Divine Direction: Wisdom To Discern
When it comes to sorting out the complexities of life, only wisdom can reveal the best path. Let’s face it – we’ve all made some pretty dumb decisions in our lives. For most of us, there are chapters in the past we would like to rewrite. There’s money we wish we had never spent, relationships we wish we had never started, and perhaps a few invitations we wish we had never accepted. Some of these will only be matters of personal preference that will not impact your life in any significant way. Other decisions have long-term ramifications that will affect your happiness and overall well-being. The goal is wisdom and discernment in making decisions: Proverbs 3:14 says, “For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.“ In this message, we will learn how to walk, act and decide when seeking God’s will.
Bottom Line: The wisest thing you can do is to pursue divine wisdom.
Something To Talk About:
- Walk: Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” This verse tells us that we acquire wisdom by walking with the wise. The alternative to walking with the wise is surrounding oneself with fools. The choice is simple, but not always easy. Choose wise friends, and gain wisdom: wise friends are people that are mature and competent. They are skilled at the craft of life. Wise people invite God in and they invest into others. The key is to learn how we can do this in our everyday lives. Proverbs 13:14 says, The instruction of the wise is like a life-giving fountain; those who accept it avoid the snares of death. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we often counsel one another from what we’ve learned through our mistakes. This is one of the reasons why we’ve talked so much about small groups. We need other strong believers consistently in our lives because going to church for one hour a week and doing a little daily reading plan is not enough. We need wisdom that comes from others.
- Ask: Ask God for wisdom. How can you be sure God will answer when you ask Him? James 1:5 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” It just makes sense. Where do you go to have your problems solved and questions answered? The answer is to go to the source of all wisdom, God Himself. He is the one who created you. He is a good steward of His gifts and will develop them to their maturity. God is also the one who understands your past and future—He has intrinsic knowledge of your weaknesses and strengths. God will lead you along a path that will fulfill His plans for your life. He is the one who knows the direction you are to follow and will lead accordingly.
- Decide: In challenging times, people are often so frozen by fear from making a wrong decision that they don’t make a decision at all. Think of how many events in life are complicated or missed completely because of the roadblock of being afraid to fail by making a decision. There will be times when the issue is not clear. We try to ask the right questions but we still don’t know what to do. That’s when we must remember that God is leading the way. The Bible is full of stories about people who were faced with making tough decisions without knowing how they would play out. My hope for you is that you wed together spiritual practices (prayer, scripture reading, community, silence, etc.,) that strengthen your discernment and resolve to act when decisions come up in your life. Well what if I make a mistake? When you make a mistake, what do you get? You get wisdom.
- What’s the last decision you can remember, big or small? How did you make it? Do you ever just ask God for direction? What happens?
- How would you define wisdom? What does it take to be a person of wisdom? Who would you say wisdom is available to?
- Who are some people you would consider to be wise? Why? Who are some people you would consider to be foolish? Why?
- How did Jesus model the wisdom of God for us?
- Read Proverbs 13:20. Where do you need wisdom in your life? How will you find the right people?
- Read Psalm 32:8. Do you think like this? What role does God play in your decisions?
- Why are people afraid to make decisions? What’s the decision you need to make? How will you step forward, trusting God to guide you this week?
Take one Thing Home With You:
Warning signs make our life safer. The modern safety features on the newer model cars are incredible. For example, if you get too close to the car in front of you the word “BRAKE” flashes as a warning on the vehicle’s dashboard. If you fail to react to the warning, the vehicle will gently engage the brakes. Our day-to-day decision making could really benefit from the use of similar warnings.
There are often warning signs when we are about to make a bad decision. While warnings won’t stop all bad decisions, they can eliminate a number of them if we follow them. Our job is to have some guardrails up that give us a warning. But at the end of the day, you have to make the best decision you can. But no matter what happens as a result of that decision, God is over it.
We can make wise decisions, but God is better than anything we can get out of those decisions. He is leading us as we pursue this wisdom. May He make us a wise people, but may He makes us a people who want for Him more than anything else.