Hi everyone. Rob here.
I’ve been reading in the Psalms recently and was struck by this beautiful verse in Psalm 16:11.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
I think it’s safe to say that we would all love to experience divine guidance, joy and contentment. While David sees a future that will know the continual joy of being in God’s presence and the eternal pleasures that will bring, he also sees that God makes known to him the path of life right now. This is called knowing wisdom. God wants us to live with this wisdom that comes directly from him.
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).
Like you, I have lived foolishly at times. I was poor with money. I didn’t take my education seriously enough. I have suffered from false pride as well as deep shame. I didn’t invest enough time into my friendships. I didn’t practice self-care and didn’t invest in my heart until it was almost too late for my marriage. The one thing I did do was keep seeking God. James says this:
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:4).
God wants us to grow up. Maturity is the goal and gaining God’s wisdom is the means. This wisdom is not the equivalent of knowledge. Information is only as good as the wisdom with which you apply it. No, wisdom is about living life well. This is where we apply one of our favourite verses, Proverbs 4:23:
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
If everything we do flows from our heart then we want to make sure that our hearts are given over to the source of all wisdom and life. It is Jesus who tells us that it is through him that we are given fullness of life (John 10:10). Wisdom, then, is giving ourselves fully over to Jesus every day. It is taking our place as sons and daughters of the kingdom. It is living a Spirit-led life filled with love of God and neighbour. The fruit of this is walking the path of life with God’s wisdom and God’s authority, even as we submit and surrender to him.
The path of life includes marriage and children; friendships and family; work and civic duty; sport and leisure; worship and service and more. We are called to be wise parents, spouses, plumbers, friends and citizens. The way of wisdom means that in any situation; whether it be crisis or tragedy, celebration or a normal day, we know what God’s will is and do it. Our desire for wisdom is an invitation to pursue a life of conversational intimacy with God so that we may always know his intimate counsel. This is appropriate for sons, daughters and intimate allies. Is this the desire of your heart? How close do you want to be with your Father, your older brother and your Counsellor? It means confronting and dealing with all the false beliefs and accusations that come against our heart; all the wounds that still send false messages to our mind and standing against all agreements that we’ve made that this life of divine intimacy is not for us. It is work that bears fruit however. I’m still learning but learning to walk with God in this way has made for a more adventurous and faith-filled life. Maybe even a wiser one.
My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you (Proverbs 2:1-11)