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The Main Thing

If you read last weeks message you know it was on wisdom. This week I’d like to go a little deeper with that topic. It often seems to be lacking in our lives and God has provided it to all those who will seek it.

Let’s begin by looking at the Book of Proverbs. To begin with we need to know how important wisdom is. This book is full of wisdom but in chapter four Solomon wrote about it specifically. In this he refers to wisdom as “she”. You may remember that Solomon was called (by God) the wisest man who ever lived. When he became King God came to him and told him He would give him anything he asked for. Solomon asked for wisdom to rule and God blessed him with that plus wealth and power. You can read about this in 2nd Chronicles chapter 1.

Solomon begins Proverbs chapter four by speaking to us as children and refers to himself as the father.  Now, there may be some of you who can’t relate to a fatherly relationship. Perhaps you had a father who was abusive or absent. Maybe he didn’t fill the roll of a Godly leader in your life. If so please recognize that this will cause you to have difficulty with full submission to God. Solomon’s first statement is to not forget his law. Immediately some of you will balk at that word “law”. We don’t like laws, do we? They always seem restrictive of freedom and fun. When we really think about it laws, rules, and statutes are there to protect our freedom. For example, I may not like the law that says I’m limited on the number of fish I can catch but it is a law that protects the numbers left for future trips and for my children and grand-children. We need to see wisdom that way. Wisdom allows us to see what is good and bad for us.

In verse four Solomon says his father taught him to keep his words. It’s not enough to just learn about something. We must also remember it down the road. The best way to retain information is to use it. We need to read it again and again so that it’s fresh in our minds. In verse seven he says that wisdom is the principal thing. When you study the Hebrew word for “principal” it means the beginning, first or best part.

Stop and think about what most people pursue in life. Most go after temporary things like wealth, power, prestige or fame. All of these are thought to be the most desirable things in life. Who is the man that pursues wisdom? Where is the one that puts that at the top of their priorities? If you find him you will find a man who can be satisfied. There is no satisfaction in getting the other things I’ve listed. Solomon knew that wisdom was the main thing. So, perhaps you’ve read through this chapter and you decide that you want to make wisdom the number one priority in your life. Where do you begin?

In Proverbs9:10Solomon said that the fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom. You don’t hear many messages on fearing God anymore. Most people just don’t want to hear it. They are told that God isn’t vengeful as He was in the Old Testament days but is a loving kind benevolent “daddy” much like Santa Claus who just wants to give us whatever we want. Obviously, there are a lot of people who haven’t read the last chapter of the Bible. While we do live in a time of grace there is a great and dreadful day of the Lord coming wherein the wicked will be separated from the righteous and cast into outer darkness. God is an awesome God and must be respected and revered. If we don’t have fear of God we will not be able to begin wisdom.

So now you see that wisdom is the main thing for us to pursue in life and to begin in it we must fear God. What next? In James 1:5 it says that if any man lack wisdom let him ask God for it and that God will give it to him liberally. Now, let’s get down to brass tacks. How many times have we asked God for something and thought He never answered? Maybe you have asked God for wisdom and then wondered why you didn’t get it. Perhaps you are still waiting on the wisdom. Let me tell you plainly that God always answers prayer. If you asked for wisdom God will give it to you. In other words, God answered your prayer.

The problem with all prayers is that we expect them to be answered according to our perspective. We live in a world that is finite. God dwells in the infinite. We have our days numbered. His days are innumerable. We think along the realm of right now. God is planning on eternity. If we could only grasp that wisdom is not something we should pray for due to an event that comes up! Think about this: don’t we normally ask for wisdom only when we have a crisis? Instead of doing that we should ask for wisdom now so that we will be wise people of God. Then, when the crisis comes up we will have it. It’s a lot like getting into a bad situation and then all of a sudden reading scriptures and praying. It is really important to us then. We must see the value of wisdom now. Don’t wait until you need it.

That being said let me say that when we do ask for wisdom God doesn’t just supernaturally send down a shaft of light and you stand up smarter! Wouldn’t that be nice! Maybe you envisioned being like the scarecrow who quotes the Pythagorean Theorem once the wizard tells him he has a brain. When you ask for patience God allows you to get into situations that test your patience. Likewise, when you ask for wisdom God will allow you to go through things that end up making you wiser. Wisdom doesn’t come overnight. It takes time. The scripture gives several passages where wisdom is seen with the elderly and not the youth. I am thinking about 2nd Chronicles chapter ten where King Rehoboam took the kingdom after his father Solomon died. He asked the elders for their advice and his friends for theirs. The elders had wisdom but the young men gave foolish advice. Sadly, he followed the friend’s advice and ended up splitting the kingdom.

In 1st Timothy 3:6 Paul was giving advice on selecting leaders in the church. He says that they should not be new converts. Why? Because wisdom takes time.

Do you see the real value in wisdom? Do you fear the Lord? Have you asked God for Wisdom? If so, believe that it will come and wait for it. Wisdom is more valuable than gold (Proverbs8:10-11)

Prayer-Father, I ask for wisdom today so that my life might be pleasing to You. Give us the teaching we need to bring it about. Allow us to have wisdom that we might lead others. Be glorified in our lives today.

In Jesus’ Name-Amen

paul

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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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