This month, we are discussing ways to move our prayer life from ordinary to extraordinary. Last week we talked about having a plan for reading God’s word. This week, we’ll talk about wisdom: taking the spiritual truths we have learned in scripture, and applying them to our life.
I will admit to you right here and now, this is very hard for me. I read scripture, I understand it, yet I have trouble applying it in my life. Now, I can absolutely tell YOU how to apply it! But that isn’t the object of my personal prayer time, is it?
For instance, I could quote the scriptures that say to “bear with” one another in love:
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)
But when it came time to bearing with those who irritated me or were a tad bit different than me? Well, there wasn’t a lot of love or patience flowing. Until Jesus showed me His way. And it brought me to my knees:
One Sunday, a youngish (late 20’s) woman visited our church. She was dressed a bit less conservative than most of us. While chatting, she openly admitted she was husband hunting. Goodness! As she walked away, bleached blond hair and tight fitting skirt swaying, tongues began to wag. And I was right there with them. We snickered at her clothing (or lack of), and at the obvious way she eyed each man walking by.
Not long after that, the Lord hit me between the eyes with such truth, it staggered me. What we should have done – no, what I should have done – was put my arms around that young woman, and tell her how proud I was of her. I should have told her how smart she was to look in the body of Christ for a Godly man to marry, instead of bar hopping or meeting strangers online. I should have encouraged her to visit us again, in hopes that she would meet her real Bridegroom. THAT would have been wisdom.
Sadly, I didn’t, and I never saw her again.
What do we do, then? How do we acquire wisdom? How do we get to the point in our lives that we automatically and with a pure heart, apply the truths from God’s word? If I had the answer to that, I could sell it and become a millionaire. But there are a couple of things that can move us in the right direction.
First, ask God for wisdom.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
Then, pay attention to the scriptures you are reading. Ask yourself: Is there a command here that I need to obey? Is there a sin to avoid? Is there a lesson to learn? Is there new truth I’ve learned? If so, resolve to carry it with you and live it out in your daily life and activity. By doing this consistently, it will become a part of your life, a part of who you are in Christ.
Last week, we looked at Mark 10:36 and the question Jesus asked: What do you want Me to do for you?
Wisdom is taking that question and turning it around:
Jesus, what do You want me to do for You?
Now…listen for His answer…and do it!
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Grace be with you,