WISDOM ACRONYM

Anne Holmes, contributor for today's blog

Anne Holmes, contributor for today’s blog

Anne thought of this acronym and shared it on Monday night. There were requests to put it on the blog, so here it is! May the Lord unlock wisdom in your everyday places! Until next week ….

Wisdom

Insight and

Spiritual

Discernment at every

Opportunity so we may

Mature

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UNLOCKING GOD’S WISDOM IN THE EVERYDAY PLACES

hear the voice of God bibleHi girlfriends!

This is the topic for our ongoing Way of Wisdom Bible study series. Please come with expectant hearts. Your time will not be wasted as we share in friendship with Christ and each other!

discern through God's word

Where? Corsham Baptist Church

When? Tonight, 22 February

Time? 7:30- 9:00 pm

 

TO SPEAK OR NOT TO SPEAK

 

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Sharon Durant, contributor for today’s blog

You know that heart-pounding, sweaty palm moment? That happened to me today. In front of a whole room of people, I found myself alone on “strongly disagree” about teenagers having sex. Suddenly, I was being asked, “Why do you think that?”

I had a momentary panic. For a few nano-seconds I saw the expectant, curious faces of people I respected gazing at me, bewildered. People I would like to remain friends with. People who are probably about to change their opinion of me.

I wish I could say there was a burst of angelic singing, a halo of sunlight or a stirring soundtrack as I nailed my colours to the mast and stood there under the “Strongly Disagree” sign. That didn’t happen; I just wanted the floor to swallow me up.

Why was it such a big deal?

Quite simply, I really care what people think about me. (When it comes to shoes, I can overcome. They’re just shoes. Sorry, girls.) But with my values and my faith, it’s a rejection of me. Everything I hold dear is being rubbished and I feel utterly destroyed. I want to be liked. I really want to be liked.

pleasingBut I want to please God more.

So I stood up for what I believe in, remembered our life group discussions, drawing encouragement from time with my prayer partner about living a life consistently for God, rejoicing to be counted worthy of standing up for the Name, and I held my ground in the Spirit’s power.

After I spoke, I think the only person shocked was me. Everyone nodded sagely (exercising those “fundamental British values” of tolerance and respect) and the session moved on.

The session leader asked the next question: a similar sexual ethics question.

I didn’t move.

But another girl on the course (also a Christian) joined me.

At that point, I knew I’d done the right thing, even though it meant I had to risk being liked –the thing I held most dear. If it glorifies God, encourages others, and helps them taking a risk for Godstand up and be counted, the risk is worth it.

I didn’t feel wise, standing alone under “strongly disagree”. I didn’t feel elated afterwards. Hours later, I look back and still want the floor to gape under my feet. Thank the Lord, my faith is not based on my feelings. I usually find this verse scary, but today it is a comfort:

Jesus said “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.  But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.” Luke 12:8-9 

OBEYING GOD’S VOICE

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Natalie Ovens, contributor for today’s post

I find it hard knowing when to speak and when not to. My wisdom gauge is not always that correct! I often come away from conversations kicking myself for being too outspoken, or for not speaking up when I should have done. I am coming to realise that this is a symptom of my heart, and one often motivated more by caring what people think of me than doing the wise thing. Thankfully God is perfectly wise, so if I look to Him, listening for his voice, He can lead the way. The Bible tells us “My sheep know me and listen to my voice” (John 10: 27), and “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5&6).

flesh vs spiritI think a key part of listening to God’s voice is actually obedience, of keeping in step with His Spirit (Galatians 5: 16-18). We have to actually trust God actively by stepping out and doing what He tells us to do, and not following our own inclinations or temptations. Sometimes God will prompt us to do something and we don’t know why we should be doing it, but surely this is the advantage of going by God’s wisdom rather than our own. Sometimes God will prompt us to do something that wouldn’t come naturally to us, like being kind when we don’t want to be or can’t be bothered to, or to be self controlled when we are inclined to give in to the temptation to do or say the wrong thing.

hear the voice of God biblePerhaps you are wondering practically how we can hear God’s voice, or what I mean by that? An example from my own life is when the thought popped in my head that I should ask a particular person for tea. It wasn’t the most practical of times so I was a little reluctant, but I knew deep down God was prompting me. I asked, and it turned out the person wasn’t able to come anyway. However, immediately I felt a reassurance that I had done the right thing. In time, I learned it was nothing to do with food, but communicating love, something that I hadn’t realised at the time. That person had needed to know they were loved most of all.   I was grateful that God had given me a prod in the right direction!

An example of knowing when not to speak was, when I was planning to meet up with a friend and I had prayed that I would not say anything that I shouldn’t. Not long into our time together I found myself saying, “I probably shouldn’t say this but …. “, and bless them, they interrupted me with a cheeky grin and said “then don’t say it”! I was so grateful that God had given me a way out. It still required obedience to submit to the help He had given, but if he hadn’t intervened, then left to my own devises, I would have discern through God's wordforgotten.

So keep listening to God’s voice, and as you read scripture and apply it to your life, you will find the Spirit helping you to discern His Voice more and more. Let Him be your guide in all situations, not forgetting to obey His voice once you have heard it!

 

Kathy Larkman

Kathy Larkman

I have been reflecting on our time together last week at Bible Study on Establishing a Pattern of Wisdom in Our Choices. I always find it encouraging and challenging to see that you are taking the Word seriously and willing to talk about those places where applying it is tough. But in doing so, we are doing life together, not in isolation! We can help one another because it is put into the “light.” Thank you Lord!

We concluded that establishing a pattern of wisdom is intentional; it is cooperating with the Holy Spirit. To maintain and grow in this pattern of wisdom is a lifelong journey.  I offered three questions we can ask ourselves everyday in our quiet time to help us to measure where we are in laying a pattern of godly wisdom:

Have I been reading and applying God’s word to my life?

Have I been communicating with God through prayer and scripture?

Have I been putting my heart and mind in places where wisdom gathers and grows?

focus-on-what-really-mattersDoing this has really helped me to stay focused on what really matters. When I have admitted to saying no to one of these three questions, the Lord, in his mercy, gently shows me to look more closely at my priorities and how I spend my time. I can then practice wisdom by learning what needs changing and begin to do it through the power of the Holy Spirit– one choice at a time.

Remember, this is not really meant to be a mental check list, but a heart tool to help us to keep our focus where it should be as we grow slowly wise.

So give me your feedback. Where have you been encouraged and/or challenged with this accountability?

Have a good week!

Kathy xo