March 21, 2011 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Karen Maghamil, Gracepoint San Diego

Describe the characteristics of a fool and a wise person.

A fool despises wisdom and discipline, relies on his own thinking to plan his course and blames God for results that come from his own foolishness. He boasts about tomorrow and envies others.

A wise person fears the Lord, has prudence and discretion. He doesn’t trust in his own understanding of things, but seeks and commits all his actions to God. He leans heavily on the word of God.

Why is it impossible for those who are “wise in their own eyes” to trust God?

It is impossible for those who are wise in their own eyes to trust God because they feel no need for him. They think that their thinking about life and decisions that they need to make must be right and it seems much more logical and practical than often, what God wants us to do. Trusting in God requires patience, often things not happening in a way that would make sense or seem most beneficial to you.

What are they not seeing (or missing) about God?

But such a person is not seeing that God is sovereign and in control over all things. God knows far beyond my limited scope of reality and life that I’m able to see. He knows how decisions will affect me, those around me, my life in days to come.

What is God like according to this passage?

God is fully aware of all our motives and ways. He is the most wise and understanding, because only he knows the full picture of life and it’s his purpose and plans that prevail. But he is a good God, who is a shield and refuge to those who seek him.

Why does it necessarily follow that to trust him is the wisest thing to do?

Therefore, because God is for us, and he is the one who knows everything, far beyond the picture of life that I’m able to know and see, and he is the one in control, it’s only wise to not trust in my own thinking which is so limited, and to trust in God. It makes sense that I don’t understand everything, because I am so limited in my ability to understand.

APPLICATION

What warnings does this passage have for me?

This passage warns me about relying on my own understanding and picture of life, because I am so limited. Thinking that I can confidently make choices about my life and thinking I know how it’ll pan out, with no other input, is utter foolishness. If I don’t seek out God, the most knowledgeable and wise, who has offered me his counsel through his word, then I can just expect to ruin my life and to miss out on the flourishing that God wants to give to me.

What concrete steps can I take to increase in wisdom?

Whenever faced with a decision I need to make, which is daily, instead of quickly relying on my own thinking about things should work, I can pause and pray and see what the Bible has to say. The DTs often address things that I’m currently experiencing and gives me direction in what I should prioritize, what fears are causing me to choose self-preserving options instead of what God might want me to do, what would be most caring towards people around me, etc.

I can also seek out the counsel of those who have been following God much longer than I. Who have testimonies that they can share about life situations that I am facing, and can tell me about how God worked in those situations. I can learn so much from others, and multiply my wisdom about life through their collective histories with God.

 

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