Monday, March 4, 2024

Wisdom From Above

Jesus sent the twelve disciples out and "...He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease." (Matthew 10:1) In doing so, Jesus knew that as ambassadors for Him, they would come in contact with some hostile people. Concerning this, He tells them, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." (Matthew 10:16) So what does it mean to "be wise as serpents?" Jesus was using a serpent as an example because they are cunning. (Genesis 3:1) He tells his disciples, they needed wisdom in the midst of a world that would seek to take their lives. However, we also need to keep in mind that there are two type of wisdom. 

The Apostle James tells us, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." (James 3:13-17) So, naturally, we will be talking about "the wisdom from above," the Wisdom from God. But why would Jesus not tell them to use the knowledge that they had received while listening to His words and while observing His actions? Surely, they must of acquired much knowledge being with Jesus day and night.

Wisdom shows us how to use knowledge effectively. For instance, people know it is not good to smoke, but they smoke just the same. They know it is not good for their body to stay up late at night, get little sleep day in and day out, yet they do it anyway. They know they should not make a glutton of themselves, nor eat or drink certain things, yet they do it with little regard. They know that they  should not exceed the speed limit on the highway and yet, with no regard, they do this also. They know, but they are not using their knowledge. Why? Are they being obstinate? Is it that they just don't care? Could it be that they enjoy the adverse consequences that come with such neglect or poor behavior? No, not at all. They simply lack wisdom. If they were wise, they would cut out all these things that they know are or could be harmful. So, with that said, let's look at the Word of God spoken through Solomon...

"Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words: "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge." (Proverbs 1:20-22) These are strong words, but also a warning that we should listen and adhere to. If we know something, such as shown in the examples above, and refuse wisdom to use the knowledge that we have, then we are fools and we hate knowledge. Notice, what Wisdom continues to say, "Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke. I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you." (Proverbs 1:24-27)

Just observing the few examples above, we can see why so many believers struggle in life. They know but they refuse wisdom and reject the counsel that wisdom brings and therefore will deal with calamity and the storms, distresses and anguish of life that could have been avoided, simply by adhering to wisdom's "...rebuke..." and letting the "words of wisdom be known to you." (Proverbs 1:23) When wisdom is rejected we also see in the time of calamity, "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. (Proverbs 1:28-32) Could this be a reason why so many believers struggle with sickness, disease, financial woes and broken relationships? Could this be a reason why we see very little expressions or experiences of God's Kingdom, Power and Glory in His church and among believers? 

Although this may sound hard, there is wonderful news. Wisdom also say, "But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” (Proverbs 1:33) PTL! Solomon goes on to tells us, "My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5) So, not one believer has to ever struggle in this life having knowledge but not applying wisdom " For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6) I want to encourage you to finish reading and meditate on all of Proverbs chapter two. In it you will find some wonderful promises that the Lord has for those who diligently seek wisdom.

Finally, I want to leave you with this encouraging word also from God through Solomon, "My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh." (Proverbs 4:20-22) Can we just imagine the abundant and successful life that we can live now in this life, if we were to have a greater love for God's Word? If we seek after God's Wisdom, we are actually seeking after God Himself. Remember what the Apostle John tells us concerning the Word, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) To have a love for God's Word is to love God. He and His Word are one. "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one." (1 John 5:7) So, let us daily seek after God, "For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Amen...   

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