June 24, 2015

James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Biblical standards of wisdom and this world’s standards are often at odds. As has been said, in God’s kingdom, the way up is down. We confuse wisdom with knowledge, and we say that knowledge is power, but pursuing such knowledge leads most to inflated egos. The more we know of God, on the other hand, the more we understand our own inherent sinfulness and our total dependence on the grace of God. That is wisdom! In the Old Testament that attitude is referred to as “the fear of God,” and statements like, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,” (Proverbs 9:10) are well known. The better we understand our place before God, the more we will operate in humility before Him and with gentleness and respect toward the people around us. The better we understand our place before God, the more we will get out of the way and let Him operate in and through us, because His power and wisdom are, quite literally, infinitely greater than ours.

I am in an intensive training course in this right now, with the sudden death of a long-time member of this church, on top of an already busy schedule. Every time I take my eyes off of the Lord, I simply want to run and hide. I am responsible for messages at the wake tonight and the funeral tomorrow, as well as deciding and printing the programs for each, and that is on top of everything else this week already held. With so little emotional/physical margin, anger is one response, and that is simply destructive and in no way helpful. This is an opportunity to let Christ shine through me, but I can’t make that happen. Rather, I’ve got to operate moment by moment in awareness of my total dependence on Him. Like Paul, I know that “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) The problem is in remembering and trusting that, keeping my focus on Him rather than on myself. However, I know that He can enable me to do that, too!

Father, this is certainly a graduate-level course in Rest, Relax, Rejoice! Help me not rebel against it in resentment, but rather rejoice indeed that You will enable me to do everything I need to do. Help me take each thing in turn, not throwing my hands up at all that lies ahead but taking one step at a time. I do ask for clear guidance and anointing now as I prepare the remarks for tonight and tomorrow, and I pray for clarity and wisdom in deciding the details of the program. Help me not fear the eyes of men, but keep my eyes on You and allow You to operate in and through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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