There was a company that wanted to improve efficiency and performance… So, they called in a consultant…
The consultants job was to evaluate, encourage, and improve employee performance… So, he did what all good consultants do, he called a meeting… He brought all the company personnel together…
Stressing the need to listen to experts in the field… to heed their directions… he said to them: “Imagine you’re on the Titanic, and it’s sinking… You climb into a lifeboat… Which direction would you row?”
Then he asked, “What if you had the ship’s navigator with you?
Now which way would you go?”
“You’d row in the direction the navigator told you, right?”
There were murmurs of agreement among those gathered… until one man, way in the back, shouted, “Well, I don’t know.
He’s already hit an iceberg!”
If we are going to get anywhere, we have to know where we are going, right?
We need to know where to get good directions…
We’ve all heard the stories of GPS systems misleading people…
So… Where do we turn for directions in life?
Last week, we began this series addressing this very question: “How do we live a life of Holiness?”
What’s the “secret Sauce”?
And we discovered that it’s really a “Not So Secret Sauce”!
Look at 2 Peter 1:5
Peter says, “Add to your goodness… knowledge.”
Would you agree that Knowledge is essential for any kind of cooking endeavor?
So… If we wanted to add knowledge to our cooking abilities, we’d turn to the Chef, right?!
Look back at 2 Peter…
“For this very reason” because of our salvation… because we have been called to live in Holiness… “add to your Faith, goodness, and to goodness, knowledge...”
Peter believes that adding knowledge to our faith and goodness is a formula for spiritual growth.
So… Where do we turn… Where do we look for the knowledge we need?
Look at Proverbs 1:1-6
Solomon lays it out right there… Proverbs is all Godly wisdom…
How we get it… How we use it…
Proverbs is about the way in which we REGAIN the art of Making a Life!
Look at Proverbs 1:4
Solomon is concerned with equipping the young for what?
Look at Proverbs 1:5
No matter how young, how old, or how much you “think” you know… Solomon calls us to LISTEN!
Now… Look at Proverbs 1:7
There are a couple of things I want you to see here.
Solomon says, “True knowledge comes from a ‘Fear of the Lord’...”
“Fear” does not mean “terror”… But “Reverence for God.”
Stephen Lennox says: “[Fear of the Lord is] respect that produces a submissive attitude toward God.” (A Bible Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition)
Lennox goes on to say:
“Fear of God implies a recognition that He exists, that He knows all about us, and that He will reward or punish based upon His knowledge.”
In other words, “Fear of God” is recognizing Who He is, and Who we are not!
It is recognizing that “He is who He is”… the He IS the author… He Is the creator… and He Is the sustainer of ALL things!
It is the recognition and submission to the Truth!
God is the Author… He is the Sustainer… of all the “good works” He designed us for!
Solomon says “This ‘Fear’ is the beginning of ‘Knowledge’.”
That word - “Beginning” is an interesting word…
It means “the Head”… “the Foremost”… “the First in Importance”…
In other words, “The Fear of the Lord” is the base upon which everything else is built.”
Lennox states: “Head” here suggests a “fountain from which wisdom flows, a posture that enables True Wisdom to be obtained.”
In other words… “The Fear of God is the ‘headwaters fo knowledge’.”
It is the proper understanding of our position before God and His position before us…
He is Creator and we are creation…
He is Divine and we are mortal…
He is the Giver of Unending - Unconditional Love and we are the recipients of that Love!
It’s like a healthy relationship between an infant and its parents… When the baby comes into the world, they literally know nothing about anything… They have to be taught everything…
That’s the parent’s job!
They guide… they nurture… their children through the ins and outs of life… imparting knowledge as they go…
For an child to learn, they must have a sort of reverence for their parent… So that, when their parent tells them not to touch a hot stove… not to put their hands in a fire… not to go near a barking dog… they listen and they respond…
Each time a parent does that… each time a parent teaches by stopping and action… by encouraging… even when they don’t use words… They are teaching their child… And he/she is learning…
(Allessa example - spicy food) “Sometimes we don’t even realize we are teaching...”
Look back at Proverbs 1:7
Solomon tells us: “The Wise SUBMIT (write this down) their intellectual prowess to their commitment to God, RECOGNIZING His CLAIM on their lives!”
It is all about relationship, amen?
God designed wisdom to be a by-product of our relationship with Him.
Look back at Prov 1:7
We have been given a choice!
Fear God and gain wisdom… OR… Reject God’s instruction for our lives and become a FOOL.
“A Fool despises wisdom and instruction.”
Pastor Dennis Davidson states: “A Fool (nahal) is not one who lacks intelligence, but one who is obstinate and stubborn.
The root of his foolishness is not intelligence, but spiritual perspective.”
And the list goes on…
Fools despise wisdom’s instruction…
They are morally bankrupt… They are fleshly… they ignore the greatest truths if this universe…
They trifle with what is serious… and gamble away the joys of life for the lusts of time…
They may be extremely intelligent… but, their logic is faulty and inconsistent…
DON’T BE A FOOL!
None of us wants to be a fool… but sometimes we become one unintentionally.
We convince ourselves that we already know everything… that we are already the “smartest person in the room”… and when we do that, there is no place left to receive from God!
John 10:10 (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The “Full Life”… or “Abundant Life”… Holiness… is the result of making right choices in the middle of difficult circumstances.
It can be navigating a messy relationship… a job loss… wounds from past abuses… handling bad news… healing… or simply raising children…
The wise person feels the weight of the situation… feels how important making the right decision is… and turns to God for guidance.
When we face the difficult decisions… When troubles rear their ugly face… Even in the “small stuff”… we need to learn to begin by saying: “God, I don’t know what to do… Help me!”
Instead of trying to do it ourselves…
We WILL receive knowledge from God… If we ask!
James 4:2 (NIV)
2 You desire but do not have, so you kill.
You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.
You do not have because you do not ask God.
We receive knowledge from God in different ways…
First, We have been given His Word.
The Bible speaks to us in EVERY situation we experience in life!
Teaching us how God wants us to live.
Second, we receive knowledge through Godly counsel.
When we surround ourselves with people who love God… who are trying their best to live holy lives… they can help us to navigate life.
How often do you call the pastor to talk about and pray about what you are struggling with?
Many of us seek out Godly counsel regularly… where good at it… BUT…
The problem is that we have access to the knowledge, but we don’t apply it to our lives!
Let me tell you… There is a difference between Knowledge and Wisdom.