Who wants to be foolish? I don’t. I suspect you don’t either. Recently I was reading in the Psalms and came across some encouraging and challenging words I wanted to share with you. This is a prayer of David that we can all learn from.
Teach me how to live, O Lord.
Lead me along the right path,
for my enemies are waiting for me. – Ps. 27:11
Three Observations to Help Us Walk in Wisdom
(1) We must invite God to teach us how to live. This makes the obvious and sometimes uncomfortable assumption that we need to learn–we don’t know everything. Ouch.
Recently our dishwasher started leaking. That’s a problem because if something breaks around the house, I’m not the guy you want fixing it! But in this case I was the best (and only) solution and our budget agreed. So I recognized very quickly that I needed to learn something about how dishwashers worked. Thankfully dishwasher experts left a trail of YouTube videos for me to follow and my ignorance on this particular problem evaporated. You will be happy to know that we are no longer hand washing all the dishes!
(2) We need a reliable guide. This observation is equally humbling. We don’t always know where we are going. In fact, truth be told, we often don’t know where we are going. We’re too stubborn to ask for directions when we know (and everyone else around us knows) that we’re truly lost. We think we are on the right path because it feels good to us. But this approach can be very dangerous. As the book of Proverbs reminds us:
“There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death” (14:12)
Ps. 27:11 clearly teaches that there is a “right” path and by definition this also means there is a wrong path. Whether we happen to believe it or not, there are paths that are spiritual dead ends, morally and relationally toxic, physically harmful, and intellectually dangerous.
Because God loves us he doesn’t want us to take those paths. We need someone who has been there and knows the paths and can coach us in navigating harmful and helpful paths. “When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful” (Prov. 29:18). We need someone who can give us knowledge of how to truly live.
(3) We have real enemies that are trying to harm us. It is easy to forget this truth. Sometimes we are too busy to notice or we are naive when it comes to knowing our own hearts. But there are enemies we need to be aware of waiting to attack from within and from without. God’s Word is clear on this:
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
What we watch, listen to, think about. How we spend our time. Who we spend our time with. Who we invite to teach us. What we say yes and no to–all are leading us toward life or death. And we need to remember that we have an enemy that is actively trying to destroy us. We don’t need to walk in fear, but we do need to be alert so that we don’t blindly step into traps.
One of the first steps to walking in wisdom is to take the truths contained in David’s prayer recorded in Psalm 27:11 seriously. Pray them and apply them. We need to invite God to teach and guide us while we are on the look out for the enemies that seek to destroy us.
Wisdom for Students (Read)
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