Sunday, June 11, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 18, Wisdom Is Power, Part Two

King Solomon reminds us that we aren't victims in this world who are being carried along by fate with no power over anything. There are some things we can't control in life, but there are many things we can control and even change. This is why the Lord Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33b)

Jesus knew we would encounter some circumstances which are outside of our control, but He also knew that the godly wisdom that comes from trusting in Him enables us to overcome and change lots of things. Godly wisdom helps us to live fearlessly, to follow the dreams God has placed in our hearts, and to refuse to conform to the wicked ways of the world. Godly wisdom is power, for it comes from the One who has conquered the world. When He told us to take heart, Jesus was giving us this type of encouragement, "I know there will be days when it seems as if the world has gone mad, and in a way it has, but don't let that stop you. Keep on following Me, keep on trusting Me, and keep on praying to Me. Faith can move mountains! Those who belong to Me never have to feel defeated or discouraged. I have conquered the world and, through Me, you too will conquer the world."

The Apostle Paul affirms what Jesus said. In the eighth chapter of Romans, Paul discusses all the hardships he and many other Christians of the first century endured. But he is not defeated. He is not discouraged, because, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:37) We are not ordinary conquerors, we are super-conquerors! We are not soldiers in a worldly army, but mighty warriors in the army of the living God! Paul discovered this awesome truth during the years he walked with the Lord and faced religious persecution, which is why he said, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31b)

We now pick back up where we left off in verse 13 yesterday, "To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech." The super-conquerors in the army of Christ don't possess the distracting qualities of pride and arrogance. These soldiers trust in their Commander, willingly and humbly submitting themselves to His authority. These soldiers also do not concern themselves with gossiping and putting others down and bearing false witness against their fellow man. They know who they are in Christ. They have no need to put others down in order to feel better about themselves. The Son of God died for them; what greater honor could there ever be? Having the Lord say "Well done, good and faithful servant" means more than anything any human being could ever say to them.

As the soldiers of Christ we are to keep our eyes on the prize. We are looking ahead to the finish line of victory. Godly wisdom will help to keep us from being sidelined by poor decisions. "Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power. By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; by me princes govern, and nobles---all who rule on earth." (Proverbs 8:14-16)

Wisdom asks, "Do you want to be promoted? Do you want to be placed in a position of power? You are going to need wisdom when you get there." When Solomon became king he quickly realized wisdom was needed to govern the nation of Israel. So he prayed to the Lord, "Now, Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give Your servant a discerning heart to govern Your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of Yours?" (1 Kings 3:7-9) We don't know how old Solomon was when the crown was placed on his head. His reference to being only a little child is taken by some scholars to mean he might have been in his late teens. Other scholars think he may have been older but that since he has no political experience he calls himself a little child. Either way, he was intelligent enough to know that a position of power requires wisdom in order to be successful.

If we intend to pray for promotions and success, we ought to follow Solomon's example and pray for the wisdom to handle our promotions and success. The last thing we want to do is is achieve our goals and then make a mess of them. Godly wisdom will help us carry out our duties as a soldier in the Lord's army should. We won't lead anyone to Christ if we set a poor example. No one will be attracted to the Christian life if we don't honor Jesus in everything we do. The world needs to see that Christ is the real deal, and that godly wisdom is the real deal. It has the power to change circumstances. It has the power to change lives.

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