's acts, and give them our compassion. Let them recognize Jesus through our actions. This is wonderful hub! Thank you sir, God Bless.

    • godpreacher profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Atlanta,Ga.


      thanks for coming to my rescue. My sisters had me believing that I was in a time warp, or living in a different dimension. (lol) We must be spirit led in order to do the will of God. Jesus said, if any man wants to be my disciple, he must FIRST deny himself. (desires, ego, attitude, will, knowledge, etc.)

      Thanks for coming by

      God Bless

    • A M Werner profile image

      Allen Werner 

      8 years ago from West Allis

      This is an excellent hub - and I have heard those cliche' before, so where in age or demographics that puts us, I don't know. I knew a young man about ten years ago now, who was a nurse and married. He was attending seminary because he had a desire to become a priest. The only thing was, everything confused him. He tried so hard to understand with his head, the things of faith. He would come and sit and talk with me for hours about the things he couldn't get a straight answer too from the teachers at his seminary. One thing that really had him confused was the idea of lust. Being married, he was really, truly worried about how he was thinking about his wife. No matter how I tried to reassure him about the difference between his affection and desire for his lawful wife, the training he received at the seminary kept him doubting.

      I truly believe in being Spirit-led. Even a wise child can be better than a foolish king. Wondeful hub. Peace.

    • godpreacher profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Atlanta,Ga.

      Sis. DeBorrah,

      I have begun to think that the reason for you and RevLady not hearing some of those old cliches' is not age, it's demographics. (lol) I also do volunteer service with the Feed The Hungry Foundation, and believe that the experience you learned along the way is invaluable. I am glad to hear you going to the shelters, after the people were not welcomed into the church. That's being led by the heart.

      God Bless

    • godpreacher profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Atlanta,Ga.

      Thanks Pastor,

      I loved it also when I heard it, and after meditating on it, I found it to be of importance to the body of Christ.

      God Bless

    • Pastor_Walt profile image


      8 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

      I loved the 18 inch metaphor. A great devotional thought for my day! God bless!

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      8 years ago

      godPreacher, Interesting hub! I am not familiar with a few of those terms as well. When I took my counseling internship I took half of it counseling in homeless shelters and counseling battered women..... It was an invaluable experience...

      I trusted God because at the time my home church was not interested in the homeless coming in. No problem because I went to them in the shelter... It was there I also learned the importance of the gift of discernment. At first they ran a lot of games on me because I was naive... But after they saw I was committed they taught me what to look out for and the many scams that some people will pull on you.... They got pretty protective and told the new residents don't try that on her... Just be straight with her! It is here I also learned to be more cautious...I was also escorted to my car in the evenings.......

      Yes,It is important to reach out. But it is also important to "Be Still and Know" In counseling you must learn how to "guard your heart" and have good boundaries. It has never ceased to amaze me how the Lord can open a heart when you are sincere regardless as to how little or much one knows the Word. Or how little or how much they have or do not have. I trusted the LORD many times over my professional training I chose to minister as a verb... and I must say If you are sincere the Lord will direct you. Sometimes you must make known you are available and allow them to reach towards you. Not out of pride but allowing them to choose their path forward .... And yes you can do this and your heart and head are in concert! Thank you for sharing In His Love & Blessing

    • godpreacher profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Atlanta,Ga.

      Thanks RevLady,

      You twisted my arm, and made me reveal my age. But it's good that you know how to receive eternal life. It's not all about the words we speak, especially when what we know, doesn't propel us into action.

      Thanks for coming by, and you know I love your comments, and I'll never ask a Lady her age.

      God Bless

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 

      8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Know what? When I was in a homeless shelter, a preacher came by to see if any wished to get saved. After hearing my story, he went on to speak to another man. This was somewhat the conversation:

      "Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ?"

      "Yeah, I read the Bible every day. I'm in Matthew right now."

      "Then you must know what God has for you."

      "Like I said, I read every day."

      "Son, are you familiar with the 18 inch decision?"

      "What's that?"

      "It's the decision we make to take the knowledge we've acquired which right now is stored in your brain and move it down 18 inches so that it's now in your heart. It's not academic. It's spiritual. That's what the Lord wants from you. To know Him from the heart."

      Godpreacher, that was the first I'd heard of the 18 inch issue and I haven't heard it brought up again until now. Very solid and very relevant Hub. Thanks!

    • RevLady profile image


      8 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      Well, its obvious godpreacher, we are of different generations as I had never heard of "A miss is as good as a mile", and " Close, but no cigars." but I have heard of Eternal Life.

      I agree that when God's word become nothing more than academia or an exercise in memory, we are missing the mark. As Paul said, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."

      Thank you for reminding us that we need to be concerned about head to heart eighteen inches.

      Forever His,


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