I often tell myself and our kids…God has a specific plan for your life…seek Him and He will show you. I also warn myself and our kids that God’s plan includes suffering and trials. Easy street doesn’t always build our character, our faith, nor cause us to rely on God.
It is often the struggle that develops us into living in and carrying out our created purpose; it is impossible to do this without wisdom. Proverbs 8:32, “Now then my children listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be WISE; do not disregard it; Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.” [emphasis mine]
Wisdom is free. Wisdom is better than knowledge. Without wisdom all hard work is futile. Where does wisdom come from? Some say wisdom comes from experience. I agree. There is nothing better than experience, especially gathering wisdom from someone else who has BEEN THERE and DONE THAT. I call it evaluated experience.
At almost 53 now I have learned to get in front of people who have lived it, and lived it well (LIFE), and shut my mouth and listen…….and even watch if possible. But God’s word and a relationship with Him is where ultimate wisdom is found. If you are a Christian, or you say you are and you say you believe in Jesus, then one truth you have to embrace is that HE, God, created you. Because HE created you, He knows what your created purpose is and He can and will show you the path to get there!
I consider a significant and well-lived life….a life of wisdom…to be a life that has counted for eternity (this is what God’s word teaches). A life that has influenced good, a life spent loving people, a life that has given back, and a life lived in sharing Jesus. Seeking to help people understand that life on earth is a speck in light of eternity and where they will spend it.
A real road block to getting to my/your created strength zone, a.k.a. my/your purpose, and knowing you are living a life of significance is the fact that we often shun wisdom. We don’t seek it or we rely on our self-sufficiency (pride). We put our eyes on our peers and allow them to influence us instead of seeking God’s wisdom that is specific to us…as specific as our personal and unique DNA.
Scripture teaches in Proverbs 9:12, “If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.” We get caught up in worldly knowledge and the “flow” of the crowd. We don’t stop and get out of the flow to seek our unique and specific created purpose. We often fail to pray and ask God for wisdom. When we fail to seek it and then follow God’s wisdom, Scripture says we alone will suffer. We are called a “mocker”. Scripture teaches in James 1:5, “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.” [emphasis mine]
God freely gives wisdom. Isn’t that GREAT news?! And, He doesn’t find fault! The book of Proverbs teaches much about God’s wisdom. It is never too late to stop…to stop wherever you are and ask God for wisdom…to seek Him…and become teachable. I often find that we will ask for wisdom and when we receive it, we don’t follow through. Satan is a master at being “louder” at just the right time and it is his plan to extinguish wisdom in our lives.
The following is a checklist concerning wisdom that comes from the book of Proverbs. It is my intent and prayer that God will use this list to speak LOUDER to me/you/us today than Satan’s voice does as I/you/we seek wisdom to live a life of true significance.
1. If I/you are fearing the Lord. Proverbs 9:10
2. If I/you are bringing joy to your father and joy to your mother, you are seeking and following wisdom. Proverbs 10:1-2
3. If I/you accept commands, you are wise in heart. Proverbs 10:8
4. If I/you are walking in integrity, you walk securely. Proverbs 10:9
5. If I/you are holding your tongue. Proverbs 10:19
6. If my/your lips are nourishing many. Proverbs 10:21
7. If I/you are choosing to stand firm in the storm. Proverbs 10:25
8. If I/you are heeding discipline in your life. Proverbs 10:17
9. If I/you are living with humility, we have wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
10. If I/you have diligent hands, we will bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4
11. If I/ you use accurate weights, we will find favor with the Lord, a.k.a. no cheating. Proverbs 11:1
12. If I/you are being kind. Those who are kind benefit themselves. Proverbs 11:17
13. If I/you are showing discretion. Proverbs 11:22
14. If I/you are being generous. A generous person will prosper. Proverbs 11:25
15. If I/you are being prudent. Proverbs 12:8
I will stop here. Who doesn’t want to lead and live a significant life?
It starts with seeking wisdom, then when I/we receive it–> practicing it. :o) Proverbs 2:1-8, “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—indeed, 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 knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. HE holds SUCCESS in store for the upright, he is a SHIELD to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” [emphasis mine]