Many people start off each new year focusing on the changes we would like to see in our lives. What didn’t work in the previous year? Where did I fall short in various areas of life? What seemed to work to bring balance to a hectic schedule? But the most important question for Christians is: “How can I grow closer to God in the coming year?” This is a question that should not change year in year out. That is my prayer for this year. My hope is that the blog posts throughout the year will help us as a church, and as individual to do that.
We begin the year as a church in the book of Proverbs. What a wonderful place to start! God’s book of wisdom and instruction to be applied to our lives in everyday circumstances, as well as, our lives as a whole. When we delve into Proverbs we begin to see an overarching theme, Wisdom and fear of the Lord. Proverbs 1:7 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” The fear of which this verse speaks is different from the fear that most of us would normally think of. It is not the fear that terrorists evoke or the fear of some unseen monster, but much more accurately a sense of awe and wonder. It helps us come into a right focus of God. If God is all knowing, all seeing and ever present, then why wouldn’t we seek His wisdom in everything we do?
We have to have faith that God’s word and promises are true. When we do establish this faith it leads to awe found in a God that provides us with wisdom not found in the world.
We must first assess whether or not we truly value God’s wisdom in our lives. Chapter 2 verses 4-7 show us the true value of fearing God, and the wisdom and consequences it brings. I often question in my own life, do I really seek out God’s wisdom the way I should? Do I, “seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,”? Often times I don’t. I tend to rely on my own knowledge or the input of others before seeking the wisdom of God, that is to be treasured. This must change for our faith to grow in our relationship with God.
Essentially, our faith grows when we trust God in more and more ways seeing that he is true in his promises and word. In chapter 3 of Proverbs the concept of trust is spelled out for us. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”( 3:5-6) This seems pretty straight forward but why do we struggle to simply trust God and seek his wisdom rather than our own? Pride and arrogance lead to us relying on ourselves rather than God. If we do not begin our relationship with trust in God our faith is not tested and stretched. If this is the case, it does not grow. When our trust and faith in God does not grow we tend to not seek out God’s wisdom because we feel we do not need it. It becomes a cycle in either instance that continues on until we choose to either trust God at his word and be obedient or not trust him and continue in the futility that is the wisdom of this world.
That is my prayer for this year. That we would grow closer to God. That we would trust him that his word is true. That this trust would be fruitful and grow our faith. That our growing faith would drive us to seek the Lord and his wisdom more and more each and every day.
1. How do you feel faith, trust, and wisdom are tied together?
2. Reflect on some of the ways you trusted or did not trust in God the past year. How did these events affect your faith?
3. As a church, how do you think we present God’s wisdom to the world? How can we improve?