Tag Archives: Wisdom

He Is Near

“We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks,
For Your name is near….” Psalm 75:1

Such great encouragement and hope to know this!

The psalmist, speaking to God, says:

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works. Psalm 73:28

How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You To dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple. Psalm 65:4

He is as “near as the mention of His name”.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. Psalm 119:18

Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6

He invites us to call on the only Name that can truly save, satisfy, help, deliver, provide, give wisdom and comfort.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

…He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him (Jesus Christ), since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

Don’t miss this kind, Sovereign invitation. Again, seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. He is near, NOW, for you, in every concern, fear, disappointment or loss. He is true and will not disappoint.

Be blessed!

Mitch

Are Your Decisions Based On Knowledge or Understanding?

Job 38:3636 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?  King James Version (KJV)

Have you ever wondered how someone could purport to hold the exact same set of beliefs as you and yet seem to be on a totally opposite page?  I have.

For example – consider the United States Democratic nominee for President, Hillary Clinton.  Former Secretary Clinton claims to be a Christian and hold with Christian values.  And yet she strongly supports abortion (a position opposed by nearly every major religion of the world, including Hinduism and Buddhism) and has even called on people of faith to change their religious beliefs and cultural biases (YouTube Video).

Here is the quote from her speech:

“Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.

I think to myself, “Wait-a-minute.  Abortion is wrong.  It is murder.  It stops an innocent human life before it even has a chance to defend itself.  Furthermore, there is enough teaching in Scripture to clearly make the case that it is immoral and against God’s desires for our lives.  I understand it is the law of the land … BUT, I could never support it.  I will never change my beliefs about it.  I will never bend my cultural biases regarding it.  To do so would be to deny my Faith.  And my FAITH is foremost in my life.

Former Secretary Clinton, in her remarks calling on people to alter their religious beliefs, has, in reality, just discriminated against me on Religious grounds.  Supposedly a protected category.  Which is an interesting discussion in and of itself, but is not what I want to focus on today.

What is just jaw dropping, mind-boggling, puzzling about this is: why in the world does someone who claims to hold Christian beliefs, call on people of the exact same set of beliefs to change them?  What does she understand that I don’t understand?  And why is she just as sure that her position is the correct one, as I am that my position is the correct one?  How can two separate people lay claim to the exact same moral code in their lives and yet draw two totally opposite conclusions and understandings?

Most of my Christian life I have heard pastors and teachers refer to the (allegorical) 12 inch difference between an eternity in either Heaven or Hell.  What has often been referred to as the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge.  It is the allotted distance between the brain, and the heart, in the average human being.  However I never gave it much consideration.  The illustration has always been given as a picture of the difference between an unsaved person, and a saved person.  I have never once seen a study that described it any other way, nor have I come across any study that has applied it to any other application.

It is difficult to research common euphemisms or pithy sayings like this.  They almost always fracture into a myriad of directions the further back in time you go and it is almost impossible to source them back to single individual, time, or event.  However, that being said, I believe this one might have grown out of an understanding of Job 38:36, at least I would like to believe so.

In Job 38:36, God asks Job a question.  His question is – who was it that gave you understanding and wisdom?  And in doing so, reveals that there is a huge difference between knowledge and understanding.

You see, what Job 38:36 is saying in a nutshell, is that you put knowledge in your head, but understanding is placed in the heart.

What’s the difference?  Well consider this, if we have a law of the land, say a speed limit placed upon a particular highway, I can learn the traffic laws.  I can know how to read and interpret a speed limit sign.  I can know how to properly operate a vehicle such that it remains within the confines of the speed limit as prescribed by law.  I may even know the reasoning that went into establishing that law.  All of that is knowledge that I hold in my head.  But it takes the understanding in my heart to actually put that knowledge into practice.  It is my wisdom and understanding that guide me to following and implementing that law.

This now explains two things to us.  One is why in the world former Secretary Clinton and I can be on two totally opposite pages in life, and Two, why her call for those of us with different views to change our religious beliefs is so dangerous.  It is because the difference is between knowledge and understanding.

So NO, former Madam Secretary.  I do not, and will not change my religious beliefs and cultural biases.  Because my religious beliefs are rooted in an understanding within my heart, and not just based on the knowledge that is in my head.  My wisdom guides me in this matter and I understand that God teaches that abortion is wrong.  And that is not what I say, it is what God says.  And for me to abandon that, is to abandon God.

My prayer is that all of us would be careful with our wisdom and understanding.  You see, if God is not the one placing wisdom within your innermost parts and understanding within your heart, then who is?  Is it Satan?  Because he will step in and fill any void created by a lack of action on our part.  Our seemingly exasperating differences of opinion and our exhausting rhetoric is easily explained by the differences, not in our knowledge (the facts in our heads), but by our understanding of that knowledge (the wisdom in our hearts).

I’m not worried about what is in your head.  I’m worried about what is in your heart.

Do You Have Wisdom to Share?

There are a few types of knowledge in this world.  There is the scholarly knowledge that is taught and gained in schools.  Some of it may be correct, accurate, and true.  While some of it may be questionable.

Take for example the study of mathematics.  In every culture and in every land we have an understanding of at least simple math.  Everyone understands (or should understand) that 1 plus 1 is equal to 2.  That is if you have 1 apple and then I give you another apple, you have just had your total quantity of apples grow.  And your new total of apples is now 2.

But then you have those that are wise in math and they will tell you that 1 plus 1 is equal to 10.  IF you use base 2 (binary) math.  In other words for a mathematician, it is important to state exactly which math you are talking about.  They want to represent the correct number base and ensure everyone is following the same set of rules.  There is a level of knowledge displayed that goes beyond the every day use of most people counting their apples, BUT it does not alter their understanding of the number of apples they may (or may not) possess.

Then there are studies that are not quite as concrete.  Take for example the study of evolution.  There are those that want to teach biological evolution concerning the alteration or transformation of one species into another as fact.  When they know (and actually have full knowledge) that it is simply a theory and is not repeatable and indeed is unprovable.

The science of evolution is constantly changing, constantly growing, and constantly evolving as people perceive to gain new insights and knowledge and thus alter their thinking on the subject.

I’ve mentioned a book written by an acquaintance of mine in past blog posts.  The book is: “The Word of God A Logical and Moral Dilemma“.  In chapter 5 of his book, titled “The Reality Of God”, my friend writes:

“During my early conversations with creationists, I often presented the scientific viewpoint during our creation vs. evolution discussions.  That is, I used small scientific facts, such as the existence of pelvises in ancient whales and the existence of gill slits and tails in embryonic humans, as evidence that God didn’t create the world beginning with an evolved state of nature.  I made very little headway in my debates, and usually departed from my encounters cursing the “blindness” of my opponent.”

(Eric Brownlee, The Word of God A Logical and Moral Dilemma, Writers Club Press, 2001, Lincoln, NE, ISBN: 0-595-19417-6, pg. 85)

The problem is, we now know that the ‘gill slits‘ in embryonic humans (and I would argue the ‘tails’ as well) are not what we used to think they were.  As a matter of fact, it has now been proven that the scientist, Ernst Haeckel, who is sometimes credited with this “discovery” (it is more an observation), actually faked his drawings and misrepresented the truth (Human Gill Slits).  In other words, we’ve come to a new understanding and know that the statement that human embryos have gill slits is just wrong (Evolutionary Point of View).  An Answers In Genesis article on the subject may be found here.

So here we have wisdom (it was originally represented as scientific fact) that is neither wise nor very long lived.  Certainly not like the mathematical fact given in my first example.

Thus our wisdom grows and gains new insights.

But what about spiritual wisdom?  Surely something so critical as to bringing understanding to the creator and guidance in our own lives, we don’t want to take chances with, right?  We want to make sure we have the right understanding, or at least the best understanding from as early a point in time as possible.

Spiritual wisdom is not too unlike earthly wisdom, it comes by learning, and learning comes by asking questions.  The difference is, knowing who and how to ask.  When our earthly wisdom is challenged, such as in the case of human embryos having gills, a little bit of research and asking the right questions reveals the answer.  Now there may be those that colloquially make reference to my blindness (see definition # 2) however I am going to claim that it is their own blindness since main stream evolutionist don’t even have that understanding anymore.  The point is, if I am willing to challenge the understanding and ask the right questions of the right resources, I am able to learn an answer and grow my understanding.

The same is true with Spiritual wisdom, but you have to know who to ask.  Fortunately there is an answer within the Bible.  It is found in James 1:5-8.  James tells us that if we lack wisdom (Spiritual wisdom) we simply need to ask of God, and God will provide us with wisdom liberally (see the origin of the word.  Here it means generously).

And I love the fact that the verse tells us that God gives to ALL MEN, without regard for Christian, or Atheist, or Agnostic, or any other Religion or world view.  Why would God do that?  Wouldn’t God just reserve wisdom for those that know him and are his children?  Of course not!  Otherwise, how are we even to discover him in the first place?  God wants us to know him.  He wants us to be curious about him.  And he wants us to discover him, to learn about him, and to have knowledge and understanding of him.  And this comes through wisdom from him.  He gives to all who ask him, and he gives with great abundance, BECAUSE he wants us to discover him.

But note the condition.  You have to truly ask in Faith believing that God will answer your request and will grant you the wisdom you seek.  In other words, you had better believe that God is there and capable of providing an answer.  If your predisposition is that science has given you all the facts of evolution and there is no God, you cannot be running to God asking him to provide you wisdom of himself.  That is not truly seeking after God.  That is simply convincing yourself that the lie you believe is justified.

I sincerely hope that no one believes I have any great wisdom to share.  Rather I hope that for earthly wisdom you will do due diligence and seek out the right answers.  And for Spiritual wisdom that you will ask of God, in Faith, believing he will answer you and provide the wisdom that you seek.