Be Still Know
Proverbs 1:7b NLT
‘Fools despise wisdom and discipline.’
Have you ever been fooled, taken advantage of or duped? I have; it has left me feeling self-conscious and stupid. At times it’s just a bit of fun. As a young man working at a builder’s merchant for some holiday cash, I was sent to the stores for a long weight. And there I waited before the penny dropped. I returned to the amusement of the shop floor. At other times it hurts when in all integrity I offered to help a friend, to discover that the friendship was no more than a means to recruit me to serve their interest. I felt not just self-conscious, but angry and resentful. This is the fool, and we are all at risk.
For many years, like a fool, I combined my love and service of God with a commitment to advancing myself. In reality it was hard to separate my own desires from those I presented as God’s. I was greatly helped with well worn ‘spiritual’ language, such as calling, anointing and the recognition of other ‘leaders’. However, I had little knowledge as to how I might use the assumed authority such language and connection gave me. Pride and selfishness quickly forced their way in. I lost sight of God and I lost sight of myself.
No surprise, then, that when pressure was added to my life, rather than having the capacity to wait with God and discern an appropriate response, I defaulted to living out of the limited deposit of faith within. I was indeed a fool, for I had courted a seemingly spiritual life for 17 years without building up an effective reservoir of faithfulness. My line of sight had been directed to my own performance rather than to discerning the truth and instruction of God. I was doubly disabled, unable to discern God’s will or follow his instruction. Just as in life I had relied upon my own wits in acting in the moment. I was in serious trouble.
Yet, even as I experienced faith draining away, with anger, disappointment and cynicism growing, I began to learn how to find God’s presence and what is meant by the knowledge of God. It’s never too late. But I discovered there’s much unlearning before any fresh learning.
QUESTION: How do you go about getting to know God better?
PRAYER: Lord, teach me the wisdom of seeking first your ways and your kingdom.