The Stream of Knowledge

Proverb 14: 6

The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.

Again, this week, I find it challenging to choose only one verse from this powerhouse of a proverb. I hope you are utilizing the link at the bottom to read the entire proverb each Monday.

Today’s verse is taken, as usual, from the New American Standard Bible, my Bible of preference. However, I read many versions because sometimes the editors’ use of one different word opens up more understanding for me. Therefore, I wish to share The Passion Translation’s rendering of this verse today, “The intellectually arrogant seek for wisdom, but they never seem to discover what they claim they’re looking for. For revelation-knowledge flows to the one who hungers for understanding.”

I believe this rendition reveals much about knowledge and wisdom. First, we are enlightened as to its source. This passage shows that knowledge is “revealed.” What does that mean? It means that our God, who is the fountain of all knowledge and wisdom, passes that knowledge to us. He is the source. Second, He gives this wisdom and knowledge to those who hunger and thirst for it. Moreover, He gives it to those who seek Him for it rather than those who study and try to succeed in their own strength. Of course, when we are intellectually arrogant, we seek knowledge through our efforts and when we do, we do not seek God. That would require humility. No, instead we study and labor rather than simply humbling ourselves before our God in entreaty.

Third, wisdom and knowledge come to us as a flow. Isn’t that interesting? God downloads His knowledge to us like a stream flowing smoothly across the landscape. This isn’t a painful or labor-intensive method. Flow is found in relaxation. Picture yourself lying beside a quiet little stream and see how peaceful it makes you feel. While you lie there, the stream just bubbles along, seemingly without any energy compelling it. As you relax and breathe, you open your own channels so that the flow may enter you. It is not by striving, therefore, but rather by relaxing in the comfort of the Father that wisdom and knowledge are gained.

Yet, of all the things I ask of you, perhaps this is one of the most difficult, to relax in the presences of God. Stop everything else you are doing. Do not answer the phone or that incoming text. Just bask in the Lord’s presence in quiet, meditative peace, thinking more about your breathing than your “to do” list. If we could all do this more, we would have more answers. We would have more knowledge. Instead, we think, worry, and toil for answers. Stop for a moment. Give yourself a couple of breaths. Put your mind on Yahweh and let the answers come to you, in the name of Jesus.

Proverb 14

Seeking Wisdom

Proverb 2: 1 – 5

My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom; incline your heart to understanding. For if you cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God.

I may have told you that Proverbs is one of the first books I discovered when I began my journey with the Bible. This passage grabbed my attention early on. The idea that we could discover the knowledge of God set me on my ear. So began my voyage.

As we go through the proverbs, you may learn some astounding things. I hope you will be inspired and encouraged. The next verses of this proverb reveal that seeking wisdom is the path to success, protection and guidance. Through wisdom, you will stand in the comfort and security of the Lord. You will have assurance and confidence. You will see the way in which you are to go. Peace will flow to you and through you on the waves of God’s wisdom. Without effort you will glean truth.

Seek wisdom. Ask the Father, daily, to show you his ways. Be still and let Him share His wisdom with you. Glory! What a way to begin the week, and the rest of our lives. Go with God my beloved.

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Believers Faith Fellowship
Omaha, Nebraska

Grace and Knowledge

2 peter 3: 18

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

A friend and I were talking yesterday when he said he feels like he has lost a year of his life to Covid. I well imagine a lot of us feel that way. It gave me pause, though, and I have two responses to it.

First of all, the year is not over yet. So, I ask you, what do you want this year to stand for? You’ve still got several months to turn this year around if you don’t like where you are right now. Further, I would suggest we all begin to think about next year as well and decide what we want out of it. You do not have to give your life away to Covid. Sure, there are restrictions. Not all is as it was, and it may be a while before we return to life as we knew it. Still, you can make something good out of this bad situation.

In that light I wish for you to consider today’s verse, and this brings me to my second comment. We get to decide what life will be for us, at least to some degree. We were not meant be stagnant. We are meant to grow and learn. Every day of our lives is meant to be part of the transformation  to which Christ invites us. So, I ask you again, what do you want? What do you want to be able to claim at the end of this year? This verse says we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. It is not too late to do exactly that. We don’t have to throw 2020 away entirely. We can grow. Most of us are not as busy as we once were so there is more discretionary time to put towards growing in Jesus.

Please, don’t be a victim of this time of challenge. Be an aggressive learner. There are so many ways you can turn these challenges in to a positive. We know that people are really struggling and even suffering. You could help those people. Don’t waste a single day of your life. Don’t look back and say, “I wish I had read my Bible more or prayed more or joined the prayer team.” Write some letters, start exercising, take a class, buy a book on the Bible or a Bible figure. Do something! Make these last two and a half months meaningful. What do you want? What do you want to say you gained out of 2020?

Let’s be champions of what Jesus has done for us. Let’s grow in his grace. Let’s grow in the knowledge of him. This is our moment, let us not waste it!

Got Wisdom?

Proverb 2: 6 – 7

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright.

Do you need wisdom, knowledge or understanding? Well, the Lord, our God, has stored these things for us so that they would be available in our time of need. Now, the real question is, “How do we avail ourselves of these things?” The answer is that you spend time in prayer. God is going to lead you in wisdom and knowledge. That is why he has stored them up; so that He can give them to you. You receive knowledge, wisdom and understanding from Him by spending time with Him. He will give you all that you require of Him.

I am a big proponent of “praying at all times.” By that I mean that I do not want you to await the perfect opportunity for prayer but rather talk with Him all day, every day. Talk with Him while you are pumping gas, grocery shopping and exercising. Talk with Him all of the time. Every time you think of something you need to pray about do it right then. But, there is also a need for quiet, private time with the Lord.

This is time when you move everything else out of your mind and focus solely on him. You want to live your life in a state of divine revelation. To do that you need focused time with Him. I am not saying that you cannot receive a deep and meaningful revelation while you are on the treadmill. You can. But you cannot live your life on snacks. Eventually you need to sit down and have a full meal. That is what that alone time with God is analogous to. Take time out of your schedule to just be with Him alone. Seek the wisdom, knowledge and understanding that you need for your life. And have your Bible handy because many times He gives you the word you need by pointing you to a scriptural passage.

Take time to be alone with your Dad. Listen to Him. Allow Him to lead you. He will lead you into the wisdom, knowledge and the understanding you need.

Seek and Receive

Ephesians 1: 17

. . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

A friend of mine was suffering from writer’s block. It is a most uncomfortable feeling. I thought, “I cannot afford writer’s block. The Word of the Day has to be delivered tomorrow morning at 5:00.” I have learned that our Father and His Spirit are supporting me every day in producing these “words” from Him and that I must relax and let Him lead me. Still, there are those days which present a bit of a challenge. Yesterday was one of those days. Most days I can pick up my Bible and read anywhere in it and He will show me a message. That was one of the premises of my book, Journey Through the Bible. Every book of the Bible has something to minister to us today. But yesterday, I read from Numbers, Proverbs and did a little jaunt through some of the New Testament books. Nothing. Then at 5:00 PM I opened my Bible and this verse jumped out at me. He did for me in that moment exactly what Paul prayed for us. He gave me a spirit of wisdom and understanding which revealed the Father.

My reliance is on the Holy Spirit. That doesn’t mean that I can always hear perfectly. Paul knew how we all struggle as we grow and stretch. He also knew what we need, namely the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of the Father. So here is the wisdom that I received. Even when I cannot feel the Father, even on those days when I am not receiving as well as others, He is right here with me and He is present to reveal Himself to me. He desires to show Himself to me so that I may reveal Him to you. He wants us to know Him.

Of course, I was seeking Him and His Word. So, even though I was tired and just a little less alert, He was able to speak to my mind and my heart. I hear in my heart, “seek me so that I may be found by you.” There are plenty of scriptures about seeking Him, but the point is that He wants to be found. Therefore, He encourages us to seek Him. I can’t help but thinking that His favorite game is Hide and Seek. Perhaps, though, someone should tell Him the rules because He is horrible at hiding. In fact, He hides in plain sight. One of my favorite “seeking” scriptures is 1 Chronicles 28: 9, “If you seek Him, He will let you find Him.”

Paul started the church at Ephesus and he had a desire that his young church would grow in the things of God. Well, that is what every pastor wants. Therefore, Paul prayed this wonderful prayer, that God might give you this gift. I will tack on my prayer today to Paul’s and I pray that you might “receive” the “spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” Giving is one thing but receiving is an entirely different one so I pray that you receive. I pray for you today that God will fill you with knowledge of Himself. One thing I advise, seek Him.

Go Deep

Proverb 2: 6

For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

You probably like all of God’s good gifts. Where does wisdom rank? I had a friend once who, though she had spent years in the Bible, said she never really got into Proverbs. This one of the first books I was attracted to because wisdom is all over it. I figure if you have the wisdom of God, you are likely going to be in pretty good shape.

The question becomes, “How do you position yourself for God’s wisdom? Where do you place yourself so you can hear the knowledge and understanding that comes from His mouth? Verses 1 – 5 give us those answers: “My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.” That’s good, isn’t it?

God actually wants to give you His wisdom. He has stored it up for you but there is something you must do. Sometimes I wish Father would rain all of His wisdom and goodness down upon us, but it just does not work that way. We must put ourselves in the position to receive. I often think of American football. The quarterback intends to pass the ball downfield to his wide receiver. It is his desire. However, if the wide receiver never runs his pattern, there is no one to throw to. We need to just run the pattern God called in the huddle and He will take care of getting us the ball. Then we can run with it.

Today’s word tells us which pass pattern to run so that we will receive wisdom, knowledge and understanding. You’ve got to want it, ask for it and listen. We have to pay attention to His words and commandments. Which commandments, you ask. Every word which proceeds from His mouth. In our seeking, there is finding. A hungry heart will be satisfied. Now, go deep!

Knowledge, Wisdom & Understanding

Proverb 1: 7, 22

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. How long, O naïve ones, will you love simplicity? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing. And fools hate knowledge.

Proverb 9: 10 reads, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Interesting. So, knowledge and wisdom come from a relationship with the Lord. Further, knowing the “Holy One” brings understanding. We, therefore, have access to wisdom, knowledge and understanding through our relationship with the Holy Trinity. Would you think it fair to say that the closer we are in our relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit, the more easier it will be for us to tap into their knowledge and wisdom? Will it be easier for us to gain understanding? I think that is a reasonable conclusion.

Jesus’ brother, James wrote an encouraging passage in his letter. It reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1: 5). James points out that God is the source of wisdom. That is not difficult to believe. He also reveals us, though, that God gives us His wisdom and that He does so freely.

Today’s verse also points out that fools hate knowledge. Well, it is no surprise that anyone who hates knowledge is deemed a fool by God but what is perplexing is why anyone would hate knowledge. Why would anyone revel in scoffing rather than gaining knowledge, wisdom and understanding? The answer seems to be in the word “scoff”. Synonyms for scoffing are: jeering, sneering, ridiculing, and deriding. It seems that some folks would rather sneer at others rather than invest the time and energy in seeking God and His wisdom. Let’s be frank. It takes time and energy to get to know God. It takes effort to open your heart and mind to His guidance. It takes faith to believe what you hear. All of this is so worth the small amount of effort but fools scoff at the idea instead of trusting that God will really meet them in the solitude of quiet time.

The really good news is that God honestly does give out knowledge. He really does dole out wisdom and He really does bestow understanding. The bad news is that these priceless gifts rarely come from the prayer, “God give me wisdom.” As soon as you pray that prayer He will try to lead you into time with Him where He can reveal His fullness to you. The reverence of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The respect, admiration and veneration of the beloved is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom, knowledge and understanding are the by-products of a life lived with God. As we open our hearts to Him and pour our lives into Him, we find all good things. Holding God in high esteem is the path. Time spent with Him yields all.