Sunday, July 21, 2013

A LIFE WELL LIVED, Part 3 - UNDERSTANDING, DISCERNMENT

Wisdom is the best friend you will ever have in this life- Godly wisdom, that is.  Every decision, choice and more, comes out of process where at least some measure of wisdom has been applied to the decision. It all goes back to your Perception (as we saw in Part 2). Your perception is your worldview, and hopefully - for your own sake - it is a Biblical worldview. Now Wisdom is the outflow of that worldview. Therefore, again - for your own sake - it is preferably the Wisdom that comes from God!

A perfect example is a man who just became the head of a favored organization and was set to undertake one of the most amazing projects in History. All he had to do was follow his beloved late father's plans and execute. Being a very young man (he called himself a child), he needed guidance and in 1 Kings 3:5, God Himself appeared to Solomon in a vision and offered to give him ANYTHING he asked for! Here is the rest of how that conversation with God went: "Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:7-9).

Two things from this prayer of Solomon, who is now the head of millions of God's people in Israel will guide us to a place where we ourselves can have the very SAME mind of Wisdom God gave to him. We would be wise to follow this same prescription for attaining true wisdom, the kind which made Solomon the wisest man in the world for a time. We condemn his lifestyle after he fell prey to sexual immorality and idolatry, but this is because of his own human foolishness. He did the same thing Adam did - walk away from the Wisdom of God and let his passivity take him down.

Verse 9 of 1 Kings here, has two very important criteria  (in bold red) for the kind of wisdom we need for the "Good Life":
1. An Understanding Heart -the words God uses in the Scriptures here for  is "Shama and Leb" They go together in this Hebraic context because the "Leb" or the "Heart" is the conscience, the inspiration. the imagination, the skill, the intelligence, the mind, the spirit and heart you need to do anything! 

The accompanying adjective - "Shama" - tells you how to use the heart effectively. God said in this word, pregnant with meaning, we are to have understanding in the sense of obedient, listening, truly listening, hearing, truly hearing, really obeying, witnessing, taking heed, processing, taking really good notes, comprehending and more!!
It is obvious here that, in our lives, we would be a lot smarter and function with clarity and power, if we listen more than we speak! A truly wise man is an understanding man whose conscience and spirit are focused on comprehending a situation before acting on it

2.Discern - the king wanted an "understanding heart" that he might be able to "DISCERN" and thus, make the right decision. We are to seek the same. The word God uses here in Hebrew is "BIN" -(pronounced 'bean'). This word, like EVERY word God uses, is FULL of all kinds of meaning from acting with care and caution to learning the full scope of a situation. Then you interpret the evidence correctly because you have an understanding heart full of "Bin", so you can observe, ponder, explain (to someone else if you have to), be prudent, clever and more to be just the smartest person in the room!

God, in His Magnificent Grace and Love, has given us the three simplest forms or elements we need to walk as the wise in this evil world - if only we would pay attention to Him! We do not need the systems devised by the corrupt minds of men and women, who are flooding the airwaves, bookstores and culture with their ungodly imaginations to follow and still think we will have a fully engaged life. Following those people will lead to despair, depression, confusion and one day - destruction.

Following the beautifully simple recipes of the Lord will lead to peace, love, joy, contentment and eventually eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

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