Recently, I spent a few weeks talking about the wisdom of God with our local church. I am convinced that God wants to have a manifest expression of His wisdom, like in the days of Solomon. When Solomon’s time came to claim the throne, the Lord appeared to him and said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” Solomon asked for an understanding heart so he could properly lead the Lord’s people. God was pleased that He did not make a self-centered request, so he granted his request; also gave him great riches and honor. We need to understand that his promised blessing was conditional. Solomon would need to commit himself to walk in the statutes of God if he were to obtain all that God had for him.
Scripture tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” God’s commandment was more than just a call to obedience; it was a path to lead him to his desire. In Proverbs 15:33, it says, “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility.” Solomon’s wisdom would be a gift given through instruction, as he followed the ways of God. This is an important understanding, because oftentimes we think that God’s gift is something He just bestows upon us; when in fact, the gift of God comes through following His word. 1 Peter 1:22 says, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.” We must not only receive the gift of God’s grace, we must obey the gospel. It is through obedience that we become the new person God has called us to be.
Are You Committed to Following Jesus Christ?
It is a sad thing that many Christians think God’s grace is an exemption from godly living. In fact, godly living is actually the benefit of grace. In John 14, we read about Jesus’ impending departure from His disciples when Philip asks, “Lord we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus response was very strategic; “I am the Way the Truth and the life.” We are called to be followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is a gift that offers us a way, or path to live by. It is a path that requires a confrontation with truth that will lead us to the fullness of life. In John 8 Jesus said, “You will now the truth and the truth will make you free.” The Old Testament call to the Law of Moses could produce obedience, but not a complete change. Confronting the truth of the Word is what produces change in us.
We must understand that truth does not just “set” us free; it “makes” us free. Author Jamie Buckingham said, “The truth will make you free, but it will make you miserable in the process.” I really like that quote, but do not let that scare you; Jesus is our example. Hebrews 5 tells us, “…though He were a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” Jesus went through the process and He is calling us to go through the process so we can receive His wisdom and understanding!
The blessing of godly wisdom can only be achieved with the proper heart condition. James 3 says, “…if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descent from above…For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing will be there.” God wants to manifest His life through His people in this hour, but it will come at the expense of self-seeking. This will be challenging, but it will also be rewarding! Unfortunately, Solomon forgot how He obtained his blessings. Through self-confidence, he turned from the ways of God and brought a curse upon his seed, as well as his nation. He was spared the full brunt of his actions, but the full weight did fall upon his seed. I see this process at work in the church, as well as our nation, and the full expression of our hearts will be manifest in our children. For the sake of the future, we need to turn our hearts fully to God—and embrace the inconvenient truth that will bring freedom for the subsequent generations.