Get Wisdom

We’ll face several critical decisions in our life that require some deep wisdom. Where we turn for answers will dictate our direction. And the direction we take can have significant downstream impact on both our life and our legacy.

God never intended for us to have a flip-the-coin decision making process. God is much more available and directional than we might imagine. Life should never be a “throw of the dice” for Christ followers. He wants to pour wisdom into us so we’re headed in a healthy direction and making decisions that are measured, prudent, produces immense joy, and overflowing life.

One of the biggest reservoirs of wisdom is God’s Word. The proverbs are loaded with truth that can give us nuanced insight and specific steps. But often we need wise counsel. Words from someone who has lived longer and has diligently applied the scriptures can shed light on a situation so we don’t step into a mirage of blessing.

This is exactly where King Rehoboam blew it. He’s the son of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, but he opts for the wisdom of his friends. Rehoboam “abandoned the counsel of the old men”. This was a huge misstep that derailed his leadership and divided the kingdom. What we can learn from Rehoboam’s folly is powerfully preserving.

Wise counsel will tell us what we need to hear, not always what we want to hear. Find people who fear God more than they are enamored with us. Recognize that our peers usually have our same perspective and motivations. But don’t just find older people. Seek out counsel who is measured, has a good track record and wants us to get a win. We may well get some decisions wrong, but God has grace for those as well. The goal of seeking wise counsel is not perfection, but it is getting enough wisdom so we can feel confident in our decisions. Getting wisdom at the front end will give us confidence to move through trials to the very end.

Here's two classic books, full of wisdom and spiritual insight:
The Release of of the Spirit - Watchman Nee
Humility - Andrew Murray

I Kings 12

Find Some Older (Wise) Folks And Listen Closely

We’ll face several critical decisions in our life that require some deep wisdom. Where we turn for answers will dictate our direction. And the direction we take can have significant downstream impact on both our life and our legacy.

God never intended for us to have a flip-the-coin decision making process. God is much more available and directional than we might imagine. Life should never be a “throw of the dice” for Christ followers. He wants to pour wisdom into us so we’re headed in a healthy direction and making decisions that are measured, prudent, produces immense joy, and overflowing life.

One of the biggest reservoirs of wisdom is God’s Word. The proverbs are loaded with truth that can give us nuanced insight and specific steps. But often we need wise counsel. Words from someone who has lived longer and has diligently applied the scriptures can shed light on a situation so we don’t step into a mirage of blessing.

This is exactly where King Rehoboam blew it. He’s the son of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, but he opts for the wisdom of his friends. Rehoboam “abandoned the counsel of the old men”. This was a huge misstep that derailed his leadership and divided the kingdom. What we can learn from Rehoboam’s folly is powerfully preserving.

Wise counsel will tell us what we need to hear, not always what we want to hear. Find people who fear God more than they are enamored with us. Recognize that our peers usually have our same perspective and motivations. But don’t just find older people. Seek out counsel who is measured, has a good track record and wants us to get a win. We may well get some decisions wrong, but God has grace for those as well. The goal of seeking wise counsel is not perfection, but it is getting enough wisdom so we can feel confident in our decisions. Getting wisdom at the front end will give us confidence to move through trials to the very end.

I Kings 12

Truth Matters

Satan can be seen every single day and yet he looks nothing like we'd expect. Satan can be heard as well, but there is no spitting and snarling as we've imagined. Satan is too cunning and crafty to come straight at us as we might have thought him to be, that's what makes Satan so scary to so many.

This is one of the most critical and defining truths for understanding the work of God and the work of Satan. The Spirit of God is seen/heard in people who humbly surrender their lives to Jesus and keep in step with the Spirit. In fact, Jesus said that God the Father could be seen clearly in himself. Jesus said, "you do know him, and have seen him." If you want a picture of God, just watch the life of Jesus.

On the other hand, the spirit of Satan can can be seen/heard in people who run counter to the Spirit of God. Even well meaning people, who carry a personal agenda that may not be God's, can fall under the influence of Satan. 

Jesus said, "get behind me, Satan" when Peter had a different agenda for the Christ's work than that of God the Father. Now this in no way paves the way for us to ascribe to anyone the name of Satan. But it does raise an important point. Not all counsel is godly, not all words are holy and not all gestures are from above. 

Some of our words/actions are just flesh and reveal the residual effects of our fallenness. But some words/actions can fly in the face of God's glory and his will. This should lead us to do at least two things: 1. Watch what we say. Don't be paranoid but when asked for advice make certain it comports with scriptural truth. 2. Check the counsel/advice/direction you receive against the word of God and gather wise counsel around you to keep life sorted out. Opinions are a dime a dozen. People can get on bandwagons that are going nowhere. Truth Matters!

John 14:7, Matt. 16:23

Break Free (part 5): Get Grounded

"Don’t make huge decisions while while you're getting your spiritual feet under you”. If somebody would have spoken those words to me in early 1984 it might have saved me some pain and spared me some skinned knees. Now not every new follower of Jesus is ready to hear clear guidance and wisdom. I was so overwhelmed with the new life God gave me and that those huge chains of sin we’re breaking free, that I was all over the map. I was so enamored with my liberty and telling anyone who would listen, that I neglected to put needed space between opportunity and decision. I would soon find out that not all opportunities are from God and not all opportunities are my opportunities. 

I’ll never forget walking into that church on a sunny Sunday in early 1984. Looking at and listening to that young lady playing the piano was inspiring. Within 5 minutes I had concluded she was clearly God’s will for my life. One problem, I hadn’t consulted God and I really didn’t know how. But I plowed forward, talking myself past the the yellow and red flags we should have both seen. It wasn’t long and the plans were set. As the day got closer to the wedding I found myself in complete turmoil. There was on-going evidence that this young lady and I weren’t for each other and that we were headed for marriage on the wrong foot, or should not on solid ground. I was going headlong into a commitment without the wisdom of the Word or the counsel from people wise enough to say, “hold on here a minute”. Two weeks before the wedding I made a brutally tough decision. With the backdrop of gifts already coming in, plane tickets purchased, a wedding dress getting final touches, rings in the box, and everyone just waiting for the day, I backed out. This was incredibly painful for both of us for a short time. But over the next fews days I had several people coming to me saying some version of “glad you pulled the plug, we saw trouble coming”. We might of never divorced but we may have prayed for the death of each other. In case you’re wondering, we both went our own way and are happily married to different people. 

So here’s a couple key lessons for the person who is just coming into relationship with Christ or just getting back on track after being a derailed disciple. This applies to marriage and almost any other big deal you may face. 1. Get a couple wise people who have the courage to speak into your life. Even wise people don’t often share with you what they’re really feeling unless you’re bold and ask them straight out, with no agenda to hear what you want to hear. 2. Spend a good season of getting grounded in truth before you make any huge decisions. The time spent growing a strong foundation in Christ is the best gift you can give yourself. This isn’t selfish, it’s wise and people will appreciate and affirm you making the time to get grounded. There’s no time like the present to get grounded, there’s a whole lifetime to apply what you’ve gained. Make your biggest decision to get grounded and spiritual freedom will be more than a dream.

Psalm 119:105, II Timothy 3:16

Get rid of the "failure" label.

We will experience moments or seasons of failure, but it must never define us. What's so systemic is the number of people who allow failure to paint, with broad strokes, layer after layer of destructive messages. Even in the lives of those who have been redeemed we find that deception can bury the new birth miracle under piles of lies. God's jealous to eradicate lies and set us free, not into perfection, but back onto our feet and onto the path of spiritual adventure. Evil is tough enough to battle on a daily basis, we sure don't need to start each day in a hole. Walking to a spiritual mirror shouldn't shame us as failures. Each glance at ourselves should be a testament to grace of God, love of Jesus and the power of the Spirit to overwhelm our flesh. 

There is a reason some people never get past failure. Some are marked at a soul level with the pain of failure through a simple flaw. This flaw results in a tragedy. Failure now defines many while God never intends for us to live with this label. There is an answer and James shoots us straight. "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." Don't let familiarity brush you past a simply amazing truth. We can either live alone with our sin or open up to get free from our sin.

We have two systems to chose from. If we live in a closed system we lack energy from others who love us and we lack input from people who are smarter than us or who have walked the path of failure before us. Sin will happen. But if we live in a closed system we will die in that system. Without the input from others we miss the wisdom we need and the loving energy we must have to get free. But if we open up to trustworthy people who aren't in competition with us and they truly desire us to win, we have radical hope for tomorrow. Confession to God and man snaps the back of evil and opens a portal to spiritual fresh air, energy and God's mercy. Giving someone an opening who loves us, is the best way to get deliverance from a spirit of failure. 

Do a "180 Now". Don't live another day with failure as a label. Give an opening to God and others who believe God for great things in your life. If you don't have those people yet, wait on God and ask him for just one, they will soon come. This is the best way to get new definition in your soul and for your future. Tomorrow looks great!

James 5:16