Insight Part III
“Making wise decisions”
Synopsis of Bible Study 10/14/09
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Wisdom is important to all of us because, when we look at the book of Proverbs, we see that Wisdom is really about focus. It is about staying on the right path. So many of us have struggles with focus, particularly those who have ADHD. We get distracted rather easily. Still it is important for us to understand the power of focus. That is what the book of proverbs is really about. It is about staying on the straight path. Wisdom is really broke down in Proverbs and throughout this series we have been sharing some themes that kind of help support this subject.
The book of Proverbs tells us how to avoid sexual (Chapters 5 – 7), it teaches us how to retain integrity, it tells us how to control our tongue, and it teaches us how to get along with difficult people and how to stay healthy and live long. Proverbs is broke down in these various sections, but we must understand this about focus. In Hebrews 12, the writer says lay aside every weight that so easily besets us and look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. Our relationship with God is really about retaining our focus. We are going to talk about wisdom starting in Proverbs 8 today.
I. Wisdom calls us.
1. There is a call to wisdom. When you look at how wisdom is personified in chapters 8 & 9, we know the writer wants us to see wisdom as more than a system of information and principles. The writer wants us to see Wisdom as a living being. That’s why the proper noun “She “is used. She, meaning wisdom, can work with you or She can work against you.
2. Wisdom was with God when God created the world. Wisdom stood by God. Wisdom is a person who is able to rebuke foolishness, but at the same time can praise wisdom. She can praise people that do good things. She has a variety of emotions and so when you see the personification that is used in the scriptures; it is going to make sense as we go forward.
3. The writer says in verse 1 is that wisdom cries for attention. If you look carefully in verse 1, wisdom is saying is anyone going to pay attention to me? Proverbs 8:1: 1Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? Wisdom says, “Don’t’ crash your life! Here I am, just pay attention to me!” Wisdom is out there crying out. You must understand that Solomon was being lured away from the school of wisdom, because the opposite of wisdom is folly. The truth is many of us make foolish decision without making wise decisions, because we will listen to foolishness quicker than we will listen to wisdom. This means we have a competition going on between foolishness and wisdom. Foolishness is calling us. Foolishness wants us to do something and at the same time wisdom is speaking to us. As a result, we find ourselves caught between the two.
II. When did wisdom talk to us?
1. Wisdom was speaking through your parents. No matter how many issues your parents had, much of what they were saying was true. God gives us strategic relationships through our parents, grandmothers, grandfathers, and guardians to impart wisdom into us. Proverbs 1:8-9: 8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 9For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.-The things our parents tell us, is like a chain around our neck. We can hear their voice when we try to do something wrong. There has to be a level of respect that we have of our parents. Although many of you may say that you didn’t have a great relationship with your parents, you have do as you do when you are eating catfish. Chew the meat and spit out the bones. Proverbs 13:1: 1A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.-Parents teach us stuff. Ex—Bishop tells a story of a guy he knew named Willy when he was growing up. His Mom used to tell him not to hang out with Willy. Bishop resented it and said that he did not like the fact that his mother was trying to pick his friends. One day Bishop decided to hang out with Willy anyway. When he returned home, he got in trouble for it, but he still resented it. Years later he was in town and the old man walked up to him calling his name. This old man turned out to be Willy. He had lived such a hard life, Bishop did not recognize him. He thought he was just some old man. The point is Bishop’s mother knew best and probably saved him from getting caught up into whatever Willy got caught in that caused him to look so old.
2. Wisdom speaks through our Pastors. God gives us wisdom through spiritual leadership. Jeremiah 3:15: 15And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.- God will give you Pastors. You got to see the Pastor as a conduit though which wisdom and knowledge flows from God. God sends the word through the man of God for a specific reason. It is to bring wisdom in your life. In Hebrews 13:17: 17Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.-It doesn’t mean obey your Pastor because they are better than you. It simply means we must recognize that God has anointed them to be an authority in your life. When you submit, you stand under something. Whatever you stand under is what you understand. If you stand under foolishness, then foolishness is what you understand. If you stand under wisdom, wisdom is what you will understand. When a Pastor is saying something to you, you have to respect it as being something that came from God. Ex-Like when you go to the doctor and he tells you that if you are going to live, you are going to have to do this or eat that. You in turn will say you will quit doing whatever it is that you were doing wrong, because you respect the authority and the wisdom in which the Doctor gave you the direction. When you are in court, you sit there and not say anything, as bad as you might want to say something, because you respect the wisdom of the one representing you. In like manner, when God gives a word to your Pastor, you have to learn how to submit to that word. It is not about obeying the person; it is about obeying that word. 2 Chronicles 20:20: 20And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. -Jehoshaphat says if the people would listen to your prophets, they would prosper. He says they would have victory in everything that they did. You can have success in your marriage, your family, and your career simply by listening and obeying your Prophet.
3. Wisdom speaks out from our Paraclete, which is a Greek word for the Holy Spirit alongside us. There is this awesome reservoir of power within you. John 16:13: 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. -The bible says he will guide you too all truth. The Holy Spirit is right there inside you crying out wisdom to you. When you get ready to make a decision and something says don’t go that way, it is the Holy Spirit. Wisdom is actually calling you. How many of you can look back over your life and realize that you have made many mistakes. It wasn’t because you didn’t hear your parents. It wasn’t because your parents wasn’t talking, or Pastors wasn’t giving your word, or because the Paraclete wasn’t speaking. It was just that you weren’t listening. You deicide you would never make that mistake again, because you realize what it cost you. It is important to understand that wisdom has a strategic position. Looking at verses 2 and 3, we see the strategic positioning of wisdom. Proverbs 8:2-3: 2She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. 3She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. – She (wisdom) is saying, listen ya’ll, I am calling you.
4. Wisdom is :
a. Protection at the next level.
b. Wisdom is protection against losing it all.
c. Wisdom is provision for your life.
5. Wisdom is standing on top of the high places (Proverbs 8: 1-2). Wisdom says you are getting ready to go the next level, but it is telling you that you need to understand that the foolishness from down the lower level will not work on the next level. Wisdom says “She” needs to prepare you for where you are getting ready to go (the next level), because if “She” doesn’t, you will think you can transfer that foolishness to the next level and as a result, you will not be at the high place very long. Every level God takes you, will require you having another set of principles and skills that will guide you and keep you at that level. If not, you won’t stay long. Wisdom says she is not going to let us loose it all. Wisdom says she knows people who were incredibly successful, but when they got up on the next level, they made foolish decisions, because they didn’t hear wisdom when they were on the mountain. When they didn’t have anything, they were in church. They gave to the kingdom. They said to the Lord, “When you bless me, I will still be faithful.” When they got to next level, they stopped coming to church or hearing the word. Then they start listening to foolishness and surrounded themselves with foolish people. As a result, their blessings were short lived.
6. Proverbs 8:2 says wisdom is standing by the way of the path. He is not going to block the path, he is just going to stand by the path and tell you that if you are going this way, you need to know what to look out for. She is not going to block you, because you have free will, but wisdom is trying to tell you that you need to know what is down that way if you choose to go that way. She is not going to block the gate, because gates represent access. You prayed for God to open up a door, but wisdom says she is standing by the doors saying I know you want to go through this door, but you need to know what kind of folk you are going to deal with and what kind of prayer life you got to have if you go through this door. Don’t run wisdom over trying to get through the door! You need to take the wisdom in with you. The problem is we get so excited about the door; we run right past wisdom and wonder what is happening to our blessing. It is because you did not hear wisdom or take wisdom with you. Wisdom says if you trust her, she will take care of you. Gods got you.
7. The writer says in verse 4 and 5 that he is writing this, so that we know who we are. Proverbs 8:4-5: 4Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. 5O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Wisdom is not going to let you slip. Sometimes she will tell you just to hold up! God wants you t chill out and know that he will feed you and keep your lights on and all you have to do is trust him. He will take care of you, until he releases you. We get so anxious, we get ahead of God. You have to learn to hear wisdom. Some know as soon as you walked in the door, wisdom is speaking to you.
8. There are so many folk in our head, we can’t hear what wisdom is saying. Proverbs 14:6-7: 6A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth. 7Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. -It is easy to people that understand it.
9. We have to learn to stay away from all bad influences in your life. Proverbs 24:1-2: 1Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. 2For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
10. The moment you find yourself in the presence of a foolish person, wisdom says, you ought to sense it and get away. Proverbs 14:7: 7Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. Ex-Bishop explains that he has been trying to eat right. Vegetable and water and no bread. Royce, on e of his musicians has been trying to also. After church, they were going to feed Bishop and Royce after a service they attended at Marvin Sapp’s church. It was around 10 or 11 at night. This Mother came out with peach cobbler and Bishop sad that Royce back slid. Bishop figured if Royce was going to back slide, he would jump in and backslide to. He too ate the peach cobbler. When you have been eating healthy for a long time and you put something like that in your body, it bothers your stomach a little later. Likewise, when you have been sitting under a good word and getting wisdom, when you try to back slide with foolish people, you start not to feel right. You will wonder where you were in your life that made you hang out with these people. When you were not getting wisdom, you won’t even realize that you are around foolishness.
III. You got to be student of wisdom.
1. In verse 5 of Proverbs 8, it says we have to understand wisdom. . 5O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Don’t try to intellectualize your sin. All you are doing is trying to take wisdom out of the word and intellectualize your sin.
2. Get those thoughts out of your head. Isaiah 55:6-8: 6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. – God doesn’t think the way we do.. Proverbs 3:5-6: 5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. -lean not to your own understanding, we have to have a God like understanding.
3. Paul was a great Philosopher and Theologian. He spoke 13 languages and Philippians 3:10, he says out of all he gained, he still wanted to know God more. Philippians 3:10-11: 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! In verse 11, Paul says he wanted to get this thing. Paul was not perfect, but he was trying to comprehend it. Christ had him, but Paul didn’t feel like he had Christ, because he did not fully comprehend him. Paul wanted to know everything about him.
4. Paul went on to say, in verse 12 he counted himself not fully apprehended. What is behind Paul is his Saul experience where killing Christians. He put that behind him reaching towards those things before, which is wisdom. He is after a greater understanding of who God is in his life. Philippians 3:12: 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.
5. What is the value of wisdom? Wisdom is like God is Holy, Righteous and true. Wisdom represents itself in Proverbs 8:6.-7- Proverbs 8:6-7: 6Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. 7For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
6. Wisdom is saying it wants you to understand how to have the right word.
7. When wisdom speaks it is:
a. The right word. -Might not feel like it, but it is right. Psalm 119:9: 9Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.-With our whole heart, we ought to want to stay focused.
b. It rebukes wisdom- Proverbs 9:8: 8Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee -If you go to a person that don’t have wisdom, they might let you have it! When you go to a person with wisdom, they will bless you. If they have wisdom, they will love you. A person with wisdom can stand correction. Ex-Bishop grew up where every child could be rebuked by an adult. They didn’t have to give us toys to keep us focused. He explains that if he was caught clowning, any adult could tell him to sit down. When it was time to go, his Mom would thank that person that told him sent down, and then he would still get in trouble when he got home. Now you say something to a child and the parents will jump all over you right in front of the kids. This makes the kids think they can do anything they want to when they go to school and they therefore disrespect the teachers and other adults.
8. You can beat a fool all day and nothing will change. You can simply talk to a wise man and they will take it to heart. Proverbs 17:10: 10A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
9. Open rebuke is better than secret love. Proverbs 27:5-6: 5Open rebuke is better than secret love. 6Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Some people will tell you that they loved you too much to tell you that you looked like a fool. A friend can say something to you, and you might fall out, but at the end of the day, you are still friends. Remember the last person that kissed Jesus, sold him out.
10. You got to receive it willingly. You got to be able to receive truth and wisdom. Revelation 3:22: 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
11. You got to get to a place where you can receive wisdom. Hebrews 4:7: 7 So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”[a]- You got to know when it is the right time to speak into someone’s life. You got to be able to receive truth too. We are almost done with the reaching up and grabbing the blessing out of the sky phase. Everyone only receives what they think is going to be a blessing out of the word. Why don’t we receive the part that says we are broke because we don’t tithe? Can you receive you receive truth even when it don’t sound good to you? Can you receive truth? You shall know truth by testing it with the word. You don’t’ ever want to be somewhere where the word feels good all time. You need the kind of word that can convict you too.
12. Wisdom has priceless instructions. Proverbs 8:10: 10Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. -Wisdom is better than rubies or gold. You are supposed to be blessed, but it is not about prosperity. It is about focus and priorities. God wants you to have whole person prosperity. It is dangerous to put resources in the hands of a person void of wisdom. It is dangerous to put money in the hands of fools.
IV. What happens when the unwise gets resources
1. They don’t invest into ministry.
2. They are individually minded. They only think about themselves. Before they got the blessing they were with serving God, but now you can’t get them to bless God’s kingdom.
3. Their iniquity leaves them in a mess. How many people do you know that end up in the pigpen after wealth. It is because they don’t have wisdom. 75% of the people that win the lottery end up broke in the first year. Why is this? It is because they didn’t seek the kingdom first. Ex-Bishop explains jokingly that somebody from the kingdom has got to win the lottery. He said it would be interesting to see how someone with wisdom would handle a large sum of money. You give a fool $300 tonight, and tomorrow it is gone. If you give a wise person $300, by the end of the year it might be $700. Give a fool $5000 and they might buy rims. Give a wise person that has Wisdom $5000, they will invest it.
Wisdom is the way to life or death. Proverbs 8:33-36: 33Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.34Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. 36But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.-All them that hate God, love death. This is running way from wisdom and running to death.
Wisdom is a way to guaranteed blessing. Proverbs 8:32-35:32Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. 33Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.34Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.-We want favor, but God doesn’t give favor to fools. He gives it to people that have wisdom. Luke 2:52: 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.-Luke was a physician and gave a lot of description. He says Jesus increased in wisdom, statue, and men. When Jesus recruited 12 men, he said he who is greater among you must first have a heart to serve. Everything he taught was a lesson. He said he had to go, but the Holy Ghost would come to remind them of everything that he had said. Now these disciples had graduated and become apostles. They heard Jesus say things and saw Jesus’ ministry as a model. Because they saw the model of Jesus’ Ministry and heard his wisdom, they found themselves praising God. Acts 2:47: 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. – The Lord added to the church as such should be saved. When you use wisdom to give God the glory, you gain favor, and afterwards come increase. God says when you obtain wisdom, he will multiply and increase you because he will know then you know what to do with the blessing that he will give to you.
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