#simplyWISE: The Foundation of True Wisdom
Proverbs 9:10 perfectly captures the essence of true wisdom:
"The fear of the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom".
Simplistic and unhip as it may sound, I believe this really is the foundation and root upon which all true wisdom is built upon. "....and a knowledge of the holy, [is] understanding." When we seek God and His truth for our lives above all else, we have an immovable point of reference for addressing all of life's other issues.
If when we make a conscious choice to give our hearts to Christ and allow Him to be LORD of every area of our lives, we still keep seeking wisdom and answers outside of Him, then do we really believe in Him and his Word? Do we really believe... him? If we truly believe that He is who He says He is, and we gave our hearts to Him for those reasons, why would we continue to seek wisdom outside of Him? I think sometimes we forget that Christ and His express written word (the Bible) are one and the same. "I am the truth (John 14:6)....know the truth and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32)....thy word is truth." (John 17:17).
For many years, I believed in God, and I sincerely, though superficially believed in the Bible, but I still gave credence to many sources of information, advice and knowledge outside of God. Many of the struggles I faced bear testimony to it. If there was no apparent, upfront evil in something, it must be ok, or at least not that bad, I reasoned. Sure, it's not the Bible, but that's ok. God speaks to us many different ways, right?
But after rededicating my life to Him (whole other post), and He began the pruning and refining process on my life, it quickly became apparent that God's definition of wisdom (and pretty much everything else), is vastly different and infinitely superior to our own, no matter how spiritual and good it might come across.
And it wasn't just because I read verses like "My ways are not your ways...." (Isaiah 55:8-9), or "The wisdom of the world is foolishness to God. " (I Corinthians 3:19) and then intellectually, but very sincerely, agreed with them. It was because I literally started SEEING in a very real and tangible way, the difference in even the tiniest details of my day to day life, and experiencing so many "A-ha!" moments like, "So that's what God meant when He said....." or "So THIS is what happens when we disregard such and such commandment...." I saw it right before my eyes, in a way that a casual observer might say I was crazy or "extreme" in my perceptions. But it clicked:
the wisdom God offers us is truly SO far above what we can imagine, but we will never "get it", or much less embrace it as long as we are patting ourselves on the back comfortably satisfied with hip, easy to understand, socially acceptable knock-offs.
I started realizing that even much of the teaching coming out of collective mainstream Christianity was merely a highly sanitized and spiritualized version of pop culture norms and mass market pop psych, rather than sound, authentic, heart transforming Bible truth. Slapping Jesus' name on something can make it appear holy when in reality, it's just Lysoled advice taken from the pages of Cosmo or quotable social media superstars. "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." (II Timothy 4:3)
Real wisdom is also supposed to seep into every nook and cranny of our lives. It informs even the seemingly insignificant details and decisions in our daily lives. It’s not just about the big things. It’s about recognizing that the big things are made up of lots of tiny ones, and that true wisdom goes there too; the nuts and bolts of our daily lives.
When we make the choice to not just believe in Christ, but to simply believe Him and take Him at His word, He begins to remove the world-colored glasses and starts giving us real vision and insight that we had no idea even existed. "...I will show you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3). And he keeps giving it as long as we keep receiving it and obeying it. But that's the key: we have to want to want it, and we have to want to be changed and transformed by it, even when it challenges our pride and self-sufficiency to the core or makes us look weird (legalistic, uptight, narrow-minded, unsophisticated...) to others.
I fully embrace "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15), even if "My house" is just me at this time. I don't want anything in my life that is not of God, no matter how beneficial or harmless it may appear. I want HIS wisdom, His vision, His truth, unconventional, hard to grasp or odd as it may appear, because:
"For those who find me find life..." Proverbs 8:35
I choose life.