Eat honey, my child, for it is good, and honey from the honeycomb is sweet to your taste. Likewise, know that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, you will have a future, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 24:13-14 NET)
Most of us have a sweet-tooth. I know I sure do. My granddaughter, Ellee, never met a piece of chocolate that she didn’t love. if Ellee had her way every meal would be a three-course meal; chocolate, followed by chocolate, with chocolate for dessert!
At three years of age, (almost) Ellee may not understand why a steady diet of chocolate is not healthy. She doesn’t know about all of the medical problem that could come from too much sugar. But man, does it taste good!
As good as honey, or sweets are to our taste, the writer of Proverbs says that wisdom is just that sweet to our souls. We need wisdom. The spiritual side of our lives should crave it as a child, or adult craves sweets.
But where does wisdom come from? Obviously, knowledge can be gained from life experiences, and that can aid us in making some decisions. That is a form of wisdom. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but there is something better.
Of course, the world is usually quick to tell us what we should do. Hollywood celebrities, Madison Avenue advertising agencies, and Washington politicians all want to tell us what we should believe, how we should act, and what we should spend our money on. It should be pretty easy for any of us to realize that kind of wisdom is almost always based on their own beliefs and biases, as well as their own personal gain. There is something better.
Family members and friends love to tell us what we need to do in a particular situation. They love us, and usually genuinely want the best for us. But, what if their counsel is skewed by their own experiences, their own personal preferences, or just their lack of knowledge in a situation? There is something better.
The wisdom of God is better. The wisdom of God is soul-food!
With Him are wisdom and might; to Him belong counsel and understanding. (Job 12:13)
Daniel said, ‘Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him.’ (Daniel 2:20)
Physically speaking, a steady diet of sweets may not be the best option. But, spiritually speaking, the sweet wisdom of God is something we can never get too much of. All of us, every day, need to make decisions. Some of the daily decisions we make are simple enough that we probably put very little thought into them. What we’re going to wear, what we’re going to eat for dinner, and things like that, are decisions that have to be made, but they may not require that much wisdom.
Of course, other decisions are much more important, and can have a much greater, and longer impact on our lives. They are decisions that require more than personal experience, or worldly counsel. Remember: There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25)
“Okay, so, the wisdom of God is better. Then how do I get the wisdom of God?” Here comes the hard part, and the reason most people make decisions in life based on everything except the wisdom of God.
First: You have to want it. There’s a reason the writer of this proverb compares honey with the wisdom of God. You need to crave it like a late night craving for Chunky Monkey ice-cream. You have to come to the place where you realize how much you want God’s wisdom in your life, and how much you need God’s wisdom in your life. God’s word says: How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. (Proverbs 16:16) Do you want God’s wisdom that bad?
Second: You have to work for it. To use the analogy of gold and silver from Proverbs 16, you have to go mining. You have to dig into the word of God to find not only the nuggets of God’s wisdom for your life, but also to experience what it means to practice being in the presence of God, and learning how to “hear” His discernment and direction. There are no shortcuts. There is no accelerated plan. You have to dig into the word of God. No one is going to make you do that, but if you really want it, no one will have to.
Third: You have to wait for it. Patience is not something we Americans do very well. We live in an age of instant gratification, and it has programmed us to expect what we want to be there when we want it. God does not work on our timeline. He’s not trying to keep His wisdom from us, or to make it hard for us, but God has purposes even in the waiting. Waiting is a big deal to God.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)
Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31)
I’m not exactly sure what took me in this direction for my Pastor’s Perspective for this week. Maybe someone needed to hear this? Maybe some of you have some big decisions to make, and really want to hear from God? I certainly pray it speaks to someone about the value of the wisdom of God, and maybe gives all of us a greater appetite for the wisdom of God. This I have learned from the wisdom of God, there’s nothing better than soul-food.
Dr. J. Clay Stevens is Lead Pastor of Cross Culture Church in Raleigh, NC. He is author of the book I Get It! Discovering How To Really live In The Promises Of God. His life mission statement is: "To take people from where they are to where God wants them to be."