The Process of Wisdom

14 Jul

DigYou can listen to the podcast here.

Last week we learned that there will come a time when enough is enough. We saw wisdom laughing and mocking the naïve, the scoffers, and the foolish because they ignored wisdom’s counsel. We found out that the voice of wisdom is the voice of God. This morning, Solomon gives us a giant conditional clause followed by a conclusion in order to set us up for next week.

Take the time to read Pro. 2:1-11 for yourself.

We’re encouraged to be a seeker. In part 1 of this series I quoted Ja. 1:5 that tells us, But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” I don’t want you to think that we’re supposed to repeat this verse like some magic incantation and then God spiritually transmits wisdom to us. There is no magic wand. Wisdom is more like a process. In our learning process, when a child is born, the parents smile at the little baby and make noises in hopes that the child will respond by imitating what the grown up does.  As the child grows, the parents continue to teach the little one how to roll over, and sit up, and wave, and all those things we like our kids to do. We teach them colors and shapes. We teach them the names of the animals. When they reach a certain age, we turn over a majority of those learning skills to professionals we call teachers and they continue to work with the kids and teach them how to read and write, and use proper grammar and all those things that a child needs to contribute to society. It’s a process. Back in 1:7 Solomon declared, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Wisdom begins when you recognize the awesomeness of God

Here’s the big if. Wisdom is not magically zapped to us by God; we must put forth the effort to attain it. I always find it so curious to talk to people in the church that labor so intensively in certain areas. They’ll work long and hard at their jobs. They’ll read all they can about their favorite sports. They’ll clean their house so not a speck of dust is found. When it comes to knowledge and wisdom of God, somehow a different, less labor intensive or effortless process is supposed to occur. Look at the qualities Solomon is encouraging in his son. Be receptive to his words and treasure his commandments in v. 1. Be attentive to wisdom, incline your heart in v. 2. Are you a good listener? When you’re in church, do you actively listen to what is said? Do you day dream in church? Often our students are required to take notes in class, but the art of note taking seems to be lost in the church. Do you really think you need to pay attention? I wonder how God feels when you nod off during a message.

Solomon says be receptive to God’s Word in vs. 1-2 and now he tells his son to pursue wisdom in vs. 3-4. Cry out to God for discernment and lift your voice for understanding in v. 3. We’re to be, “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”  (1 Pe. 2:2) We should be just that like that hungry baby that cries until they’re fed. Only God can satisfy that longing. We’re to labor in seeking wisdom. The Discovery Channel’s series Gold Rush chronicles the efforts of several gold miners seeking to make it big in the Yukon, in Alaska, and in South America. They left everything behind: their jobs, their homes, and their families in pursuit of treasure. They have to move mountains of earth in order to find that buried treasure. We should be willing to dig, to move mountains in order to gain wisdom from God.

Here’s the result of the conditions. Look at vs. 5-8. When you search for wisdom, you will find it. Wisdom will enable you to see God for who He is. You’ll have an intimate relationship with Him and you’ll be able to understand what He says. There is a plethora of wisdom that cannot be exhausted. Godly wisdom is not just something that is attained, not just nuggets of truth. Wisdom from God provides protection and preservation. Did you notice those two qualities in v. 7? Upright or honesty, and integrity. These two should be foundational in our lives.

But wait, that’s not all. Look at vs. 9-11. You will be able to determine right from wrong. Wisdom gets in your heart; becomes part of who you are. You can have confidence in your decisions because they’re based on the unchanging truth of God and His Word. You will develop a taste for what is best according to God. “Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” It will be like the best cup of coffee or the best piece of chocolate. Verse 11 really provides a great description of what wisdom does. You don’t need things spelled out; you don’t need a bunch of laws or policies to determine what’s right or wrong. It’s good to memorize Scripture, but we’ve got to do more than that. That’s why we see many kids that are brought up in Christian homes walk away from the Way. The Word needs to be in our hearts, not just on our brain. We need it to watch over and cover us. That’s when transformation begins.

Be willing to labor and to work hard to find wisdom while she can be found. Listen to her cries. Let her protect and guide you.

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