Express His Glory in Your Life

Posts tagged ‘wisdom’

Wisdom in Action

Yesterday we looked at the Spirit of Wisdom.  Today, enjoy a look at the promise in action from a friend of mine!

The lofty ideas of scripture may make our hearts soar in the pews on Sunday morning or in our morning devotion times, but those ideas brought into the trenches do even more: they allow the glory of God to blaze. Jesus did not come to delight our hearts; He came to give us abundant life! Last week we considered the Spirit of wisdom and revelation that infuses Christ’s character. Let’s walk today with a sister-in-Christ who allowed that Spirit to sustain her in the trenches of life.

The circumstances of our days can either block our view of Christ or lift us closer to Him. Elizabeth, a home school mother, felt overwhelmed as she faced the many tasks a new school year brought. Each responsibility felt weighty on its own: educating her own children, meeting her missionary responsibilities through Campus Bible Fellowship, editing a discipleship course, caring for the needs of family and serving in their church. All of us know the all-consuming weariness and despair the ‘simple’ tasks of life can bring. Sometimes it feels that survival is the best we can hope for in life: that is the lie of the enemy thrown up to block our vision of the risen Christ!

Early in the year, Elizabeth encountered a quote that God used to lift her eyes to the possibilities placed before her: “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” Throughout the year, Elizabeth embraced the challenge to view her ‘impossible situations’ as opportunities for God. Mid-way through the year, her pastor quoted a verse she had known for years: ‘Without me, ye can do nothing.’ The Spirit grabbed that truth and immediately brought another to mind: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.’ Listen to how Elizabeth describes the ‘Spirit of wisdom and revelation’ that infused her with those words:

“For the first time I noticed the identical words in those two verses I had memorized years earlier. Without Christ I CAN DO nothing, but by His strength I CAN DO everything He wants me to do–even what seems humanly impossible.”

Elizabeth gives us a great example of the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation instilling confidence and hope for her earthly walk! Often, our minds know truths but our hearts fail to connect the realities of our life with the spiritual truths of Christ. God has plans and purposes for each of us; we need only to look to Him to have those plans fulfilled. In our faith walk, as we grow more like Christ, the Spirit continually uses the circumstances of life to highlight the truths we have hidden in our hearts and reveal the glory of God. What truths are you storing up for the Spirit‘s use in your heart and for the revelation of His glory?

Let’s Look Like Jesus: Wisdom

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father most glorious, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation through knowing Christ fully. (Ephesians 1:17)

Christ’s spirit of wisdom and revelation infuses the Christian’s character. Christ demonstrated this spirit in all of His human interactions. He saw, listened and comprehended from His Father’s viewpoint. Jesus looked beyond the circumstances presented by those who came to Him and focused on their spiritual needs. He shared the Father’s interests in individuals –and a character built on Him will evidence that same association.

As Ambassadors for Christ, our natural reactions to those we encounter–whether sweet compassion or abrasive frustration–should never be the source that motivates us to action. We are not to be amateur Providences and change people’s lives according to our feelings. God’s ways are not our own; He has measured the weight He puts upon every person. What may seem excessive and unfair from the human perspective may be just the weight needed to save their eternal soul. Alternatively, what may appear to be tremendous blessing in a person’s life may be a curse blinding them to their need for Jesus. As Christ’s Ambassador, we need to share the reason for the hope with which we live and allow Him to guide in every interaction!

We need His Spirit to give us deep understanding of situations and the Truths of God that will speak to hearts. We receive discernment to help us intercede for others–never to judge them. The wisdom of God is pure, peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3:17). As we listen to the hearts of others through the Spirit, He will give us words that encourage others and reveal His beauty. He may impress upon our hearts the need to provide direct help or He may simply burden us to pray and love. As we heed His guidance, we will learn more about Him ourselves and grow ever closer to His likeness! Might we each increasingly embrace the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation He offers so freely!

What Power Source Do You Rely On?

The electric went out this morning…and all of us were immediately aware of its absence.  The computer screen went blank; the fish filter went silent.  We took notice.  Can you imagine if our spiritual walk was that tuned in?

As believers, the Holy Spirit is our power source.  We can do nothing without Him:

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

Yet, the honest truth is that we don’t always notice when He has withdrawn.  How can that be?

Without the computer, my writing, research and communication options were greatly curtailed, so I opted for a walk with my dog.  He doesn’t rely on electricity–he relies on me.  But more on that later.  The impact of the electric outage was evident everywhere.  Business people stood in groups chatting, obviously waiting for power to return.  The post office customers headed for their cars.  Traffic moved cautiously at the intersection.   Life went on…with slightly altered priorities and a bit more effort.

Even though everyone likely took the presence of electricity for granted in the moments before it shut off, its absence was immediately noticed.  What we rely on isn’t always recognized in the day-to-day…but when we rely on something, its lack pulls us up short.  In the spiritual realm, this is truly a matter of life and death.  We don’t want to wait until the Spirit is absent–because the Spirit IS life.  We are to take that Life into this broken world; we can’t do that if we aren’t connected!

‘Get ‘er done’ is a way of life that disguises truth…and it can be deadly.  Humanly speaking, we can accomplish some pretty impressive things.  Human beings are amazing creatures…God’s favorite creation according to His account.  The problem is that we tend to rely on ourselves and don’t even notice what we are doing.

It isn’t until we are feeling under the weather, that we recognize how much we rely on our health.  Not until we need to move a heavy object, do we notice our muscles (or the lack thereof).  Our minds have incredible power and potential as well:  electricity is one magnificent result of intellectual ability.  Medical science is another.  Truly great things come out of pure human ability.

But in the matter of life and death, we come face-to-face with our limitations–and the reality that all we have comes from God, the Giver of Life:

“…He (God) Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things…” Acts 17:25b

We have plans, programs and projects that we use to measure our success.  That is not God’s plan.

He designed us to be God-directed, Spirit-controlled.  Failing to live that way creates dis-unity, ill-health and ultimately death.  His Spirit desires to speak into our spirit.

I am to rely on that communication channel like my dog relies on me! 

Deliberately trusting in the Holy Spirit is a necessity that requires the investment of our time:  attentiveness dies on the altar of busy-ness.  The beauty of disruptions to daily life is that they cause us to notice where our trust really lies.   I rejoice that this disruption today refocused my eyes on trusting the Spirit for direction!  My prayer is that it does the same for you!

Our body, mind and emotions are simply antennae that help us hear the world.  Our decisions are not to come from those things.  Sapphire Dream PhotographyIt is our spirit tuned into His Spirit that provides direction!  In the midst of the noise of life is the quiet voice of the Lord…the Prince of Peace.

He does direct those who listen to Him…He shows which way He desires us to go.  Our challenge is to receive His wisdom with quiet confidence in His goodness.

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.  James 3:17

That really shouldn’t be that big of a challenge except for this truth: we are more accustomed to trusting in ourselves than in the King of Kings.  Stated openly, the foolishness is obvious. With the truth unveiled, let’s decide to choose the Living Truth, Life Himself!

 

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