This morning I woke up still trying to unravel a puzzle. Most Sunday evenings, a couple of friends and I get together to fellowship and study God’s Word. Currently we are working our way through the Book of Ezekiel and are focused on idolatry and Israel’s problems with it and punishment for it. Prophecy can be a interesting study but It can also be very challenging. As we read the commentary on this particular passage, the section about original meaning was helpful and clear but as we read the sections bridging context and application for today we were perplexed by some of the statements we read. Perhaps because we were looking at it from this side of the cross and his focus was more from just the Ezekiel context. Next, I opened my Bible to Psalm 49; captioned “Misplaced Trust in Wealth” (HCSB). The NASB captions it “Confidence in God Rather Than Riches”.
Just what is it that we humans are tempted to put our trust in? Could it be that we are trusting in something other than in God; even those of us who confess Jesus and profess to be Christians? When something comes up, small or large, do we first try to fix it ourselves before seeking Him and His wisdom for the situation? Maybe you haven’t, but I have. At one point in my thirties, I was suffering with some undiagnosed joint pain and walking at that time was pretty painful. We were running low on groceries and I had a family to feed. Shopping was imperative and I had to go. The only parking spots were about thirty-five cars out from the door. I had a nudging that I should pray. I ignored it at first thinking that’s silly to bother God with this. It seems strange now when I am not suffering the malady that I would have considered this small. Over-working the joints at that time had the potential put me in bed for a day or two afterwards, yet still I considered it small and not worthy of bothering God with prayer.
I repeatedly circled and nothing was available. As I thought of walking that far, as well as around the rather large store; I became concerned about being able to accomplish the task at hand. I felt that nudge again, so I prayed driving down the lane. I proceeded up the next lane. As I rounded one more time, back-up lights switched on and the very first spot became available and it wasn’t a handicapped spot. That day proved to me once and for all that God is concerned about even the things we consider small in our lives.
Through Paul, God tells us “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NJKV
Where do we place our confidence? In ourself? Our family or friends? Our financial standing? Our position or lack of position? When struggles, trials or troubles reach our way, where do we tend to turn first? Wisdom tells us to seek God first; pray. How often do we run to Him first? In light of these questions, the next one that comes to mind is: If God is not the first place we run as believers; is it possible that the place we choose to run may actually be an idol in our life? I have heard it said anything that we exalt over God in our life or anything that keeps us from placing Him first in our life is an idol. If that is true, is seeking to solve our problems ourself outside of prayer and His wisdom for the situation idolatry? Hmmm, Selah. (pause and reflect)
How about when someone does something and the gut reaction is to call a trusted friend rather than hit my knees? Or just react with a knee-jerk reaction? Oh, I guarantee that I have been in each of these places more than once. Yet as I study wisdom as defined by scripture, I am challenged to run not walk into a quiet place and seek God first. I am not saying it is easy or convenient but I will say that when I manage to follow through and do it things turn out a great deal better.
It is far from easy to hold your tongue in a volatile situation and say let me get back to you so that you can take time to seek His face about a situation. Nor is it easy to have the mind to not panic when you get some really bad news. I vividly remember one sunny afternoon answering my phone. It was my daughter, who had only been driving for a short time. She had an accident on a winding, hilly road fifteen minutes away from our home. She had run off the road and hit a tree. A young lady a couple of years older came along and saw the wreckage. She stopped and let my daughter sit in her car until I arrived.
That call sucked the breath right out of me and all I could do was pray! I had to get to my baby girl and fast! I didn’t know if I could drive I was shaking so badly. God got me there quickly and safely. Thankfully, other than some bruises and scrapes, she was fine. Those who saw the car damage were amazed she walked away with little injury. The car had actually jumped a big culvert rather than careening into it. A tree finally stopped the car. The scar in that tree remains even to this day! God’s protection and provision was very evident. He got me to the scene safely and even before the officer arrived to question my very shy daughter. It is easy to run straight to God when you are in crisis mode but will we choose to seek His wisdom more routinely? Will we seek to make it more and more a part of every day life?
Just a few wisdom scriptures to ponder today:
“Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.”
“The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel: That people may know wisdom and discipline, may understand intelligent sayings; May receive instruction in wise conduct, in what is right, just and fair” Proverbs 1:1-3
“Happy is a man who finds wisdom and who acquires understanding, for she is more profitable than silver, and her revenue is better than gold.” Proverbs 3:13-14
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been His counselor?” Romans 11:33-34
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?” Ephesians 1:7-9
May wisdom and understanding be ours!