Summary: Wisdom is not only your calling – it is your gift.
How To Know What To Do - When You Don’t Know What To Do
Series on Wisdom - #2
OPEN: So last week we started a discussion on the topic of wisdom, which we are going to continue this morning. How many of you remember anything from what we said last week? (how many of you remember what you had for breakfast this morning?) Last week we said that God’s people are called to live by a new standard – What is the wise thing for me to do? In light of my past – in light of my present circumstances – and in light of my future hopes and dreams – What is the wise thing for me to do? Not what is morally permissible – not what can I get away with because it isn’t specifically addressed in the Bible – not what is the standard my culture has adopted – and not what is acceptable by the people who surround me – but what is the wise thing for me to do? - in light of my unique past – in light of my present circumstances and in light of my future hopes and dreams. We started this discussion because of what we discovered in our study through the book of Ephesians: A Christian’s life is be characterized by wisdom – not foolishness.
Wisdom is not only your calling – it has been your gift. Check out this verse we looked at when we started our study in Ephesians: In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, Along with redemption, along with forgiveness, along with grace which he lavished upon us – he says he has given to us wisdom and understanding and has made known the mystery of his will. In fact, every one born into this world comes in with a terminal state of congenital foolishness, otherwise known as the sin nature. That's how it is. Man is born a fool. Proverbs 22:15 says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.” Man is born in a state of foolishness. But when we are reborn – you are born into a state of wisdom. As you have been gifted with God with wisdom - the command is then “walk in it” We are commanded to walk worthy – we are commanded to walk in unity – we are commanded to live as children of light – and we are commanded to walk in wisdom.
Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Christians are to live lives that reflect wisdom and not foolishness. Now notice that Paul is making a contrast between two different kinds of lifestyle. What are they? A foolish life and a wise life. Don’t live as unwise but a wise – don’t be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is. OK so Scripture says we’ve been gifted with wisdom and understanding – we are command to walk in wisdom and we are to avoid making foolish decisions and mistakes – so that settles it, right? Decisions should be easy at this point, right? Knowing what to do in every circumstance should come easy for us of us – shouldn’t it? I mean we have a Heavenly Father who loves us, a Holy Spirit who guides us, a Gentle Shepherd who calls us, and the Word of God which instructs us and we still end up making really dumb decisions? Why is that?
And we’ve got to realize what really hangs in the balance on this. Walking in wisdom is the key to survival in this world, isn’t it? That’s what Paul reminds about in this verse – “the days are evil,” is what he says. The world is diametrically opposed to the child of God, to the kingdom of God, to the church of Christ, to the Christian – the world is set up in such an evil way that it will chew you up and spit you out – worse than that – it will take you out if you make foolish decisions. Ill - I’ve buried several fools during my ministry. – Now that’s not what we say when a person dies. When someone dies we want to remember the good things about them and it would be extremely insensitive to eulogize a person by saying, “Well the thing I remember most about Fred is he was a fool. There’s a village someplace that will be missing an idiot now that he’s gone.” Even if it’s true, we can’t say that – but sometimes we know that the reality is that the defining characteristic of a person’s life was foolishness. Foolishness always exacts a price. The days we live in are evil and foolish choices will victimized you every time. Survival and success in life is determined by a person walking in wisdom. Ill. of funeral where the deceased sister came and looked in the casket and said the words, “You’re an idiot” I was really glad she wasn’t the one giving the eulogy. What was even more revealing is at the grave side his drinking buddies brought a bottle of whiskey – the very stuff that had killed him. They each took a drink – then each one poured a shot for him and poured it over the casket before it was let down into the grave. They said, “One more for the road.” That’s a picture of how evil this world actually is – “not only do we not care that your foolishness in drinking took your life – here’s another shot to celebrate your death.” Absolute Foolishness.