Redefining Wisdom

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Reading: Job 28-31 

“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

After a few months, we can buy a new gadget. In a few years, we can begin investing on a house of our own. But when we think deeply about what we really need in life, we must gradually accept the fact that the most valuable things are those that money can never buy – one of them is godly wisdom. “Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living.” (Job 28:13)

Secular wisdom can be gained over time through a vast repertoire of human experience. Though that is of value, we must understand that true godly wisdom begins, first and foremost, in a posture of reverential fear of the Lord. It is a kind of fear that is birthed out of love and of utter respect to the One who has been pursuing us right from the very beginning. Since there is a sense of reverential awe and fear towards God, we turn our eyes from wickedness then seek to abide and obey what God so desires.

How can we discern God’s will today? We go to his Word – his revealed will to man. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Fil Anderson wisely wrote, “The Word of God is not a self-help book nor a placebo to calm our fears. Neither is it a [self-help] guide to career success or greater effectiveness in ministry. It is, in truth, a love letter that invites us to be embraced by the Lover who wrote the letter. Sacred Scripture has tremendous power to free us from the mold the world squeezes us into. The God of the universe, who, in the beginning, shaped life into existence with spoken words, today speaks words meant to reshape our lives.”

Let us get our hands on God’s Word today, so we may gain a heart of wisdom leading to a transformed life.

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WANTED: Ordinary People

“I’m not ready for it. I need more training.”

“Perhaps another person’s more suitable for the position.”

“I’m simply not enough.  Just get the other guy.”

While this may be true at a certain degree, I’m quite sure most people have articulated similar statements when being challenged to step up into service, into a kind of ministry, or into a leadership position regardless the context.  I am not one to judge their motives, but in my own experience, I’ve sometimes made them to prevent myself from responding with a “yes” to such opportunities.  I sulk into emphasizing the inadequacy I find in me.  I just can’t bear thinking that such a loser would accept the challenge.

Oops! I guess I’m being too hard on myself there, so pardon me for my moment of self-pity.  Yet again, I can’t help but believe that millions (and probably billions) of humans think and feel the same way!  We raise the “L” gesture on our foreheads and we condemn ourselves for being not enough.   We embrace that “I-ain’t-perfect-for-the-job” attitude over and over, both consciously and subconsciously.

Here’s a thought, though… as long as sin lurks in the human heart, we could never say that we’re downright perfect for anything.  HOWEVER, God uses imperfect human beings for His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Let me share a simple account about two guys whose story completely swept me away, and whose changed lives constantly remind me to overcome my struggle with inadequacy.

Years ago, there lived two men named John and Peter.  These guys were pretty close friends, I’d say.  They had been working and journeying together for more than three years by then.  Other than that, they’re prominently known for being followers of Jesus.  And when this account was taken, Jesus has already left earth and has commissioned his disciples to spread the news about Him.

Then, the story continues.

On an ordinary day, as they were walking towards the temple for their time of prayer, a beggar who had been lame from his childhood suddenly appeared into the picture.  The man asked for alms, as he’d usually do, but Peter and John don’t have money as well.

Instead, they gave what the beggar really needed – healing.  In an instant, his feet and ankles were strengthened, and he was able to walk for the first time!  He leaped in jubilation!  He glorified God, in response!

Since he’d been begging alms for quite a long time, people noticed the radical change, of course.  It was sure that such a miraculous event could not escape the eyes and ears of the “bosses” of the religious sects of that time.  True enough, being alarmed, the higher-ups had to bring Peter and John in for interrogation.

“By what power or what name did you do this?” they sternly asked.

Now, brace yourself for Peter’s fearless response:

“Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.”

Peter and John were filled with the Holy Spirit as they were being grilled before the Sandhedrin; and that fact simply resonated in the entire hall.

When the higher-ups saw these two guys’ courage and “realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Unschooled? Ordinary? Noteworthy.

If you would closely observe God both in the Old and New Testaments, He really has a knack for picking people you would least expect to be in the frontlines.

Even if it’s unorthodox, one’s credential was, is, and will never be an issue in His perspective.  After all, His kingdom is open for servants, not “rock stars”.  He is constantly in search for ordinary people, regardless his or her background.  And from these imperfect people, He turns their ashes into beauty by transforming the core of their beings and enabling them to do what could be thought impossible.

How about you?  Do you struggle with so many insecurities?  Does your feeling of inadequacy hinder you from being more and more of the person that God has called you to be?

Shake it off. And, think again.

Remember this: the Lord glorifies Himself through the lives of ordinary, unschooled people.  Just look at Peter and John!  God did the same in my life.  And perhaps, you are next in line.

*Reference: Acts 3-4:13