Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Using Wisdom

Hi Everyone!

It's a beautiful, cold day in Mississippi. My precious partner who is originally from Hawai'i is freezing and living in thermal undies. Me? Hey, I grew up in New England. I have on shorts and the windows open blasting Audio Adrenaline and Sonic Flood to the outside world! Funny how we are all so different on this planet...yet, so very much the same. That's my philosophy lesson for the day. :-)

I ran across an outline for a study I was doing and it struck me deeply today. I want to share it with you. There is so much to learn in the book of Proverbs. Consider Proverbs 13:10 (NIV), "Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice." How very true is that?

There is so much in the book of Proverbs to guide us in our every day lives. And many of the verses have wisdom as a central theme. So, why is wisdom so important? Check out Proverbs 3. God formed creation through wisdom. That would say to us that God must see wisdom as of prime importance. Also, when considering Proverbs 13:10, we must conclude that pride can be wisdom's adversary.

What does all this mean? To me, pride is self-sufficiency, but wisdom is God-sufficiency! Take Solomon for example. In 1Kings 3, after Solomon, in obedience to God, made his sacrifice on the altar God says an astonishing thing. In a dream, the NCV says that God came to Solomon and said to him, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." Solomon could have asked for anything; wealth, pleasure, or even social status, but he didn't.

What did Solomon ask for? First, Solomon expressed his gratitude to God for God's kindness. Solomon worshiped! He took a moment to praise God for who He is. Then, Solomon acknowledged his weakness and his need for an obedient heart to rule God's people. Solomon submitted to God's authority. Solomon understood the responsibility which was given to him! God was so pleased with Solomon's worship and submission that God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding as Solomon requested. Yet there was more! Because of Solomon's humility (no prideful attitude here!), God blessed Solomon with more than he could have hoped for: riches, honor and a long life!

How does this speak to us today? For starters, God is pleased when we are thankful, full of gratitude for simply who God is. He is touched when we acknowledge our need of Him. And when our requests honor God instead of feed our own egos, God not only gives us that for which we ask, but in addition blesses us with more than we could ever imagine.

James 1:5 (NIV) says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." God yearns to give you the wisdom you need to be successful in your every day life. But, read on: "(6)But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (7) That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; (8) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

Yes, it comes down to faith. If you want to please God, you must operate in faith, in expectancy. If you want wisdom to deal with the situations in your life, you can have it but you must ask for it believing in faith that you will receive that for which you ask. I would encourage you today to be thankful to God and ask Him for those things that would honor Him. Know that God is honored when you seek Him and use the wisdom given through His Holy Spirit to walk through this life.

Seek wisdom, gentle reader, and God will give you so much more than that for which you ask.

May God bless you this day as you serve Him.

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