Sunday, June 26, 2016

"The place of the heart in seeking wisdom ..."

Day #179

Scripture Reading:  Proverbs 2 - 3 …

When we think of "wisdom" we usually think in terms of what people learn or know.  Wisdom is knowledge and knowledge is stored in the mind.  So what does the heart have to do with wisdom?  Listen to how Solomon begins Chapter 2 in his Proverbs:  "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your HEART to understanding ... THEN you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God" (2:1-5).  What does God mean when He says that we need to "apply our HEARTS to understanding"?

In the Bible the heart is the seat of emotions.  God is telling us that the pursuit of wisdom is more than an intellectual exercise.  Seeking wisdom is seeking God and seeking God involves the mind AND the heart!  In what Jesus called the greatest commandment, Moses told the people of Israel, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).  Those who succeed in pursuing their goals accomplish what they set their minds to because “their heart is in it.”  They want to do it, they want to accomplish what they set out to do, and that requires the heart.  So do you truly want to be wise?  Do you WANT wisdom?  Then you need to pursue it with all your heart!!

God Himself is the very source of all wisdom, of all knowledge.  Solomon writes, “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (2:6).  But wisdom is more than just knowledge; it is also applying that knowledge to life and having an attitude and view of life that begins with God and desires to honor and glorify Him.  Looking for wisdom anywhere else than from God through His Word will not yield success.  In our world today knowledge has increased at such a rapid pace that it has taken the invention of computers to contain it all.  This generation has more knowledge at its fingertips than previous generations could acquire in all the books ever written.  But what many today lack is WISDOM ... it is the application of that knowledge to its proper use:  to glorify the God who created this world and everything in the world, including US!

You know you have wisdom when you "understand what is right and just and fair - every good path" (2:9).  Then "wisdom will enter your HEART, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.  Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you" (2:10-11).  The laws of men attempt to keep people on the "right path," but the laws of men cannot change the human heart to do what is right in the eyes of God.  Only GOD's wisdom can bring about true change.  "Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men ... who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways" (2:12-13).  People without wisdom do not seek God and will never find the path to life with God.  Ultimately, the knowledge that makes you wise is that which points you to Jesus Christ and that transforms you from someone who is just living in this world pursuing the things of the world into someone who has an eternal perspective and who is a stranger and an alien in this world, seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness!!

God has revealed the truth in His law, but without God's Spirit, men cannot and will not ever discover it.  But the Spirit of God within you brings wisdom from above!  Solomon writes, "My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your HEART" (3:1).  "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; ... write them on the tablet of your HEART" (3:3).  "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" (3:5-6).  IN your heart, ON your heart, WITH your heart.  What is your heart set on?  What are you seeking? What do you desire?  WHOM do you desire ... in your heart???

What path are you on?  Are you on the RIGHT path?  How do you KNOW?  If there is truly ONE path that leads to life, how can you and I possibly know which path is the right path?  As people of various religions talk about the different "paths" to life and many believe "all roads lead to heaven," Jesus says, "I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through ME!" (John 14:6).  "Blessed is the man who finds WISDOM!" (3:13).

Solomon goes on to give some examples of true wisdom.  So much of what Solomon writes as the foundation for wisdom can be found in Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount."  God's wisdom is the same in all generations.  There is a contrast between good and evil, between right and wrong.  The different philosophies of life and the conflicting statements of truth that men devise cannot all be right.  The deception of our day is that contradictory ideas can all be valid ... that all religions should get together and unite their collective "wisdom."  But apart from God's wisdom there is no truth, and apart from Jesus Christ and the work of His Spirit within us no one will ever discover the path to eternal life.

In God's Word is His revealed will ... the wisdom you and I and every human being needs to approach God, to KNOW Him and so to discover LIFE! Listen to these words from the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians:  "We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.  No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  However, as it is written:  'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him' ... BUT God has revealed it to us by His Spirit!!" (I Corinthians 2:6-10).

Praise God for revealing His amazing wisdom in His Word.  Seek it!  Search earnestly through His Word and ask for His Spirit to open your HEART and your MIND to the truth and you will find the treasure you are seeking!!

"Father, I need Your wisdom and desire Your wisdom above all the knowledge this world offers.  Your Word is truth and in Your Son Jesus Christ You have revealed the path to eternal life in Your very presence.  I believe and confess that Jesus IS the Christ, the only King, my Savior and my Lord, and by the power of Your Spirit living within me I seek You today with all my HEART!  In Jesus' name! Amen"

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