Sometimes I think that the path I am on as I study in the morning is something different and new, but more often than not God shows me things that I have seen before only with a twist. Today it was wisdom and water. It began with two devotionals and a few passages here and there in the Word of God.
The devotionals? Timothy Keller’s “God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life,” Jonathan Cahn’s “The Book of Mysteries.” Finally, Oswald Chambers, “Utmost for His Highest.”
These three spoke of wisdom and living water and service to the Lord. None of the three pursued out of some sort of compulsion by a third party but all pursued out of love for God and a desire to draw closer to Him.
In Keller’s devotional he asks the question about whether we become wise and he bases the answer on the passage Proverbs 2:3-6.
Proverbs 2:3-6 (ESV)
3 yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
4 if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He reminded me that if I truly desire wisdom, I must first seek God. He is the source of all wisdom, but God is not so far that I cannot reach Him. He is near. I have but to pray and ask for His guidance and understanding in His Holy Word and He will show me what I need in His Word every time I open it.
If I truly say that I love Him how can I not seek Him in His Word?
Feast of Tabernacles
Jonathan Cahn’s devotional that I read today spoke of the “Wells of Yeshua.” In his devotional, Cahn spoke of living water. He spoke of our need for that water; our spirits need for that water. We need this living water for our spirit as much, or more than our bodies need water to sustain life; one sustains the temporal, the other the eternal. Cahn refers to two passages. The first is in Isaiah.
Isaiah speaks of the fact the Lord is our strength. I love this passage.
Isaiah 12:1-3 (ESV)
1 You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.
2 “Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Jonathan Cahn explains that the word salvation mentioned in the third verse translated from the original Hebrew is Yeshua, (Jesus).
When I think of that, I think of the Samaritan woman at the well when Jesus spoke to her.
John 4:10 (ESV)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
I love that exchange Jesus has with her at that well. Jonathan Chan, in his book, refers to John 7
Cahn spoke of Jesus promise of the coming of the indwelling Spirit to any who would believe in Him and if they did out of them would flow rivers of living water.
John 7:37-39 (ESV)
37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now, this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given because Jesus was not yet glorified.
This promise is so powerful. We have the indwelling Spirit of Jesus and His Holy Word, and He will fill us with Wisdom by guiding us through the Word and filling us with understanding. I like what James has to say about wisdom too.
Before I came to the Lord I never really thought much about wisdom. I didn’t really understand it. I just pushed through life to be the best at whatever I was doing, and there was an unhealthy dose of pride and a bit of arrogance to go with it that kept me moving forward. But wisdom is something much different and its origin is much different.
James 3:13-18 (ESV) Wisdom from Above
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
The thing about wisdom is that it brings with it sincerity, peace, and contentment because it comes from God. It does not come from man. The more I read this passage, the more I am thankful for God’s patience with me.
As I pondered these two devotionals and the Bible passages I also read I was prompted to read “Utmost for His Highest” for today also. Today’s devotional was about service. Oswald Chambers speaks of service and God’s call. He explains that it comes when we are in a right relationship with God. It is not the kind of service where you must be doing something; it is not a job. It is different. I like how Chambers explains it.
“Service becomes a natural part of my life. God brings me into the proper relationship with Himself so that I can understand His call, and then I serve Him on my own out of a motivation of absolute love. Service to God is the deliberate love-gift of a nature that has heard the call of God. Service is an expression of my nature, and God’s call is an expression of His nature. Therefore, when I receive His nature and hear His call, His divine voice resounds throughout His nature and mine and the two become one in service. The Son of God reveals Himself in me, and out of devotion to Him service becomes my everyday way of life.” Oswald Chamber “Utmost for His Highest” Jan 17
So, we gain this wisdom and draw closer and closer to God, and He calls us to serve in this powerful way. What a glorious gift this is. What joy there is in our King! But how do we grow close?
I grew up going to Church with my parents every Sunday until I was 15 and then I got a job, and I missed a lot of Church, but even when I went the best I got was a brain that understood God. I was right there with the demons James spoke of in chapter 2 verse 19.
James 2:19 (ESV)
19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
Then things changed when I was born again. It changed when I developed a thirst and hunger for God’s Word. This living water that nourishes my spirit. I found that prayer was not a parachute but the plane, fuel, and pilot. God was not my co-pilot, He was the Pilot, and I held fast to Him through His Word and prayer.
For me so often my prayers are where I pose my questions and His word is where I find my answers. Of course, He can use any way he chooses, but if God chooses any other way I must test it against the scriptures to assure I am not deceived not because I do not trust God but because He told me to test everything.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 (ESV)
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.
1 John 4:1 (ESV)
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
The only way that I can do this is to be in God’s Word, and it is not enough to simply read it like a textbook or listen to it like a radio broadcast. We need the Holy Spirit to help us understand it, and the best approach is to pray first and then study. The goal of the adversary is to keep us out of the Bible by keeping us busy or distracted because he knows the power of God’s Word to strengthen us.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (ESV)
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
But you cannot just pick that strength up without exercise, and that exercise requires prayer and study in God’s Word.
Father, thank you for the wisdom you shared with me today. I am so blessed to have heard it. Father thank you for Your Holy Word and the gift of prayer that I might continue to grow closer to You and know You better, so that my strength and service may both grow. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.