Monday, June 27, 2016

safely walking in wisdom

Survival...
Mankind's most important desire.
The promise and full assurance that we will not be destroyed...
That we will maintain our significance...
That we will live, and, in fact, live well.

But how can we be certain of such things?
Is it even a realistic expectation in this mercurial existence?
For we live in a world filled with death and destruction.
We live in times of uncertainty, sickness, and horror.
So, how on planet Earth can we be assured of lasting survival?
How can we truly know that we are indeed safe?

He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe. (Proverbs 28:26)

Ok, wait a minute. "He who trusts in himself is a fool....?"
How is that possible when I know I'm the only person I can trust?
Really, I'm the only one who honestly cares about my own happiness and well-being!
But, I'm not a fool.
A fool is a silly or stupid person; a person who lacks judgment or sense; a weak-minded or idiotic person who is easily tricked or deceived.
That's not me.
I'm not deceiving myself.
I trust ME!
In fact, I trust that I'm the only person I can trust!

Look at it out there...
Nobody else truly cares about another's safety or survival.
Deep down, people are selfish!
Experience has proven that mankind as a whole is dishonest, and complicated, and mean, and, well, just plain disappointing.
You can't bank on mankind!
But surely you can bank on yourself... right?

God's answer is no.
The truth is, we cannot trust ourselves because WE are mankind!
And we might not like it, but our knowledge is limited and corrupt.
So, if we are trusting ourselves, we are already going about things the wrong way.
We are deceiving ourselves!
Oh no!!!

But how is that possible?
For, I know I am clearly competent.
Surely, I have a brain to reason with and the ability to bring my own valuable insights to the table.
So, how can an intelligent, capable woman of the twenty-first century be labeled a fool just because she feels most safe trusting, well... herself?
As best said by Polonius in Shakespeare's Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 3), "This above all: to thine own self be true."

But scripture overrules Shakespeare's advise, doesn't it?
So, wisdom is not found in one's self.
Furthermore, our feeling safe verses actually being safe are two different things, aren't they?

In truth, no matter how determined, we are not capable of caring for our own self as well as we would hope.
Think about it...
Given the right circumstances, we easily betray ourselves and give into temptation over healthy sensibility.
We regularly fail to choose what is right - even when we know what is right.
And at the end of the day, we are all still selfish, messy, broken people who make choices that aren't loyal to ourselves or our future.
Indeed, on our own we are not safe.
Without outside help, we are all unfortunate fools in dire jeopardy.

He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe. (Proverbs 28:26)

So how do we "walk in wisdom"?
And how can we obtain the outside help we so desperately need to be saved from destruction?
Lastly, if we can't trust in ourselves, WHO can we trust to keep us safe?

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.  

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”  
(1 Corinthians 1:20-33)

Here is what the Lord says...

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. (Psalm 111:10)

For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)

So let's get this straight... scripture says we must follow God's precepts to gain a good understanding of wisdom?
Yes!

So... God can insure us safety?
YES!!

By fearing the Lord, we begin to receive wisdom.
Then, by choosing to continually follow the holy path He laid out for us from the very beginning, we are promised more of His life-giving understanding and knowledge.

By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. (Proverbs 3:19-20) 

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:7-8)

So, wisdom is not something to figure out on our own?
No.

Rather, we must seek wisdom directly from the Word of God in order to attain it and enjoy it's many benefits.

With God's wisdom, we are promised a healthy and nourished eternal existence!
WOO HOO!

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed. (Proverbs 3:13-18)

Wow!
Walking in God's wisdom not only guarantees us the insurance of safety, but also promises a fulfilling and blessed life!
Hello... yes, please!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

But what does trusting the LORD look like in my day to day life?
How do I actually acknowledge Him to insure my paths are kept straight?

The Bible (God's Word) provides complete direction in how we are to live as we seek after God for wisdom. To answer "how" to keep your paths straight, daily intake of God's Word is necessary to digest and then adhere to.  But to begin, here are some of His valuable instructions to consider right now...

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

Preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow” - when you now have it with you.
Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.
Do not accuse a man for no reason - when he has done you no harm.
Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence. 
(Proverbs 3:21-32)

Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. 
(Proverbs 3:9-10)

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 
(Proverbs 3:3-4)

Remember, we are assured eternal security in the Lord.
We will thrive at our best in the Lord.
Wisdom is found only in the Lord!

If you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5)

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:10)

May we each walk upright and regularly in His Way!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson


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