Friday, February 25, 2011

God said to...that's all I need to know.

My wife often accuses me of being full of useless information. There are nights we watch Jeopardy together, and I breeze through certain categories (although struggle in others).  But what good does all that knowledge really do without the wisdom to apply it in practical matters?

The same can be said about Biblical knowledge. I know many very smart people who can quote Scripture with amazing recall. But without the wisdom to give that knowledge direction, or put it into action, God can't really use the effort in the Kingdom.

Of course, a message of knowledge comes directly from the Holy Spirit, a spiritual gift from God. I believe when God provides a message of knowledge, He most always includes a message of wisdom at some point too. The Bible is full of examples where God gives a message of wisdom: Noah, Abraham to leave Mesopotamia, Moses, and Joshua to cross the Jordan River to name but a few.

But we see more often God giving a message of knowledge (information) combined with a message of wisdom (direction): Moses told to speak to Pharaoh on the banks of the Nile River in Exodus 7:14-15 is a great example of this, or Peter being told by the Spirit three men were looking for him (information) and for him to go to them and go with them (direction) in Acts 10:19-20.

I literally crave such gifts from God.

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. James 1:5 (NIV)

As a husband, father and teacher at church, I pray regularly for the type of wisdom James speaks of in his Epistle. I need God's daily guidance and direction to better perform my responsibilities in a manner pleasing to Him, and I know He blesses me with that guidance because I take the time to listen after the request.

But the spiritual gift of a message of wisdom is on a completely different level. I find it intriguing that in most every case mentioned in the Bible where God provides a message of knowledge and/or a message of wisdom,  the recipient is initially shocked, denies or even rebukes the message. Hopefully, the hesitation comes from a state of humility and being overcome by the awe of God speaking directly to the person through the Spirit.

I know without doubt such a spiritual gift would bring me to my knees in complete humiliation...yet further evidence my prayer request for wisdom are being answered.



Joyce said...

Much food for thought here Tony! Thanks - yes, as an information machine myself - I compare myself to Johnny Five in the movie Short Circuit - need input, need input - I am also aware that without wisdom, knowledge can just be a bunch of hot air. Knowledge alone cannot bring life.

photogr said...

Surprisingly you may already have wisdom and don't know it yet. I don't think God is going to call you up and say"Tony I am giving you wisdom". I think it will come as a gradual thing that you don't even realize untill one day you are hit with the opportunity to use it.

Toyin O. said...

Amen, I always thought knowledge without wisdom is useless. May God continue to grant all of us wisdom. I also crave this gift:)

David-FireAndGrace said...

It is the difference between a good idea, and a God idea. :)