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More Benefits of Wisdom

Proverbs 3:7-10

Do not be wise in your own eyes

Don’t think you know it all. With our limited sight and knowledge, we can only know a minute fraction of it all. God always holds the last card. Don’t think that your success is yours to take credit for. Without God, you’d still be at square zero.

Fear the lord and shun evil

Obey God’s commands. Stay away from evil, from wrong, from sin. Fear the Lord, not people’s opinions.

This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Humility, fear and reverence for God, staying away from evil brings health and nourishment. Better than health food and exercise, spiritual food and exercise does much more for physical well-being.

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Expectation versus Expectancy

Our church’s Lenten devotional talked about expectation versus expectancy. That’s a big problem for me. All I have are my selfish expectations of how post-divorce live should be. Years of mostly unfulfilled expectations – demands really. It’s causing me misery and discontent. Please rid me of every single one and replace each one with expectancy instead.

Replace my expectation of husband/family/friendship/kindred spiritness with the expectancy of Your presence in and with me – vital, vibrant.

Replace my expectation of financial restoration and prosperity with the expectancy of Your provision and my improved stewardship.

Replace my expectation of people liking and approving and wanting me with the expectancy of a deeper relationship with You and hearing Well done My Beloved!”

Replace my expectation of ease of life with the expectancy of Your grace, power and strength to enable me to accomplish all You have planned for me.

What a spoiled brat I still am, expecting You to fulfill my every want! Replace my expectation of getting everything I want (“deserve”) with the expectancy that You will enable me to accomplish all that You want, have planned and deserve.

Further Benefits of Wisdom

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

Trust means closing your eyes and following where God leads. Trust is totally letting go and letting God. Trust is allowing yourself to fall, being relaxed and believing that God will catch you.

We trust in God. Not in ourselves. Not in other people. Not in material things. Not in events. In God. We trust in God with all we have.

The heart is the center of being. We trust in God with our minds, believing that He will be there. We trust in God with our thoughts, thinking about God instead of our doubts. We trust in God with our emotions, feeling confidence instead of fear. We trust in God with our life, moving ahead in His will instead of wavering in our own plans.

And lean not on your own understanding

We trust God. We do not trust how things look to us. We do not trust how things seem to us. We do not look at a person or and event and carry it out to a “logical conclusion”. Our logical conclusions are limited. God’s are not. Our vision is limited. God’s is not. We are limited. God is not – unless we limit Him by refusing to see beyond the limits we know, imagine and create.

In all your ways acknowledge Him

Wherever I go, whatever I think, say or do, God is present and at work. The extent to which God works in part depends on how much I allow myself to be used by Him. Nothing I accomplish is mine – to God be all the glory!

And He will make your paths straight.

When we trust God instead of ourselves, when we acknowledge Him, then we are moving in God’s will and not our own. What straighter path could there be? It may not seem straight to us at the moment, but we are heading directly towards God’s goal. After all, we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God (and trust and acknowledge Him) and are fitting into His plans (Romans 8:28 TLB)

A New Name

“Your name will no longer be Jacob”, He said. “It will be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.” Genesis 32:28

Jacob is on his way to reunite with his brother Esau, whom he hasn’t seen in twenty years. He’s done all he can to prepare – sent gifts on ahead, divided his camp for protection, sent his family across the river ford. Now he’s alone, it’s night and he’s physically wrestling with God, bound and determined to receive a blessing. God dislocates his hip, but Jacob still won’t let go.

Jacob has struggled with men all his life – his father, his brother, his father-in-law. He has prevailed. Not necessarily in getting his way or what he wanted, but in not allowing them to change his attitudes and character (mostly to his detriment), in not allowing them to bring his spirit down to discouragement and surrender.

Jacob has struggled with God and I don’t think He’s referring to just the wrestling match. He has struggled to find out who God is and how to relate to Him. I think the most important lesson Jacob learned was to not give up. He never gave up on Esau, Laban or God. He kept working on and trying to build relationships, trying to develop relationships, especially with God.

We are constantly struggling with God – learning who He is, trying to understand why He’s the way He is, trying to learn how to relate to Him and interact with Him, trying to figure out what He wants us to do, how He wants us to be and live. Then there’s the biggest struggle of all – giving up what we want to pursue what God wants. We must persevere! We must continue in our struggles on this earth and in this life and refuse to let God go. He will bless us and one day in heaven, give each of us a new name too! (Revelation 2:17)

The Blessing of Wisdom

(From Proverbs 3:1-4)

My son – God sees us as His child.

Don’t forget God’s teaching. Remember His law and how’s He’s taught and what He’s taught. Think about it.

Keep His commandments in your heart. Don’t let them escape. Hold on to them. Go over them in your mind and soul, your innermost being.

God’s teaching and commandments will help you to live longer happier. They will bring you prosperity – material and spiritual.

Love and faithfulness. To God. To others. To yourself. Wear then around your neck. Write them on your heart – deeper than the commandments and teachings. Love and faithfulness win favor and a good reputation with both God and man.

Proverbs 2 – The Moral Benefits of Wisdom

1) Accept God’s words – store up his command – memorize.

2) Listen intently to His wisdom. Apply your heart to understanding God’s word. Work at it. Look at it from all angles. Requires effort.

3) Call out for insight and understanding. Ask God to open your eyes, ears, mind and heart.

4) Look for God’s wisdom as you would an earthly treasure. All out effort – spare no expense.

5) The more effort you put in, the more wisdom you’ll get out. The more you invest, the greater the return on your investment.

6) The Lord gives wisdom – He doesn’t hold anything back from us.

7) Victory is stored for us in God’s warehouse of abundant blessing. If we stay close to Him, He will shield us.

8) God guards our way and protects us. The closer our walk, the more we see of God.

9) The closer our walk the easier it is to distinguish right from wrong, fair from unfair, justice from injustice.

10) God’s wisdom will be part of our heart, God’s knowledge will bring us the pleasure that we are pleasing Him.

11) The more of God in us, the greater our protection.

12-15) Wisdom keeps us from temptation.

16-19) God detests the breaking of marriage vows.

20) God’s wisdom keeps us on the right path.

21) God’s people receive His home and blessings.

22) The wicked will be cut off and have no home.

Lessons from Founder’s Week

Thursday night, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth spoke at Founder’s Week about loving the Word. I found my enthusiasm refilled and couldn’t wait for the morning. But in the morning, I was “tired” and quit reading early to grab a few extra winks on the sofa before I had to get ready for work. I let Satan snatch the seeds and drag them off.

Sometime Thursday evening, the thought popped into my head about how different my life would have been if my father had allowed be to go to college at Moody Bible Institute, which was my first choice. I would have married a true Christian and would still be married. I fought those feelings all day Friday and won. That night, Moody honored the three pilots who were killed in a plane crash last year. Had I gone to Moody, it’s possible that I too would have been the widow of a martyr. Perhaps I wasn’t meant to attend Moody.

Mark Jobe spoke Friday night. He said that if we haven’t grown in the last few years, if we’re still struggling with the same issues, it’s not the Word’s fault, or the Author’s, but the hearer’s. Before I filed away my old journal earlier this year, I looked at some of the first entries in it. I noticed the same issues. His first point was Accept the Word. It’s what I keep coming back to.

Perhaps I still struggle because my circumstances haven’t changed. I’m still single with a house and yard to care for and I still don’t have the job security my father had. More likely, my circumstances haven’t changed because I haven’t.
I must accept all the people in my life who hurt me and who were less than what I’d hoped for and wanted. I must accept the events – all the events – that have occurred in my life as part of God’s perfect plan. I must accept the fact that I am a very selfish woman and I must work to change and guard against it. I must seek God’s help to do this and accept His help. I must accept who each member of the Trinity is and the roles They want to fulfill in every area of my life. I must accept the fact that I am an excellent wall builder and work to tear down the walls. I must accept my circumstances, fully engage myself in them, fully engage the Trinity in them and live through them. I pray God makes it so and shows me what He needs me to do. I pray He helps me to be Him to myself and to every person in my life and to every person I encounter.

Saturday morning during quiet time, the cd quit playing. I turned on Majesty Radio on my phone, and it quit. I switched to Praise and Worship and faintly heard a woodpecker tap. I turned the music off, looked up and found the red-bellied woodpecker pecking at the wood of the suet holder (he’s never done that before.) Then I heard a new bird call. I got it! He wants me to be quiet more often to hear His voice.

Sunday morning, the lessons continued. I was reading God Calling and came to “It is not to quiet resignation I give My blessings, but to joyful acceptance and anticipation.” There’s that word again – acceptance. With the adjective joyful. I pray He rids me of every bit of my quiet resignation and transforms it into joyful acceptance and anticipation.

The sermon was about the sovereignty of God. I must joyfully accept God’s sovereignty and submit to His control of my life and world. Every single detail. I pray I learn these lessons well.