True Wisdom

René Malgo

Someone once kindly pointed out to us that our articles don’t contain any subject matter that requires constant dictionary use to understand. The objection is understandable; we try to offer different types of articles for different types of readers. Some seem more challenging than others, depending on the topics they cover. I’d now like to ask a provocative but relevant question: Are readers who understand articles on complex questions more spiritually advanced than others? In other words, have believers failed to make enough spiritual progress if they can’t understand some of the articles?

No. Absolutely not!

I’d like to start by pointing out that, according to the Bible, spiritual growth, wisdom, and knowledge are not related to our intellectual abilities. Wisdom is a person: Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen One, “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3); who says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).

Knowledge and wisdom, therefore, have nothing to do with our minds and abilities, but with our devotion to Christ. The distinguishing mark of spiritual growth isn’t whether you understand every article in Midnight Call and approve of it, but the form that Christ has already taken in your life (Col 1:28; Gal 4:19).

The reality in the church and the first Beatitude regarding the poor in spirit (Matt 5:3) also confirm this. Too often, the supposedly simple minds, the uneducated, and the childlike believers turn out to be so much wiser and steadier in their Lord than some of the highly educated theologians, academics, and preachers, who want to teach these simple minds, but disdain the path of unquestioning discipleship for themselves.

We believers don’t have to be as sharp as Albert Einstein, but as spiritually wise as Caleb (Num 13:30; 14:24). And this wisdom manifests itself in the lived fear of God, and love. But it’s no walk in the park. The path is narrow that leads to life (Matt 7:14). It is striving, a fight, a struggle, as the apostle Paul testifies (Col 1:29; 1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 2:5). In order to be wise in the sight of God, we are by no means compelled to become bookworms and intellectuals, but we are called to consider everything on earth as loss in order to gain Christ (Phil 3:7-15). That is true wisdom!

In light of this, I’ll conclude with a thought: God appears to be hidden and far away in the everyday lives of some believers, in spite of all their knowledge. There can be various reasons for this. Often, the Lord is working in a mysterious and inexplicable way, ministering to and healing us. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Is 55:8). But the spiritual drought that we may be experiencing can also be due to the fact that we haven’t yet fully examined our following of the Lord Jesus and begun to seek true wisdom. Perhaps we’ve forgotten what the Word of God really calls us to do: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Maybe a reorientation toward Jesus Himself is necessary.

Therefore, let us set our “affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:2). Let us “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14). We want to confess with Paul, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21); and exclaim, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Phil 3:10-11). We want to testify with John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

This is true wisdom and eternal life: that I die more and more and no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Gal 2:20). Maranatha—our Lord, come!

Midnight Call - 07/2019

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