July 13, 2017

July 13, 2017

PROVERBS 1-3

Focus Verse: My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:1-6

 

I heard a quote once from Pastor Joel Schmidgall of National Community Church in Washington D.C. in which he said, “If you want knowledge, hit the books, but if you want wisdom, hit your knees.” We are all about information these days, but few people are interested in knowledge. It’s so much easier to just hit the share button on Facebook when it aligns with your particular social or political or religious view, than actually checking to see if what you shared has any factual substance to it. We’re all about information masking as knowledge because it’s easier.

Even more rare is wisdom. The same way that we let information settle in as a substitute for knowledge, we let knowledge stand in as a substitute for wisdom. Knowing a lot of things about a lot of things. Here’s the problem with knowledge, facts can never get personal. That’s not to say that facts don’t personally affect people, but they, in and of themselves, are not personal. Try telling someone who has lost a loved one to gun violence that more people are killed in automobile accidents than in cases involving firearms and see if that makes them feel any better. The knowledge might be true, but it’s not personal.

Wisdom on the other hand is personal. Wisdom can discern between the truth, a lie and then when neither the truth nor a lie is even appropriate. Wisdom chooses to keep her mouth shut when consoling someone who has suffered an enormous loss and just listens. Knowledge tries to make itself known no matter the cost.

The funny thing in all of this is that wisdom is actually very easy to find. Just turn to the book of Proverbs and you’ll see God’s answer over and over again. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A large chunk of the time, Solomon (the author of Proverbs) refers to wisdom as a person, using the pronoun “her”. There are times when wisdom talks and reveals truth that it sounds an awful lot like God talking. I don’t think this is an accident. Like Pastor Joel said, “if you want wisdom, hit your knees.”

Wisdom is found when you walk in the Spirit. This is part of the reason why so few people have it. They have plenty of knowledge, but they can’t attain wisdom because they are too proud to surrender what they think they know to the Holy Spirit in exchange for what He knows. To walk in the Spirit, to truly gain wisdom, you must be humble enough to acknowledge that God’s ways are always right, and that if we want to be like Him, we need to change the things that are in us that don’t line up.

It’s the hardest, easy thing you’ll ever do. And it starts with one prayer, the prayer Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane in Mark 14:36, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet, not what I will, but what You will.”

Not my will, but Yours be done. That’s the beginning of wisdom in one prayer.

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