Monday, December 6, 2010

Wisdom Speaks from Proverbs 3

Wisdom Speaks:
My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
(Proverbs 3:11-12 (KJV)

Love is a funny thing. Depending on the source of love, the object of love, it carries with it a wide variety of emotions. Love makes you feel – joy, happiness, excitement, nervousness, fear. Most of these emotions we welcome; some we do not care for at all. But there is one emotion, one feeling, that most of us despise. Unfortunately, it is the one that God uses to shape us into what he wants us to be.

According to Wisdom, love – real love - makes you feel pain. The thing we have to remember is that it is not needless pain. Love’s pain is for a purpose. Wisdom says that we are chastened because we are loved. The analogy here lets us know that God is to us as a father is to his children. It is he who is responsible for our upbringing, our provision, our protection. In his role as our father, he is also responsible for training us to walk upright.

When I was a child, I didn’t always have a father – my stepfather was around for a time – but I always had discipline. My mom firmly believed in applying the rod, the extension cord, the belt – well, you get the picture. Unfortunately I did not always appreciate her fervency. So I did what most children who despise discipline do – I ran away from home. But I found out that other people don’t treat you like your parents. They may let you go without discipline, but it’s really because they don’t have a vested interest in how you turn out.

Wisdom warns us not to get tired of the Lord’s discipline – don’t run away from God when you are chastised. Just take your punishment and get back in line – repent and change. Nobody you can run to will love you like your Father. He has a vested interest in your outcome – he wants to see you make something of yourself with all of the gifts and abilities he has placed inside you. He delights in you; therefore, he does what is necessary to keep you on the right track. We are loved so much that we are not allowed to ruin ourselves. Some people say there is no love stronger than a mother’s love – but I disagree. The Father’s love is stronger still.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wisdom Speaks from Proverbs 2

Wisdom Speaks:
1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:1-6 (KJV).

There is a lot of meat in this passage, but I want to focus on the verse that sums it all up: verse 6. It lets us know that even in our earnest desire for wisdom and understanding, we can mess up if we go to the wrong source. Don’t get me wrong – wisdom does not just sit there waiting for you in an obvious place. It is something that must be sought after diligently. But again, it must be sought in the right place.

The scripture lets us know that the Lord gives wisdom. But it doesn’t come from his hand – it comes from his mouth. We can spend our time seeking the Lord without ever seeking wisdom because we are looking to tap into the wrong source.

We seek the Lord’s hand for provision, protection, healing, and deliverance. But it is his mouth that we must seek for wisdom. Wisdom comes only from the mouth of God – the word of God. You cannot have true wisdom without the word.

Wisdom says that when you are seeking God’s wisdom on an issue, you must look to the source – the word of God – the mouth of God – the express representative of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Tabloids and television, magazines and novelties, cannot give you the wisdom of the Word. It cannot be found in celebrities or personalities.

True wisdom is given – by God’s mouth – sit at his feet, please. But while you’re there, please pay attention to his mouth. Get into God’s Word. Don’t just look; listen. Wisdom speaks, but it uses a mouth to do it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wisdom Speaks from Proverbs 1

Wisdom Speaks: My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. (Proverbs 1:10).

This instruction is so simple, it seems that it shouldn’t even have to be given. But even as the writer was instructing his son, this simple direction is relevant to us today. “If sinners entice thee…”

As people of God, we have to be able to distinguish, and be distinguished from, sinners. It is important that we know whose advice to take, whose plans to buy into, whose decisions to uphold. You can tell by their activity. Sinners entice. They make bad look good – evil look righteous – ugly look pretty. They flatter and flirt until you see things their way. They are the people who will tell you, “Nobody else will know,” or “just do it this one time” or “what can it hurt?”

The writer says we have power over the enticement. We are admonished, “Consent thou not.” In other words, don’t give into suggestions that will take you outside the will of God. Run if you have to, pray if you have to, cry if you have to, but don’t consent. Do not give in to the enticer.

It is wonderful to know that we are the ones with the power. We can resist! The Bible tells us what will happen if we do.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (KJV).
That is good news! But it only works if we follow the first part of the equation: submit to God. It is He who gives us the power to resist the devil and to withstand the ridicule of those who choose to live contrary to God’s ways. Enticers cannot withstand the power of a life truly submitted to God.

Something good to think about when someone other than Wisdom speaks.