Faith and the Need for Wisdom

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Ephesians 1:17.

I love this scripture. Don’t you hope someone is praying this for you? I pray for wisdom often, not only for myself but also for my children and grandchildren, our church leaders and of course our governing officials. It is something I don’t think we can really have enough of!

The culture in our country struggles with truth. Black and white doesn’t seem to exist, only shades of uncertain gray. As believers, we need not be afraid of speaking the truth, but we need godly wisdom. Jesus, our most wise example, amazed those around him as he answered questions that were sent to trap him. I am always shocked to see how deftly he was able to see the bigger picture and address the root issue. When the Herodians asked him, ‘is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ But Jesus knew these men were trying to trick him. So he said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a coin used for paying the tax.’ Then Jesus asked, ‘Whose picture is on the coin? And whose name is written on the coin?” The men answered Caesar’s’. Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesars’s. A brilliant answer. I probably would have fumbled around trying to answer that question. This was a political question. As Christians, we need to know how to answer such questions as well.

Then the Saducees came along, asking him a hypothetical question about seven brothers who died after each was married to the same woman. Who would she be married to after the resurrection? Jesus’ answer was so amazing again that they were left speechless! ‘Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. for when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect, they will be like the angels in heavenWhen the crowds heard him, they were astounded at his teaching. Matthew 22:29-33. They were seeking to trap him with doctrinal questions. We need to be solid in our belief so that we can answer with biblical truth. This takes time and intentionality, but it can be done.

The third entanglement the Pharisees set for him was an ethical trap. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses? “Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments. Matthew 22: 36-40. He did not get entangled in minutiae, but again saw the bigger picture.

In each of these scenarios they set a deliberate trap. But Jesus discerned the trap and avoided it. I know the same spirit that set the traps through these people is still at work today. We must be wise as serpents, but harmless as doves. One of my pastor friends told me a story this week. Apparently he had a person walk into his church dressed in drag. The person wanted to know if he was saved. My friend suspected a trap and thought a moment. He then asked the person if he could ask him a question. After receiving an affirmative reply, he asked him: Who are you serving? Yourself or the Lord? The person got up and walked out the door. This is the type of wise response we need to walk in–wisdom that comes from on high through the Holy Spirit.

We do not have to be intimidated by the ways of our culture. We need to study to show ourselves approved and be ready to answer with His wisdom, leaving the results to Him. James 3:17 reminds us that the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Let us remember as we seek His wisdom, it comes with His character. Beloved, we can do this. Let us pray for each other for His wisdom.

Father, I thank you for imparting your wisdom to your people, so we can better engage and help our culture know your truth. Thank you for giving us courage to answer questions with your truth and not be afraid of being entrapped by the evil one, for we trust you. In Jesus Name, amen.

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