“In all wisdom and insight, He has made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention” Ephesians 1:8-9
Wisdom – We live in a culture that has been influenced by Greek thought much the same way that the Ephesians were influenced by Greek thinking. Many of the patterns and meanings that we take for granted are actually quite a product of this Greek way of looking at the world. This often creates some very distorted interpretations of Scripture because we think that the words Paul uses must mean the same thing for him that they do for us. But Paul is not Greek. He is Hebrew. And there is a world of difference.
We think of wisdom (sophia) as practical application of intelligent choices. A wise person is someone who understands the complexities of life, has great skill in managing plans and has sound judgment. We aspire to wisdom, that stage where we have a cultivated enlightenment of the world. But this is not the wisdom that Paul has in mind.
Paul reaches back into his Hebrew past to find the Biblical definition of wisdom. He draws on the book of Proverbs. He knows that Biblical wisdom is about my relationship with God, not my management of the world. Wisdom is God’s gift. It is not something that I find through training or education. Why? Because Biblical wisdom is about behavior that is pleasing to God. It is about reverence for God and His creation. It is about knowing and doing what God has in mind. It’s following God’s agenda for my life.
That makes it pretty obvious that you can only get this kind of wisdom from God Himself. You can’t take a course at school called “God’s agenda for you”. You won’t be able to pick up a self-help book titled “Your life plan” written by God. You need God to reveal this direction and information. And God says He will tell you in exactly the proportion that you are willing to obey what He reveals. This isn’t an eight-week course about discovering your destiny. Never be fooled into thinking that you can plan your spiritual path by Greek means. It’s not education, enlightenment or analysis. It’s obedience!
There are days when I just don’t have any clear direction from God at all, when I feel confused and anxious. Those days are usually times of divine silence because God is working on my obedience quotient. He has shown me something that I need to put on the altar of sacrifice to Him, and I struggle. God’s mysterious will waits for my repentant submission. God’s school in wisdom is always one day at a time.
Are you ready to have God’s gift of wisdom? It’s not a matter of brainpower. It’s a matter of heart surrender. God isn’t Greek.