WHAT IS WISDOM, Patty Juster
I grew up on a little farm way out in the country. We used to plant all kinds of seeds each year in the hopes of reaping an abundant crop of corn, cabbage, potatoes and other vegetables. Some seeds we planted produced just little plants that first seemed insignificant. Some plants reproduced so rapidly that they prohibited any other plants from growing so they needed to be properly spaced out. We even planted some fruit trees that grew to produce fruit year after year.
Each choice we make is like a seed that we plant. Each day we hold a variety of seeds in our hand and have to make decisions as to which ones we want to plant and nurture. Each seed has a DNA in it. What we sow we will reap. If we sow apple seeds, we will reap a harvest of apples. How do we know what each seed will produce days, months or years down the line?
This is where wisdom comes in. Wisdom is knowing what kind of plant or fruit our seed will produce. Will it produce the kind of crop that will be able to feed ourself, our family and others (promote love)? Or will we waste time sowing thorns and thistles that produce havoc in the garden of life? Just one bad or good choice can change history. My choices do not just affect me alone but multitudes of others. When King David sinned and slept with Bathsheba, both he and the people in his kingdom suffered the consequences of his actions. Thousands died because of his sin.
The best way to learn what kind of seed you are holding is to ask God for His wisdom. We do not have to plant the seed and later say, “Oops, I guess I shouldn't have planted that seed.” We were never intended to bear the weight of making our decisions independently. In the Garden of Eden there were two trees. The Tree of Life represented wisdom from God, whereas the other tree was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve partook from the second tree because they wanted to gain their own knowledge independent of God’s wisdom. How often we hear young people say, “How do I know it is bad unless I try it. Others are doing it.”
Leaning on our own understanding brings torment. When Adam and Eve fell, even their ability to discern good and evil was distorted. So much of the division in the Body of Believers today is rooted in our reliance on faulty discernment. This affects how we interpret research from experts and media. It even clouds a serious study of Scripture. Self-reliance leads to legalism and an attempt to bring others into agreement with our “discernment.” In our zeal, we can feel like we are doing God’s business in trying to persuade others. Research alone cannot reveal what is true or what is evil or good. The fallen culture often calls evil good and good evil. Yeshua died on the cross because he wanted to save us from the bondage resulting from partaking of the fruit of the forbidden tree.
The book of James (Jacob) states that if we ask for wisdom, God will give it to us. Romans 8 exhorts us how to be led by the Spirit and therefore live as children of God. Discernment, the receiving of wisdom that can inform our actions, comes as a result of an intimate fellowship with the living God. Messiah is declared to be both the power and wisdom of God. “He has become for us wisdom from God–that is our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” (I Corinthians 1:30) Therefore, we can have the mind of the Messiah and come to unity as a body. Now we can be restored to eat of the Tree of Life and no longer depend on our own abilities to figure out right and wrong. We are no longer bound by this world’s wisdom. It is for freedom that Yeshua has set us free!
How do we know if we are walking in the wisdom from above instead of earthly wisdom? “Wisdom from above is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:17-18)