Friday, March 14, 2008

God's Holy People: Part 5

To be holy means to be set apart. If we are God’s holy people that means that we have been set apart which requires us to live by faith and be different from the world around us. We don’t get involved in the same sinful entanglements that they do and we live by a different set of standards. To put in simply followers of Jesus live differently than the rest of the world.

How do we do that? In Ephesians 5:1-21 we see that the apostle Paul has given us three different ways we are to walk in order to be set apart, to be different, from the world. The first way is that we are to walk in love. The second way is to walk in light. This brings us to the third way found in verses 15-21:
15 So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, 16 making the best use of time because the days are evil. 17 Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18 Stop getting drunk with wine, which leads to wild living, but keep on being filled with the Spirit. 19 Then you will recite to one another psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. You will sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts. 20 You will always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 And you will submit yourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ. (ISV)

Here we see that the apostle Paul also wants us to walk in wisdom. To walk in wisdom has very little to do with how smart we are or how much education we possess. It has everything to do with our relationship with Truth. Ultimately Truth is not about facts and propositions, but about a Person. Wisdom is borne out of our relationship with Jesus. He is the Truth.

When we walk in wisdom we understand what God’s will is. This begins with understanding God’s desire for us to love Him and to love people and in the process make disciples. It continues with our understanding what God desires from our lives and the life of this Church Family. When we walk in Wisdom we begin to look at everything through the lenses of God’s will.

This means we will do things that don’t make too much sense to us. Think about the story of Jonathan’s daring plan found in 1 Samuel 14. The Israelite army has been reduced to 600 men and the Philistines have come with an army of 30,000. The Philistines have the latest in military equipment and Israel has but two swords. By human standards King Saul did the wise thing by hiding with his 600 men rather than engage the thousands of men in the Philistine army. What Jonathan did by picking a fight with the Philistines, with only his armor bearer by his side, was foolish. In God’s economy of things it was the other way around. Only by looking through the lens of God’s will did Jonathan know what the Wise thing to do really was.

When we walk in wisdom we will encourage one another. No matter how you slice it to live differently from the world is a tough thing to do. In order to succeed we need all the encouragement we can get. So we shouldn’t be tearing one another down, dwelling on faults, and cursing circumstances we have no control over. Instead we need to build one another up, encouraging one another to hang on, and giving thanks to God regardless of the situation we might find ourselves in.

We also need to submit to one another. This doesn’t sound like very wise advice, but then again often God’s wisdom goes against human intuition. We are afraid to submit because we fear being taken advantage of. Yet, Jesus did just that. He submitted Himself to us, because of love. Through our submission to God’s word and our humble service to others we discover God’s Wisdom for our lives.

The way of wisdom isn’t found in the halls of academia, but on the road of faith. Faith will take us places our good sense will tell us not to go and in the process we experience God’s truth in our lives. The truth of God brings us the wisdom that we so desperately need to live. Has walking by faith given you wisdom?

  • Point to Ponder: We are to walk in wisdom.
  • Passage to Remember: Ephesians 5:15-21
  • Question to Consider: Has walking by faith given you wisdom?

God's Holy People: Part 1
God's Holy People: Part 2
God's Holy People: Part 3
God's Holy People: Part 4
God's Holy People: Part 6

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