Text: Proverbs 16:2, 9, 16, 25
Summary: How do you live a wise life? Turn to the Lord and ask Him five questions: 1) What?, 2) How?, 3) When?, 4) Where?, 5) How long?
Good morning, everybody. Matthew and Emma’s family are traveling to Chicago, so please pray for them to have a safe safe and a fun trip. Please turn with me to Proverbs 16. I’ll read a few of the verses, starting from Proverbs 16:2.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.
9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
Father, we ask You, the giver of all wisdom. Lord, you’re not stingy. Whoever asks for wisdom, You give in generous portions. And there is a limitless supply of wisdom for every decision, for every choice, for every season, there is wisdom. So, Lord, as we’re under discipline of the Father, we turn to You in humility, and we ask for wisdom. We ask for You to teach us, instruct us and rear us as a father does his child. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen
We’ve been talking about discipline of the Father and humility. And for parents, it can be frustrating at times to discipline your child regarding the same issue over and over and over. I think for our boys, there is probably one or two things that each of them struggles with. And whenever the discipline comes, it is the same thing over and over.
And when the Father disciplines us, I wonder if it’s the same thing. He disciplines us and it’s the same issue over and over again. And at some point we have to put our hands in the air and say, Father, I want to learn. I don’t want to keep making the same mistakes over and over. I want to change. Please instruct me.
And did you know that the word “discipline” can also be translated as “instruct”? Because when the Father is disciplining you, we have a choice. We can ignore the discipline, way can complain about the discipline. Or we can humble ourselves before the Lord and we can ask Him to instruct us.
And if you humble yourself before the Lord, He will give you wisdom. The word “discipline” or “instruction” occurs 30 times in the Book of Proverbs. So that is why the Lord is leading us to Proverbs for the moment. And these are some interesting verses for your edification.
3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
1 My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; 2 keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; 3 bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
The last phrase that occurs in those verses is “write them on the tablet of your heart.” And this is very similar to what we read in the new covenant in Hebrews 10. And so Proverbs in a way you can think of it as a new covenant book hidden in the old covenant. It was foreshadowing what is to come, that at some point and it is available to us now, God writes his laws on our mind. He puts them on our heart.
I want the single brothers to stand up a second. If you’re out of college and you’re single, I want you to stand with your Bible. Single brothers, please stand and turn your Bibles to Proverbs 18:22 and read it aloud in unison.
22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
And the rest of us say, Amen. You may be seated.
We’re going to be talking about wisdom today. How badly do you want wisdom? It is more precious than gold. Understanding is more precious than silver. Would you trade away your entire life savings to get wisdom? If you’re not at that point, then you’re not really interested in being a wise person.
You have to have that mentality that I am willing to give away everything I own to get wisdom. It is that precious in God’s sight. But He doesn’t give it liberally to anybody. He does not give it to fools who ignore Him, who had no discipline, illegitimate children who ignores discipline. He doesn’t give it to such people. He gives it to those who humble themselves before the Lord. To those who receive and submit to discipline. Who actually desire wisdom.
This book of Proverbs was written by the wisest person who ever lived, somebody who asked for wisdom when he was ready to to serve as king. And God said to him, you could ask for anything. He did not ask for riches or fame. He didn’t ask for pleasure. He asked for one thing. He asked for wisdom and God seeing that heart blessed him immensely with the greatest wisdom of a man who ever lived.
But you look at King Solomon’s story. He’s an old covenant person, and so he had the wisdom of the Lord. But could he actually live it out? He couldn’t live it out. God’s laws were external. They were not written on his mind. They were not put on his heart. And so he had all the wisdom available, greater than any person who ever lived. And yet he lived such a foolish and tragic life, possibly turning and repenting at the end but living such a tragic life.
And we read the story of Solomon in 1 Kings 11, that because of 700 wives, pagan wives, he was led astray. That was the beginning of his downfall.
There’s such a difference between the old and the new covenant, even when you just look at one topic such as wisdom. Did you know how they made decisions in the old covenant?
1 Samuel 14
41 Therefore Saul said, “O Lord God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant this day? If this guilt is in me or in Jonathan my son, O Lord, God of Israel, give Urim. But if this guilt is in your people Israel, give Thummim.” And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. 42 Then Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was taken.
The Urim and the Thummim. The words translate roughly to light and dark. It’s like dice. You have black and white and they cast lots and they said, okay, if it’s white, this is your answer. If it’s black, this is your answer. And they believed that God was in the rolling off this dice. That’s how they made decisions. That’s the old covenant.
And did you know that even in the beginning of the New Testament, when the disciples were selecting the replacement for Judas, they cast lots. You don’t see it after that. Never again. After that point, you don’t see the disciples casting lots to make decisions because now we have the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 10. We read that recently.
15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Let me just stop at verse 17 for a moment. Do you know how if you really believe verse 17, how radical this is? That because of what Jesus did, when we repent and place our faith in him, did you know that He remembers your sins no more. He can do that because He is God. We are human, so we remember our sins and we remember the sins of other people. Try to forget it, you cannot but God, He is so powerful that He can actually wipe it from His memory. That means if you repent of your sins, in that moment you’re sinless. You’re sinless. You’re like Jesus Christ, can you believe that? It’s just so amazing.
18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
What Jesus accomplished by dying on the cross, through His flesh the holy of holies with the curtain was torn in two. And we have access to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father in the heavily courts 24x7x365. And so not only can we live in the presence of Heavenly Father, we have Jesus, our Shepherd who leads us. And we have the Holy Spirit who counsels us, go this way. Do not go this way. It’s so different than throwing Urim and Thummim and casting lots. There’s so much more wisdom that is available for a new covenant believer.
So where do we get our wisdom?
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Wisdom starts with the Lord. You do not get wise through degrees. Although the world wants you to think that because you have degrees, you’re wise, it is not true. You can accomplish so much in your life in terms of accomplishments, in terms of degrees, and have so much head knowledge and even doctoral knowledge and still live like a fool. This is so different. Fear of the Lord. Wisdom comes from the Lord.
24 The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
In order to get wisdom, we must face heavenward. We must look to the Lord. It is not here anywhere on earth. Wisdom is not here anywhere on earth. You might think that even just reading commentaries or Christian books that there’s wisdom. That is not wisdom. It only comes from above.
James 1 says, if you lack wisdom, ask God and He gives generously to all who ask, you must direct your gaze heavenward. You can go to the ends of the earth searching for wisdom and rack up all kinds of frequent flyer miles. You will not find wisdom anywhere on earth. You must look heavenward.
And there are five questions to ask now that we have access to the holy of holies, God’s presence in the heavenly courts. Not only do we have Jesus as our Shepherd, and now we have the Holy Spirit in us, and He counsels us and directs us. Now that this is our reality, as new covenant believers, we have five questions to ask. And if you ask these five questions each day, I can almost guarantee you will live a wise life.
The first question is what? The second question is how? The third question is when? The fourth is where? And the fifth is how long? If you ask these five questions, there’s a good chance that you will live a wise life.
The first question is what? Obviously, if you’re a believer, the what of your life changed radically once you met Him. Before you had a certain path and someone asked you when you were young, what do you want to be? And you had all kinds of answers. But when you met Jesus, all of that went out the window. And now the question is, Lord, what do you want me to do with my life?
And that’s the beginning. That’s you turning toward heaven and saying, I need wisdom so I know what to do with my life. And as believers, we know that Jesus is number one. You have to know Him. The surpassing value of knowing Him. There is nothing that even comes close to Jesus.
And everything that I’m saying today, in the background, I want you to remember what Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 7, He says, if you build a house on the rock, that’s a picture of a person who hears and does. And there are other people who just hear and they don’t do it and you’ve built on the sand. And so everything I’m about to say, we all nod our head in agreement. We say, yeah, Jesus, I love Jesus. Knowing Jesus is number one. What have you done to make that a priority?
I think almost every Sunday we’re talking about Jesus as number one, but what changes have you made to make sure that He is always supreme in your heart? That’s a wise person who doesn’t just listen and then it goes out the other ear. He listens and he does it. That is a wise person who builds on the rock.
You know, you can receive all kinds of wisdom. And I think at our church you receive all kinds of wisdom. And I think in terms of talents, there are certain churches where maybe it’s only one talent of understanding or spiritual understanding. Other churches, five talents of understanding or doctrine. Or there are 10 talents of understanding.
I think we have a generous amount of understanding that is available, but if you don’t do something with it, if you don’t obey it, it’s actually not yours. Until you do it or obey it, it’s just head knowledge. Once you start living it, then the wisdom has come in and you can say, I am wise in this area, I am a wise person.
The principle is those who have talents and you obey, more will be given. If you have one and you multiply it, more will be given. If you have two and you multiply, more will be given. You have 10 and you multiply it, more will be given. But if you do not do anything with it, then even what you had will be taken away. That’s the principle.
And so it’s actually dangerous that you step foot into this church because now you’re on the hook for whatever you hear. you’re actually on the hook. I grew up not knowing many things in the Bible. And so in some sense, God says, okay, it’s okay that you don’t live out these various truths out. But once I learn it, if I don’t do it, if I don’t receive that wisdom by obeying that wisdom, then even what I have will be taken away.
So what? This is probably the most important thing. What do we do in life?
The reason why I had the single brothers stand in the beginning is because Jesus is number one. But your spouse is number two. And if you have a wife, you found a good thing and you’ve obtained favor from the Lord. And so if you’re out of college and you’re at a marriageable age, the top prayer request for a believer is, give me a spouse. It has to be.
I did not realize that Jesus is number one and Jackie is number two. I didn’t realize it for many years. And you know what I put at number one or number two? I put church and ministry there. Was God pleased with that life of just working really hard? I think I was like Cain. I gave God my best. And because He didn’t receive my best, I was so angry, I was frustrated and things in my heart just didn’t get dealt with because I put ministry or church as number one or two.
But I started seeing in Scripture in Ephesians, 5, that my relationship with Jackie is a reflection of Christ and the Church. And the way that I lead her and sacrifice for her is the way that Jesus leads and sacrifices for me. And the way that Jackie submits to me is the way that Jesus as equal, fully God who is equal to God the Father, Jesus submitted Himself to God the Father. And so in this marriage, we’re seeing Jesus on display. And I didn’t see it for many years.
You have to get this order right. That Jesus is number one and your spouse is number two. I think the girlfriend/fiance on the way to being a spouse, is very high on the list, but once you marry her, that person slips and you start putting other things like your career first. If you do that, will God be pleased? He tells you in His word, there’s only one person that you are in a covenant with until death do you part. It is your spouse.
And that means if you do not make sure that your spouse is thriving and do whatever you can to make sure your spouse is thriving spiritually, everything else you do for the Lord, I don’t know how He feels about it because you’re disobeying His word. And so before we ask for specific assignments and things that we want to do for the Lord, can we just believe the universal will and start there?
Jesus has to be number one. Your spouse has to be number two. Children, number three.
I want to read a couple of passages in 1 Timothy and Titus. This is why I named my son Timothy, Timothy is from this book.
1 Timothy 3
1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
Hold that thought. Now turn to Titus 1:5.
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
And to me it’s so clear in God’s word, that Jesus is number one. He His supreme in everything. Your spouse is number two because it’s the only relationship that you have a covenant with until death. Even your children will leave father and mother and form a new family unit and so it’s a period of stewardship. When you’re parenting your children, in Ephesians 6 it is the father’s job whom God will hold accountable, whether or not you’ve instructed them and disciplined them in the way of the Lord.
Then 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1-2 makes the point, how can you even think of leading in the church if you’ve not been trained in the home? This disqualifies many pastors. It’s too common of a story when you look at pastors’ kids. They’re one of the most lost people on earth because they did not have a father. The father’s main goal was the church, that was his children. And it’s actually easy to appear spiritual on a Sunday and to lead adults who respect you, it is easy. It is easy, but who you are is Monday through Saturday. And you have to ask your wife and your kids, what is he like at home? And if they can give a glowing report, then maybe you’re qualified to lead.
If a husband is not a good spouse to his wife and he’s not a father to his children because he is not even around, can that person even be under consideration for leadership in the church? and Titus 2 I just wanted to point out the role of older women and I must single out Jackie on this one. She is the oldest woman in this room. Her job is clear. She has to communicate to the younger sisters, the younger women, how to love their husbands and their children. And it says to be self controlled, pure, working at home. It’s in the Bible, not my words.
Every mother has to wrestle with this verse. Am I going to be working and giving my best to the company and give the leftovers to the kids? Or will I take this as God’s wisdom that he wants me to stay at home and only on a rare occasion when there is a specific assignment that he wants me out there, then I’ll go, but otherwise the default is Titus 2.
Jesus is number one, spouse number two, children number three. This is the bread and butter of Christian life. Who you are in the home, that is who you are, not what people at church think of you as an elder. That doesn’t matter at all. God sees the heart. He weighs the heart, the spirit.
And so what are we going to do if you’re single and you’re a marriageable age? What are you going to do? You’re going to pray for a wife. It is a good thing you have obtained favor from the Lord unless the Lord is calling you to celibacy. Every believer, the number one prayer after you meet Jesus and you’re at a marriageable age. As long as you’re not called to singleness, Lord, give me a spouse. I prayed that prayer from the time I was saved until the time I dated Jackie. Five years. I prayed the same prayer and I had her in mind for five years.
So I’m not being a hypocrite. I prayed this prayer and God gave me a good thing and He showed me such favor through Jackie. What are we going to do in our lives once you’re married? Before we think about the assignments, first just be a good spouse. Just lead sacrificially and prioritize your spouse. Learn to submit. Be respectful. The way Jesus was respectful and submitted to the Father.
If the husband and wife are doing this, you’re doing the will of God. And you’re the kind of person that He will entrust to you deeper things and specific assignments because you’re a righteous man or woman. You’re doing what God asked already.
And so if He asks you to do something difficult, you already have a track record of obedience. You’re trustworthy. He will entrust to you something greater. For a minister in a church or a leader in the church, the training ground is your home. For me, we didn’t have this order. And so I’m learning this in reverse. I put Jackie on the back burner. The kids were put in babysitting. I gave them to the educational system. You teach them what they need to know. I dropped them off to the youth minister. You train them in spiritual life because I have my own ministry I’m busy with. And that’s how I did life for so many years.
And God just put a stop to it. He said, I’m not happy with it. He put a stop in, and now I’m getting the order right finally. And I know I’m not a perfect husband, perfect father, but because I’m obeying the Lord and going against my own desires, I know that one day I can look God in the eyes and say, I did my best, Lord. I know I’m not perfect, but I did my best. I can honestly look God in the eyes and say, I did my best as a husband and a father.
What are we going to do in life? First, obey the universal will of God found in Scripture. As a single, pray for a spouse. Once you’re married, love your spouse. Respect your spouse. Lead your spouse. Submit to your spouse. Make your spouse more important than your work. Even children are more important than your work. That is your training ground. This is how God prepares His ministers for His Church. It’s through the home.
And all sisters here who are who are mothers or who aspire to be mothers one day, wrestle with Titus 2. Please wrestle with it.
If you want to be wise, ask the Lord, what do you want me to do? Follow Jesus because He’s number one. Love your spouse because your spouse is number two. Be present and available to your children — number 3. Bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Disciple them. That is your job. That is the “what.” And then there’s additional things that He may give us to do along the way once we’ve proven ourselves to be trustworthy.
I think the “how” is as important as the “what.” How should I be a spouse? How should I love? How should I submit? How do you want me to parent? Because we can be present as a husband, as a father/mother and just do it in the wrong way. Angry, upset, irritable. We can do it in all the wrong ways.
We can act in a wrong way toward our spouse. Many people get married and they realize that they didn’t know themselves that well prior to getting married. Because you can be very gracious to yourself and blind to your issues and be very friendly to everyone else among your friends. But once you get married, the true nature comes out.
The “how” is very important. How are you doing as a spouse? How are you parenting? This is wisdom.
What should we do? How should we do it? Some people idolize their calling as a pastor and then they pastor however they want. They pastor out of their flesh. And would God be happy that that at the end of your life as a pastor, you have a bunch of Ishmaels that you’ve achieved through your flesh?
Ishmael is 50% from Abram. His birth is connected to God’s plan of promising a child, isn’t it? There are so many things we can do in the church out of our flesh and ministers can minister out of their flesh. But at the end of our life, would God be happy with a room full of Ishmaels? No. So how we do what God asks us to do is important. For Abraham and Sarah, they had to wait until their body was as good as dead. The “how” is very important.
We ask for wisdom regarding what to do. We ask for wisdom — how do we do it? With what character? With what spirit? And along the way, the Father will discipline you. He will address issues of your tongue, your emotions, your attitude. He will address various strongholds of thinking.
How do I do it? Even as a pastor, I shouldn’t just say I’m just going to keep going and going and going. I should ask, how, Lord? What kind of pastor do you want me to be? How do you want me to lead?
And the third question is when? For Jesus, even Jesus as the Son of God, He had to learn obedience through suffering. Because when He took on flesh, there was suddenly a thing called the will, which was something that needed to be put down and crucified. Jesus had a will. You see it at the Garden of Gethsemane. He had to crucify His will and say, not my will, but your will be done.
So even Jesus as sinless as He was, because He was in a human frame, He had a will and He had to humble Himself and learn obedience during 30 years of waiting.
We’re so impatient that we will end up living such a foolish life if we don’t know how to ask, when, Lord? Abraham probably asked, when is this child going to come? He waited 25 years. Moses had a burden in his heart (Acts 7). Moses knew he was the deliverer of God’s people. A burden came in. But the problem was that Moses still operated out of his flesh. He was not humble yet. And the people were not ready to be delivered. Their attitude was, who made you a judge and a ruler over us? They were not ready. Moses was not ready. And so for 40 years, Moses raised a family.
The family is the training ground for leadership. And Moses, perhaps he asked on a daily basis, weekly, yearly basis, Lord, is this all I’m going to do with my life? He waited 40 years. Jesus waited 30 years. Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years. It takes time.
And so we should always ask, what should I do? How should I do it? Then we ask, when? This is a hard one. It is hard to be patient and wait.
If you get the what, how and when down, the last two questions are easy. If you get the what?, the how?, and the when? down, the where? is easy. You’re the kind of person who will know where to go.
Jesus, He did not stay in one place. He was so obedient to the Heavenly Father, He was so in tune with Him that He knew exactly what the daily assignment was. This is what we are growing toward. Knowing God’s will on a daily basis and moving as He leads. Jesus didn’t have a place to lay his head and this nomadic living arrangement was intentional.
How could He minister over the whole region unless He gave up home base. I am going to go wherever the Father leads. And so on one day, it’s feeding 5,000 men, 10-15,000 people in the crowd. Another day, it’s just one person, a demonized person in the Decapolis. He is so obedient to the Father. He can go and fulfill God’s will on a daily basis. He was trained over the 30 years to to listen for the Father’s voice and to put down His will. This is a wise person who knows to ask the Lord, what am I supposed to do right now in this season? And then how should I do it?
If you’re single, pray for your spouse. Prepare yourself to be the kind of a spouse who can lead, who can submit. That is your main homework as a single who’s called to be married. Once you’re married, your spouse is number 2 after Jesus. Once you have children, make them a priority — number 3. This is God’s will.
Keep asking the Lord on a regular basis, what? How? When? The “where” is easy. If you’ve gotten the first 3 questions down, the “where” is easy.
The last one is “how long?” You may heard God’s voice and He told you to begin something. But if you want to live a wise life, you have to know when to get off the train. It is not that He calls you to do something and then forever you’re going down that one track. That’s not being led by the Lord. That’s being led by your vocation. That’s being led by your calling.
Like a pastor may think, God called me. Now I’m going to do church and keep doing church while operating out of my flesh. And just keep jumping around to bigger churches. Every decision based on my selfish ambition, my vain conceit. I’m going to living like this because God called me.
At some point, God can tell me, Ray, you’re done. I have something else for you. I didn’t realize that I needed to ask the Lord, how long? Even while we were worshipping at Friendship in a building, I thought, God, you opened the door, and so, after that point, I stopped praying about where we should be. We have a building. It’s great. They’re so gracious. They gave us the keys. And they said, this is God’s church not our church so make yourself at home. I thought where we should worship was a done deal. That unless God calls us to leave, we’re just there.
Then when God finally communicated through a series of circumstances and He put it on my heart to pray about leaving and worshiping at our home, the Lord’s gentle rebuke was — why didn’t you pray to me earlier? You were here for five years. Didn’t you think to ask me how long? When is our season done here? When are we moving from here?
If you want to live a wise life, then you want to ask these five questions on a regular basis. What? What are you going to do in your life? What season of life are you in? If you’re not a believer, then the season is to humble yourself before the Lord and ask to be saved. Meeting the Lord is the most important thing. A personal relationship with Jesus is the most important thing. So that is the “what” of your life. Seek Him with all your heart. Humble yourself before Him.
If you’re saved and you’re single but you know God has called you to be married, then pray for God to lead you to your future spouse. Make that a daily prayer request until God answers.
Once you’re married, prioritize your wife. When you have kids, prioritize them. Don’t dish them off to somebody else. Raise them. It’s your job to teach them the Bible. If you see character flaw, it’s your job to do be diligent in disciplining them. Even though it is the 100th time they’ve sinned in the past month, you’ve got to be diligent in disciplining them. Keep at it.
Next, ask the Lord, how? With what type of character should I do what you asked me to do. With what type of spirit? The how is as important as the what.
If God called me to be a pastor, but I’m a pastor who lords over people and I’m abusive, then I may be doing what God asked me to do but I am failing in the how. Have I lived a wise life because God called me to be a pastor, but I’m doing it in the wrong way? The how is as important as the what
Just be patient. If you’re patient, you will see that there’s already enough on your plate. If you’re patient, you will see there’s enough homework. God is already disciplining you. And if you’ve humbled yourself and you’re asking for wisdom, you will realize that there are plenty of lessons that you are not learning. What areas am I not changing? What areas need to be sanctified still? If you humble yourself and you seek wisdom while being disciplined, you will realize you already have enough on your plate. You don’t have to be impatient about accomplishing something grandiose. There’s enough on your plate.
What? How? When? The “where” and the “how long” are easy. If you humble yourself before the Lord, and you fix your gaze heavenward, and you look to Jesus and you see how He lived His life and you pattern yourself after His life and you follow Him and you start obeying what you hear and you start living out the wisdom that you received today, if you go home and you say, I got to learn how to make Jesus number one, and you ask, What changes do I have to make so that Jesus stays number one? And you actually go home and you struggle to do something about it then you are on the path of wisdom.
And if you’re married and you say, Okay, my wife, my husband, I put them below my job. My job, I put higher than my marriage and my kids. And you see the truth of God’s Word, and that wisdom comes to you, and then you go home and you say, I got to make some changes. And then living according to God’s wisdom becomes natural, then it’s like God inscribed His laws on your mind and you put them on your heart. It’s now becomes natural. Then you can say, you’re wise in your living, not just in your hearing but in your living.
And you’re like a wise person who built a house on the rock because you didn’t just hear the words but you did the words. You obeyed the works. If you just hear and you don’t do it, it’s like you have 10 talents of understanding and you didn’t do anything with it. What does God do? He takes the 10 talents away and even what you had at the beginning, you don’t have it anymore. That’s how spiritual life works.
So let’s say, whatever the Lord inspires to you and whatever He’s disciplining you about, let’s go home and let’s come up with a plan. Ask the Lord, help me, give me wisdom. How can I do this? I know the what. You made it clear. How can I do this? And when? And then the “where” and the “how long” will come naturally. The “what” and the “how” are the keys?
Father, thank you so much for your discipline. Last week, you brought us to a point of humility where we decided that we will humble ourselves before you. And now, Lord, you want to instruct us through your discipline in various areas, which stem from a lack of wisdom. Now you want to give wisdom. We’ve knelt before you. And now we’re fixed our gaze heavenward. And now we’re waiting for wisdom.
Wisdom is more precious than gold or silver. Help us to be the kind of people who will gladly sell everything to obtain wisdom. And once we hear your wisdom, we don’t want to merely hear wisdom, but we want to do wisdom. We want to be like that wise man who built a house on the rock and the storms came and that house stood.
There are things that we hear every Sunday. Lord, we’re such fools because we don’t change. We don’t make any changes in our lives. And in your eyes we’re so foolish. Lord, we want to be serious about what we hear. Now we’re responsible for what we’ve heard. We want to put it into action and to consider what changes need to be made.
Lord, we trust that you will help us to live a life that pleasing before you as spouses, as parents, as workers, as church members, as Christians in the world.
Father, we asked for your wisdom regarding what to do, how to do it, when to do it, where to do it, how long to do it. All of these things, if we ask these questions to you on a regular basis and we obey what we hear, we will live so wisely. Help us, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen