Posts tagged Wisdom
Everyday Wisdom: Building a House on the Rock
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Before we were even dating, my husband bought a fixer upper. And let me tell you, not even Chip and Joanna Gaines would’ve wanted to tackle this place. The house had gone vacant for sometime, inviting lots of little (and not so little) critters to make themselves at home. The walls were crumbling. The floors were black and peeling. The living room ceiling didn’t exist. And I won’t even mention the smell. Why did my husband go forward with purchasing this place? He was assured it had a firm foundation.

I don’t know much about buying or fixing homes. But I have learned from binge-watching Fixer Upper that a solid foundation matters. If that’s given way, you want to stay away—no matter how low the cost. Keep searching until you find a home with a firm foundation.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ final parable explores the value of a house built on the rock. In Matthew 7:24, Jesus instructs, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Jesus makes it clear that a follower of Christ must go beyond listening to His Words. We must take care to put what we’ve discovered in His word into action. “Everyone who hears these words...and does them.” Does: A simple verb meaning to perform an action; work on; or make progress. Notice, Jesus isn’t saying read my Word and obey it perfectly. He is saying listen and work toward following it. The one who does this is wise. True wisdom is the practice of discovering and applying our knowledge of God and His Word.

Proverbs 1:7 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge...” Paul also stresses the value of wisdom founded in Christ to the Colossians in verses 2:2-3 “...that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Wisdom—the act of knowing God’s word and acting on it—is one mark of a Christian. Maybe you’re like me, and when you think of a wise man, you think of a little figure dressed in royal robes featured in your mother’s nativity set. Like me, you might be thinking I don’t feel wise. Initially, pursuing wisdom seems counter to an everyday, normal life. But Jesus was speaking to the everyday person in His sermon. The everyday person, me and you included, is instructed to pursue wisdom. Wisdom is not reserved for the elite or extra intelligent. Wisdom, according to Jesus, is accessible to the everyday person.

We will stand in those storms, not in our own strength, but in the Lord’s so that others might see the love and power of God even amidst trials.

This was astonishing to the original audience as perhaps it is just as astonishing to you and me. Anyone has the power to be wise. They must only listen to God’s Word and strive, in God’s strength and grace, to follow it. Jesus uses the metaphor of building a house on the rock. The rock is a steady source of strength. It is the foundation. It is the Word of God. Those who listen and apply God’s Word are like wise men who build their homes on a firm foundation.

It’s been seven years, and our fixer upper is now our home. We’ve made great progress, but like any fixer upper—there’s always more to be done. Likewise, our journey of studying and doing God’s Word should not be accomplished overnight. In fact, it will take our whole lives to discover who Jesus is and what it looks like to follow Him full-heartedly day to day. Our pursuit of wisdom is not a pursuit of perfection. Rather, we pursue wisdom so that we can withstand the storms of suffering that will indeed come. We will stand in those storms, not in our own strength, but in the Lord’s so that others might see the love and power of God even amidst trials.

Jesus continues his parable, “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”

But it did not fall. What a beautiful promise from our Lord. Floods will come, winds will blow and beat, but a life built on Jesus will stand. We are not protected from the consequences of sin in our fallen world. But true faith in the unfailing Rock equips us to endure those trials. I think of Paul who endured so much persecution in his journey to share the Good News to the lost. He knew he could withstand anything, if it meant others would see the life-giving power of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, Paul exclaims, “we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God, not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despise; persecuted, but not forsaken...”

Paul is a great example of a wise man who built his house on the Rock. He was beat in every way, but his spirit remained uncrushed. He continued to treasure God’s Word and let the power the Gospel be known, even amidst suffering.

My dear sisters in Christ, let’s pursue wisdom. Let’s build our house on the unfailing Rock. Psalm 46:1 encourages us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The Lord’s promises were true then just as they are now. Together, let’s pursue time in prayer as we read our Bibles. Together, let’s work toward building a house that cannot be shaken when the storms crash against us. Let’s commit to encouraging one another as we dig into the word and make progress in acting it out in our everyday life. 


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Rachel Rowe is a wife to Caleb and mama to Adalyn, Oliver, and baby #3 coming in June! She’s learning to let the Word of Christ dwell in her heart. And finding out what that looks like in the everyday moments.

 
The Direction of Wisdom {DWITW 365}
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How often are our prayers asking God to do something specific for us (as if He is a genie)? Or, maybe they end up being requests for Him to clear the difficulties so that our walk to where we think we are headed will be easier? How often are those prayers answered? And maybe the bigger question is how often are they not?

I can tell you from personal experience that when I feel as if my prayers are going into a bottomless abyss, I find myself distracted and discouraged. I find myself agonizing over these prayers. It often ends up creating anxiety within me that my rational, Christ-loving, God-fearing self knows to be crazy and ridiculous. But my irrational control-freak self still feels helpless because I can’t make happen what I want to happen.

Similarly, when I read about King Solomon, my mind tends to drift off a bit. I wonder just what it would have been like to have a life with all the wisdom, power, money and success he was given. Comparatively, my poor-as-a-church-mouse way of thinking could only dream to have such things, while the other (more rational) side of me believes it was probably more work than it was worth. But the bottom line is, in 1 Kings 3, Solomon asks God for wisdom to be able to rule his people well. God answered his prayer. Simple as that. Solomon was faithful and obedient to the decrees that David left and therefore honored the godly lineage. Solomon loved God...but that did not make him perfect. Even with all of that wealth, wisdom, and power - he made some mistakes.

Despite having unimaginable wisdom,
even Solomon fell short of walking the correct path at all times.

Solomon still worshipped in the wrong locations and allowed temples for other false gods to be built (knowing full well these were sins against Yahweh). Despite having unimaginable wisdom, even Solomon fell short of walking the correct path at all times. So, when my prayers go unanswered, and I begin to wonder if it’s due to my lack of faith or obedience, it’s a helpful  reminder to me to see that King Solomon had all the wisdom in the world, yet he, too, was unable to maintain a perfect walk. The other bright side is, God still answered his prayers. God was perfectly faithful to Solomon, even when Solomon aimed to be faithful to God, albeit imperfectly.

My day to day life can either run super-boring or mega-busy. Fortunately, I live an amazing life. I’m surrounded by amazing people and I am blessed, at times, to support those amazing people in their moments of need  (either through prayer or through other measures). I actually tend to find myself “butting” into their lives as often as possible. Most frequently, I find myself in prayer for them. Sometimes it’s for their salvation, sometimes it’s for financial difficulties, and often it’s for physical or emotional healing.

I am learning though that while I always want to be the person that is effective in caring for hurts, I am not always the person that has the perfect  answers or the right words to bring peace. I certainly don’t have the ability (beyond prayer) to bring miraculous healing. Therefore, my frustration level of feeling helpless and “only” being able to offer up prayers rises. While l I know prayer is the greatest and most powerful thing I can do, it also feels as if I am not quite doing enough. I’m an action type of girl. I want to dive into the problem and come up with a solution. Thus, I find myself in prayer, begging God at times to intervene on behalf of my people. That is when I find myself following Solomon’s example in the Psalms, praising God for His love towards the people I love. I pray this way, in as much passion and purity as I can, knowing my heart is fallen and flawed. I know full well that the love God feels (with His perfect, merciful heart) is much bigger than anything I could ever hope to offer up to someone.

The love God feels with His perfect, merciful heart is much bigger than anything I could ever hope to offer up to someone.

The problem is, no matter how often I pray for the right words or the right actions, rarely do I feel as if I have been given the wisdom of Solomon. Solomon, the man who cunning enough to suggest cutting a baby in half. I cannot even imagine being that baby’s mother. Yet that was one of his most well-known judgments. Even people now who don’t follow Christ know about this judgment. Anyone with any parental instincts would have let the baby go to other woman rather than sacrifice its very life. And yet, just today in trying to finish up this post, I prayed for wisdom. I prayed for the words to give to each of you - words that might encourage and set you off in the right path for what your journey is supposed to be for the next six months or year. And I can quite honestly state, I do not feel as if I’ve been given such knowledge.

So as I sit here on a Saturday night, struggling to find words, feeling somewhat frustrated, lonely, even scared for some of the things I believe may occur in my future (definitely wondering what the next 6 months, or even the next year of my life looks like), I know my obedience to walk the walk I have been called to for the kingdom needs to remain first and foremost. And while I have no real idea what the future may hold, I can say this: whatever path we are on, as long as we are loving God, working diligently to maintain that obedience, and setting our eyes on the path that He has chosen for us, I think we will be ok. Will we have fame and fortune, riches and wisdom like Solomon? Maybe, maybe not. More power to you girl, if that happens! I, however, believe that I will continue to be shouting out prayers to God begging Him for help for my loved ones - healing for their physical bodies, security for their finances, and salvation for their hearts. And I think I’m just fine with it.           

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Sonya Gentry wants to live in a world where being kind and loving means that when we encounter a need or brokenness, we say yes first and think about it second. This would be a world where walking with Jesus means trying to act like Jesus through loving, relevant acts of service; where Christians put their hands and feet in the dirty situations of the world in order to show people God’s love and grace; where we understand that comfort zones are meant to be broken because people need us to show up and be be the best portrayal of God’s love we can be. When she's not working, you can find her being silly with friends and family, playing games with her nephews, volunteering for various organizations and events with her church, or relaxing with a movie. 

Her favorite Scripture is John 15:16-17: “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you. This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another” (AMP).