PTC_Proverbs 1 - "God's Wisdom is not a Game of Hide & Seek"

4/22/13 - PTC_Proverbs 1 - "God's Wisdom is not a Game of Hide & Seek"
Instruction on Proverbs PTs:
I am excited to jump into the Priority Time Challenge with Chris for the next eight weeks. This would be a great opportunity to start the Priority Time Challenge; all the details are here. I'll be taking us through the book of Proverbs. I LOVE the Proverbs and have made reading Proverbs a regular part of my daily "diet" of God's word for nearly 15 years. 

Here's how we will go about it. Take the time to READ the entire chapter for the day straight through. Don't read too fast, the Proverbs are like miniature sermons. One or two sentences really pack a punch. So, read slowly and look for the one or two verses that really stand out to you today. You might select a passage that addresses a challenge you are facing, a need in your life or a growth area. I will share the passage that stands out to me each day and take you through the steps of a Priority Time. I will not post the entire chapter, just the passage that stands out to me. I encourage you to write in your journal, verbatim the passage that stands out to you each day as you log your progress through the steps of a Priority Time.

A Priority Time is a daily unhurried time to read the Word of God to know the God of the Word. Each day we will read a passage of Scripture and highlight a few verses for the purpose of Focused Thinking, Personal Application, Interactive Prayer, and Life Journaling. 
  • Focused Thinking: Ask the journalistic questions (5 W's and How).
  • Personal Application: It turns information into transformation.
  • Interactive Prayer: It is personal, private, and precise.
  • Life Journaling: It is the process of recording thoughts, evaluating my experiences, and capturing my memories. 

Proverbs 1:20-23
20 20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
    in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
    I will make my words known to you.

Focused Thinking:
Who? Wisdom. It sounds strange but Solomon (the writer of most of the Proverbs) refers to wisdom as a person often a "she." Wisdom functions as an agent for God. The personification of wisdom helps us understand how wisdom actually functions in our lives. Wisdom is active in our world. 
There is another person involved here: you. When I read it, it's me. I am in God's mind when it comes to wisdom. He wants me to have wisdom. She is looking for ME.

What? What is wisdom? Based on v22 we would have to say that wisdom is the truth of God that keeps us from the damaging effects of foolish living. What does wisdom do? She cries aloud in the street. She raises her voice in the markets. She cries out in the noisy streets and speaks at the city gates. What does she cry out/say/speak? A question and a challenge. The question "How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?"  The challenge "If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you."

When? The text implies that Wisdom is always speaking. 
Where? Wisdom is eager to speak virtually everywhere we go.
Why? V23 is the answer - to turn people from a foolish path and pour out wisdom upon them.
How? The only way wisdom is delivered to people is through the act of listening and turning.

Personal Application:
Wisdom is not hard to find. 
Wisdom is always speaking and seeking me out!
What a thought! Wisdom is not a hidden secret - she is shouting and crying out to be heard. This reminds me that my lack of wisdom is my own fault! It's never a failure on God's part. God is eager to give wisdom. The problem is, I'm not always eager to listen. Wisdom is not confined to "holy" places. I can find wisdom in the marketplace, in the streets, at the city gates, not only at church or Bible reading. This brings to mind the promised work of the Holy Spirit to "guide you into all truth." 
It is in the laboratory of real life that God's word comes alive and finds its place of impact. We should expect that God's word would come to mind in our circumstances. That is why the investment in a Priority Time is so valuable. God will bring His truth and wisdom to mind. I need to operate from God's definition of wisdom. I need His insight in life. 
I must pay attention to God's wisdom.
There is no replacement for living in the reality that God is an active part of my life. He wants intimate involvement in my life. This is why He gives wisdom. God WANTS me to be successful in life. He does not want me to do wrong and experience unnecessary pain. 
Today's objective is to pay attention to Wisdom. That means, I must believe the promise that she is crying out. She won't be hard to find. I must also swallow that lump of pride that wants to believe that I have all I need on my own. To receive wisdom I must admit I'm simple and foolish.

Interactive prayer:
God, help me pay attention to You today. Forgive me for my pride and arrogance that causes me to live as if I have no need for you. God, thank you for the promise of wisdom. Thank you that it's not a scavenger hunt to find wisdom. You long for me to live a wise and prudent life. Help me agree with that. I pray that for my boys. Help me model a humility that says, "God without your wisdom I'm lost." I pray that each of my sons learn to heed the cries of wisdom. Protect them Lord. My I be receptive to your reproof. I don't like that thought, but I know I need it. Even now I sense wisdom crying out. I lose my patience too quickly with my kids. God, forgive me. Give me wisdom to know when I need to be firm and when I need to laugh it off. Forgive me for those times when I tune out wisdom because I'm tired. I allow fatigue to lead me into laziness instead of life-giving rest. I need to rest and reflect. My stress and fatigue are more related to a lack of wisdom than a lack of sleep or relaxation. God, I pray that I will operate off of your wisdom today vs. my own. It ought to be a noticeable difference! I pray for those who read this post. Encourage them. Help them see how available your wisdom is. May they pay attention! AMEN.

Life Journaling:
I need to submit my daily routine to a fresh dose of wisdom.
I need to train my boys to connect God's truth to daily life.
God's wisdom is not a game of hide and seek. His wisdom is abundantly available. He is not giving us the run around. I just need to listen and respond.

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Posted by Andy Savage at 7:36 AM
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