Title: A Wise Heart Cry
Theme: Grasping the Wisdom of God
“Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.” (Proverbs 4:7-8)
The Lord is pleased when His children ask for wisdom
As I think of all the wonderful promises that our Lord has given to His church, I rejoice over the fact that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. And He said “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-19) In His exhortation, Jesus gave a promise, which should give us assurance, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Being under Jesus’ authority, opens up the door for us to enjoy all that God has for His children.
James, the half brother of Jesus gives us this powerful truth, “If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
The making of disciples is the greatest calling that a child of God can receive. It is just as much of a high calling as that which was given to King Solomon. Solomon was a wise king who governed the people of God. In his early days he had a heart attitude that enabled him to receive the gift of wisdom from God. We read in 1 Kings chapter three that at Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want Me to give you.” (1 Kings 3:5)
Consider carefully how Solomon answered the Lord. “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.” (1 Kings 3:6) After giving the proper credit to the Lord, Solomon then has an outcry that must be in all who desire true wisdom. Solomon’s request was “Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people… So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:7-9)
The Bible says, “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.” (1 Kings 3:10) “God said to [Solomon]… I will give you a wise and discerning heart...” (1 Kings 3:12)
I would propose to you that the church who has revelation about the Great Commission and is Illuminated by the Holy Ghost, will have the same heart cry as Solomon, “O Lord give us wisdom. For those you have called us to disciple are your chosen people.” This is the cry of the heart that should also be in parents and all who desire to enjoy the benefits of walking in obedience to God.
In Proverbs chapter four we see an earnest cry from the Holy Spirit moving Solomon to write, “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.” (Proverbs 4:7-8)
Considering how the things of God are to be taught precept upon precept, and line upon line. Not only because the things of God are great, but also because the flesh of man is often warring against the Holy Spirit. Solomon tells mankind what is best. God’s wisdom is one of our greatest spiritual resources.
Just how does one receive the wisdom that Solomon wants us to come to understand? How does one come to understand God’s wisdom? What is the path to wisdom?
Grasping the Wisdom of God
If the Body of Christ is going to be able to embrace and enjoy the honor of having God’s wisdom, she must start with “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) Study of the Word of God leads us to discover the truth written by the apostle Paul, “…Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:24)
There are Bible teachers who believe that Lady Wisdom in Proverbs 1:20 and in Proverbs chapter 8 is a call of Christ to the listener. (Matthew Henry Commentary; The Pulpit commentary)
In the first message of His public address, Jesus, taught that there must be two specific heart responses to His words if one is going to have the wisdom of God. One is hearing and the other is doing. First, this involves relationship with Him and second, there must be an actual positive response to His words.
Christians who have received His wisdom are obedient children of God who have not only revelation of God’s Word but also illumination. They grasp the truth of Scripture and say yes, this is true and I must do it.
It is a foolish man who ignores God’s Word. His life reflects instability and uselessness for the Lord. He cannot withstand the pressures of the storms of life and ministry. Those who do not seek the wisdom of God are unstable, up and down, and inconsistent. On the other hand, the Christian who faithfully seeks to hear God’s Word and does what it says, has a life of stability and is useful to the Master and he builds his house on solid ground.
What is Wisdom
The first thing we want to consider is “What is Wisdom.” Before the children of God can apply the disciplines of hearing and doing, they must have in their minds and hearts what wisdom really is. Christians must make every effort to avoid some misconceptions that are out there.
Some people believe that possessing wisdom is to have a full understanding of what God is doing in the world, particularly in their lives. Some actually feel God will give them a supernatural revelation or dream that maps out much of their future. The wisdom I am teaching on today is not to be mistaken with a “Word of Knowledge.”
The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote about Abraham’s faith toward God. He writes, “…when [Abraham was] called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8) Thus, wisdom is not having a full knowledge of what lies ahead.
Dr Jim Berg shared some powerful illustrations for us in his book “Changed Into His Image” that help us to understand what wisdom is not and is. Some people feel that wisdom is like being a pilot of a helicopter who is overlooking the traffic in a major city. They feel you should be able to see ahead to that place where the traffic is all messed up, so you can take the next off ramp and take a better route. Sadly, many Christians who have that view of wisdom become discouraged when crisis comes or when things don’t go their way.
There was once a lady who became quite distraught when complications developed during her infant son’s surgery to correct a birth defect. This mother’s anxiety went beyond normal motherly love and concern for her baby. It was down right sin, for she began to question her own walk with the Lord. She began to argue, “What can God do in a baby only eight months old, there is nothing that this little boy is going to learn in this. And why would God do something or allow something to happen to little Tommy to teach me anything? It seems if God wants to teach me anything He would do it to me!”
If you have had baby trials, then your heart most certainly goes out to this mother. However, part of the struggle this mother was having came from her faulty view of wisdom and godliness. She had convinced herself that if she is walking with God she will understand the “why’s and wherefores” of everything that happens in her life. Because she could not figure out in this case how “in all things God works for the good of those who love him,” (Romans 8:28) she felt that she was disqualified from the “inner circle” with God, where He shares all the secrets of His Providence.
A quick survey of the Scriptures reveals, however, that most of God’s saints never knew all of His plans as they served Him. Very seldom did God’s great men of faith and obedience have the big picture of God’s providence as they walked with Him down here on earth. Daniel didn’t, Joseph didn’t, Job and Abraham who have already been mentioned did not have God’s full revelation on all that was going on in their lives. Wisdom then is not the view of the road from a helicopter above the traffic in the big city.
A more fitting illustration of wisdom is what Dr. Jim Berg calls the dashboard view. It is a skill exercised by a driver caught in the middle of the traffic in the big city. The driver must know the right response when someone slams on the brakes in front of him or cuts him off unexpectedly or when a child in the back seat lets out a bloodcurdling scream. Response to dilemmas like these reveals real skills and the character in a driver.
Our response to the trials of this life reveals the skills of applying God’s Word in our lives and the character of our life. The way we approach the Lord’s work reveals to us our skills of exercising our gifts under the wisdom of God.
In Genesis 39, Joseph did not know why he had to spend time in prison on trumped-up charges. After two years in prison Joseph’s circumstances did not change. However, he knew and practiced responses that kept him useful to God anyway. The patriarch Job never knew why all of his children and properties were wiped out in God’s providence, but he knew and practiced responses that kept him usable to God anyway.
Wisdom is not having God’s perspective of the whole matter before us, but having God’s perspective about what the next response should be that would will honor Him. That is what will keep us usable to the Lord. Our call is to make true disciples of Christ and this involves teaching Christians what wisdom is, that right response that will make them usable to Christ.
If the child of God wants to be faithful on the path of wisdom, he must consider the outcome if he does not
The goal of the Christian life is to stay on the path of usefulness to God no matter what circumstances are thrown him.
So what is the path to wisdom? If one is to enjoy the blessings of having God’s wisdom, he must allow the Holy Spirit to plant deep in his heart the twin disciplines of hearing and doing as a foundational rule to receiving and practicing God’s wisdom.
If the child of God wants to be faithful on the path of wisdom, he must consider the outcome if he does not. The New Testament tells Christians that the things that happened in the Old Testament were written down for a reason. 1 Corinthians 10:11 says, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.”
One powerful example of not esteeming God’s wisdom is found in 2 Kings 18: 11-12, “The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes. This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated His covenant – all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened to the command nor carried them out.”
The watchman, Ezekiel, wrote this about the people of God who did not embrace God’s wisdom, “Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.” (Ezekiel 33:32)
Jesus said, “…My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s Word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:21)
James the half brother to Jesus tells those who desire to be on the path of getting God’s wisdom this, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he look likes. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25)
God’s concern is whether or not his people long to be on the right path. Before he passes out His wisdom He wants to see if they have ears to hear His words. His promise of intervention and the hearing of His voice are for those who take to heart what Jeremiah wrote, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
Master Plan of Hearing and Doing
There are two master disciplines that will be found in the life of a Christian who embraces the wisdom of God. One is hearing and the second is doing.
Luke 8:4-21 contains some of Jesus’ first parables, and they focus on the importance of hearing and responding to the Word of God in a way that will make the child of God productive. Our Lord Jesus made it very clear in His “Parable of the Sower,” of the importance of “Master Plan of Hearing and Doing.” Jesus’ “parable of the sower” can accurately be called “the parable of the soil” as well. As the farmer in this parable who spreads the seeds of God’s Word on the ground, we should expect various results, depending upon the condition of the soil. In this parable, only one kind of soil was truly productive and bore a true lasting harvest.
In His exposition of Luke, Dr. Jim Berg selected a very creative way for us to catch the truths of the different types of hearers there are of the Word of God. He sets them in a way, which can be easily caught and retained.
The type of hearer and doer of the Word of God you are determines your ability to walk in the wisdom of God. Observe carefully just what types of hearers there are out in this world.
1.) The Indifferent Hearer – The heart in this man is like a hard trodden down pathway that borders a field. This man is totally unreceptive to God’s truth. Being indifferent, the seed bears no harvest and as matter of fact, Jesus said “the devil comes and takes away the word from [his] heart, so that [he] may not believe and be saved.” (Luke 8:12)
2.) The Impulsive Hearer – The heart of this man is like a shallow field with underlying bedrock. The heat of the sun quickly dries any moisture that may be in the shallow ground and quickly bakes the plants. Jesus says this man only believes for a “…while, but in time of testing, [he] falls away.” (Luke 8:13)
3.) The Infested Hearer – The heart of this man does not produce fruit that lasts. Jesus says it is because as he lives out life, “…the worries, the riches, and the pleasures of this life…” cause this man not to mature. (Luke 8:14)
None of these reflect a heart that considers God’s word or wisdom “supreme.” They do not seek, esteem or embrace the wisdom of God through the counsel of His Word. However, there is one heart in Jesus’ parable that is;
4.) The Ideal Hearer – The heart of this man receives God’s word and produces. He hears God’s Word and keeps it. Jesus says this heart is noble and good and by persevering produces a crop. It brings forth a harvest of some kind.
It is important to note that in this parable, Jesus admonished the audience, when He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 8:8) Later on in this teaching he said, “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.” (Luke 8:18 )
I knew of a man who had a terrible time in listening. His family members, friends and even his boss would try to tell him something and in his mind he would start thinking of his response and therefore he understood very little of what was said to him. Thus, he was always in trouble and never had clear instruction of what was expected of him.
Too often the children of God do this same thing, they are so focused on what they want to tell God that they either miss His instruction or they never really try to seek His counsel.
This young man was led of the Lord to discipline his mind, so the Lord led him to carry a small notebook with him. He would repeat what was said to him, just to make sure he understood the instructions. Then he would write down some key thoughts and asked the Lord to help get everything done. Before long this young man’s life was full of successes, and everyone who was giving him important instructions was blessed to have this young man around working with them.
Christians, who will open God’s Word to find His counsel, and even take the time to write it down and then pray those instructions through, are Christians who grasp the wisdom of God and they become a blessing to the Lord’s work.
A Wise Heart Cry seeks the Lord’s will and it is found in the life of the child of God who has the master plan of hearing and doing
The Bible says, “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7) I once read, “A person who is not skilled at being attentive and reflective can never be Biblically wise; he cannot be godly.” (Jim Berg)
Solomon was a man in his early days who long to seek God and he knew of his need to have a wise discerning heart. The New American Standard Bible says that Solomon asked for an “understanding heart to judge.” (1 King 3:9) The Hebrew word for “understanding” or “listening” (sama) can be translated as “hearing to govern God’s people.” The point is, Solomon knew where this wisdom was to be found.
The Great Commission is to make disciples of a people chosen by God to come to Christ and we need to be like Solomon. The heart cry of any true church is to say “O Lord, grant us a listening heart!” The desire of a listening heart is what led Solomon to Gibeon and this is what opened the door for Solomon to enjoy God’s presence and blessings.
Therefore, part of “Understanding Our Spiritual Resources” is to understand how to search for the wisdom of God and then walk in it. The church that has the heart of Solomon, and asks not for numbers or fame or power, but asks for a listening heart, will be a church that pleases God. That will open the flood gates of heaven. God is not interested in a church that is hungry for the wrong things, but a church that will be made useable to Him. The Body of Christ that embraces, esteems and pays the cost to get His wisdom, is the church that will be honored by God.
The great Bible teacher, Charles Swindoll in his book “A Quest for Character” has something for us to ponder on. “What comes from the Lord because it is impossible for humans to manufacture it? Wisdom. What comes from humans because it is impossible for the Lord to experience it? Worry. What is it that brings wisdom and dispels worry? A life of worship unto God the Father, Jesus the Son and fellowship in the Holy Ghost.”
A heart that is washed by the Word of God has Holy Spirit revealed truth and this enables a man to walk in the wisdom of God, because the Holy Spirit has illuminated God’s wisdom into his heart and life. A Wise Heart Cry seeks the Lord’s will and it is found in the life of the child of God who has the master plan of hearing and doing.
Let us pray!