Posts Tagged foolishness

Foolish Wise Men

1 Corinthians 3: 18 – 19

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God.

These two verses are under a heading Foundations for Living. This is part of God’s foundation teaching series. I should begin by telling you that these two verses are just a small part of an expansive teaching from the Apostle Paul. Paul had a huge revelation about the wisdom of God having been sent into the earth and how we all are partakers thereof but not in ourselves but rather through our integration with Jesus for in him and because of him, we now have the mind of Christ.

The wisdom of the world, on the other hand, is utter foolishness. To God it must sound like mindless chatter, for nothing in this world has come into being apart from God. He understands all of the science; all of the biology and physics that make this universe in its great expanse and every cell of our bodies work. He created all of the laws of physics. We are just trying to discover them. So, how foolish is it for us to catapult our estimation of our intellect above that of the Father. None the less, I hear people talk about our intellect and frankly, many of them have their intelligence on the throne of their lives rather than Jesus. I knew one person who could often be heard repeating the God gave us an intellect for us to use. While I do not disagree, this person used it as an excuse to defy the Word of God. Now how smart is that? The celebration of human intellect begins to sound like foolishness. Don’t get me wrong. I do not find any virtue in ignorance. I believe in both formal and informal education. In fact, I think the moment you stop learning, you begin to die. Life should be an ongoing adventure. That adventure, however, shouldn’t be spent basking in the glow of our grand intellect. It is a venture with God and with the Holy Spirit who knows all of the thoughts of God. It is a quest into the heart and mind of God, a journey which we have been specially equipped to take.

The only wise person is the one who seeks God and His wisdom. All else is foolishness. If we will abandon human reasoning in favor of divinely led revelation, we will come to understand the universe. All knowledge is at hand. If we will humble ourselves we can have it all. The intertwined life with the Holy Spirit is truly one of inspiration and revelation. We don’t even have to be that smart, just smart enough to realize we’re not.

Standing in a Storm

Matthew 7: 24 – 27

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.”

Jesus spoke these words. He says that anyone who hears his words and acts on them is like a wise man. The rain, floods and wind represent the storms of life. Those people who hear and act on Jesus’ words will be able to withstand the storms of life. Those who do not listen to and act on Jesus’ words get battered and destroyed by every storm that blows. Do you want to be able to stand in the roughest of times? Then you must commit yourself to the Word of God. God’s wisdom is contained in these pages and through your relationship with him, he reveals the deep truths contained therein. Is there anyone foolish enough to say that he/she does not want God’s wisdom? There probably is though it is very difficult to understand. Obviously, he is without wisdom if he would say such a foolish thing. Therefore, since most of us do want the wisdom of God, let us dedicate ourselves to reading his word. This need not be tiresome. Get a version that is more readable than the King James if it helps you. Go to any Christian store and read the same passage in several different translations. There are plenty out there these days that are not written in Elizabethan English. There is also the One Year Bible if you are ready to commit to reading the entire Bible. It also comes in a couple of translations. Do yourself a favor; start reading a little each day and let the Lord of Hosts bring life and wisdom to you.

Ouch!

Proverb 1: 7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

I am listening to a CD series by Dr. Jim Richards. The first CD is entitled Wisdom: The Principle thing. In this teaching Dr. Richards leads us to Proverb 1: 7. Now, I already have that one highlighted in my Bible so as I turn there I feel pretty good. That is until he started teaching it. I will say I have never heard this verse so loud before. However, I did immediately think of how often I have encountered this problem in society as well as in my own heart. Therefore, when I teach on this problem of rejecting wisdom, know that I am preaching to myself.

The Living Bible says, “Only fools refuse to be taught.” Not one of us wishes to be a fool. We have not made it our life’s ambition. None the less, so many of us get our backs up when someone tries to teach us. Somewhere in the great scheme of things we have decided that we already have all knowledge. Of course this is foolishness itself. The resolution of our inherent knowledge isn’t cognitive though. If I were to ask a person if he had nothing left to learn, he would of course answer in the negative. So what is really going on here?

I believe the truth lies in a weak self-esteem. We know that there is much we do not know but our hearts do not allow us to admit it to others. Our sense of inferiority makes us puff up like an old rooster and strut around in a way to deflect the shame we feel. To submit to the teaching of another is an admission of lowliness. The truth of the matter is that those who are strongest are most likely to submit to the teaching of others. They know that each person has specific knowledge from which they can benefit.

The reality of this problem is nowhere more obvious than in the church. To many, submission to the teaching and leadership of another is almost synonymous with hedonism. This should not be. Again I have noted that the most spiritually mature people do not suffer from this foolish delusion. They are the first to ask to be taught. They pull on you to get you to reveal your insights even though you know in your heart they know much more and have experienced much more than you. They are students and they always will be. They are students of life and they look for God’s epiphanies everywhere. Ego is replaced with zeal. And, it seems they are always a delight to be around because of their hunger for enlightenment.  

I really believe it is important for us to accept that God has placed people in, not only the body of Christ, but in our lives also, for the purpose of bringing us light. They are light bearers, if you will. Our pastors may not know everything we know, but they may know something we don’t. Isn’t that enough? And I have to admit that if I cannot sit under the anointing and teaching of another, then I am not as spiritually mature as I may wish to pretend. Worst of all is that my refusal to be taught is a loud clanging cymbal announcing my foolishness. My need to be right is as loud a report as a cannon blast.

Oh God, save us from our own foolishness. Touch our hearts and heal our brokenness that you may speak life and light into our lives. Give us, dear Lord, the strength of submission and lead us into all truth and knowledge through the power of your blessed son and Holy Spirit. Let the fire of your Spirit burn hotly within us; the fire, Father, of unquenchable yearning for more of you and lead us to those who can teach us. Amen.