Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”
It is said of leaders that leaders are readers. History proves that out. Many of those we would find worthy of following have been well read throughout their life. The Bible bears that out:
Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.”
Proverbs 15:22 “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellers they are established.”
Proverbs 24:6 “For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellers there is safety.”
But having read many great works will not prepare you nor will it be sufficient to supply you with what you and I can have in relationship with our Heavenly Father. Wisdom alone cannot be all that will keep us from ruin.
Look at Solomon. Throughout history, he has been (and always will be – God said so) the wisest man – ever. Yet, in all his wisdom, he still proved his humanity. In his latter years, he began to follow after the gods of his wives instead of the God that gave him the wisdom.
The text in Jeremiah reminded me just how important relationships are; especially as we age. Youth rejoices in the experience and the activity and focuses on self. Somewhere in our twenties, we begin to realize that without anyone to share our life experiences with and someone to validate our existence, we are empty.
Marriage and family become the focus of some, job and career for others. The busyness of life soon consumes time and energy and if we’re not careful, we look up and children are grown, job is routine and life has settled for mediocrity at best. The vision and dreams of youth are too far in the rear view mirror to go back to and the future seems uncertain.
Through Jeremiah, God tells us that to know Him, to understand Him is what delights Him. So, we should take to heart the wisdom that God puts forth that our relationship with Him is paramount to what He would call a successful life.
Many a great leader can point to a time in their life that they had a paradigm shift; a moment that defined their direction, their thinking and their destiny. Most would talk of a step of courage into unknown territory. Others would point to ideas, which at the first, seemed impossible.
But as a child of God, faith is at the forefront of every decision we make.
Romans 14:23 “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
In the church today, we see the focus on such things as ‘speaking a word over someone’. I see it as reminding us who we are in Jesus Christ. But beware – when the focus and the language we use contains more “I” than “HIM”… we’ve already opened the door to satanic attack.
Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
What we do not know about who we are in Christ can hurt us. True – so very true.
But in the same vein, what we do not know about our God can hurt us as well. Those who are saved dare the purchased possession of the Creator of the universe. And do not for a minute minimize the cost that was paid for our souls!
It would do us well to make it a daily ritual of devotion and meditation on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The agony in the garden was just a precursor as to how difficult it was for the Son of God to accept and face the reality of the cross.
A slave purchased on the auction block has no rights whatsoever. They are bought and sold just as their body, life and meager possessions go with them. But we, who are saved are more than just slaves, we are adopted; given a new name, inheritance and now represent the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Where I go, He goes. What I say reflects on Him and His name.
1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
It is in our nature to want to be in control. It comforts us to know the outcome of the future and that we have a part in it. But to relinquish that control to Someone I cannot see and do not know very well puts us in a very tenuous and scary place. Faith is the bridge to take us through any fear, doubt or danger that may lurk about.
God’s promises are complete for us to fully make it through this life. We worry about the comfort and pleasure we might miss along the way but God points us to the value of our relationship with Him for eternity.
Ultimately, we WILL see His face. We WILL be in His presence. We WILL walk with Him, talk with Him and live eternally in Heaven with Him. To prepare for that moment, God has told us that to KNOW Him, to UNDERSTAND Him, to GLORIFY Him in this life will cause Him to delight in us; be pleased with us and by faith, be happy to greet us when we see Him.