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Monday, February 17, 2014

The Wisdom of God

1 Corinthians 3:18-23 (ESV)
18  Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19  For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”  20  and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”  21  So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours,  22  whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours,  23  and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. 

The Truman Show is a movie about a man who has been filmed in an artificial world all of his life. Truman is the focus of a reality tv show which has begun airing his life from birth. The producers built a huge artificial environment complete with a sky, sun, clouds a sea or lake, houses, neighbors cars and businesses. Truman believes it is true because he has never known anything different. All of the people in his world are actors who perpetuate Truman's perception that the world he is living in is real. Even his wife and mother are actors who keep Truman believing the world he sees with his own eyes is a real world. The climax of the movie is when Truman realizes that it has all been a lie and breaks out of his containment.

I am sure that few, if any, of those involved in this movie had any spiritual thoughts as they made it. They probably didn't realize how close to the truth they were. This world presents a reality to all of us that is perpetuated by most of those in this world. They believe what this world has told them to believe. They seek to fit in and fail to question many of the things that happen. They fabricate their own realities to fit within the values of this world.

But Jesus comes into our lives and says that this is not real. The wisdom of this world, this age, is false. The salvation this world hopes to bring is damning rather than saving. The way of living this world values promises to be fulfilling but never is. There is no ultimate meaning for anyone's life in this world. It is just like the "reality" programs on tv. They are no where near reality for they are scripted and performed by very bad actors.

It is dangerous to think we are wise because we are seen as wise by this world. It makes us foolish before God. Instead, we should be seen as foolish before the world and wise before God. The world thinks it is foolish to completely follow Jesus. The world loves to tip their hat to Him but a complete commitment is simply foolishness in their eyes. They see that as fanaticism. Being a fan is enough in the world's eyes.

Let's think in terms of a little wisdom. Which will last longer- our lives in this world or in heaven? Which, then, should we invest in? But the world demands that we conform to what it tells us we must believe. It claims that what makes us feel good, what makes us rich and what makes others bow down to us is the ultimate goal of this life. The wisdom of God says something very different. The wisdom of God says that serving Him may not makes us feel good, may make us very poor and may not have anyone on this earth notice us. God puts value in love and obedience to Him. The world puts its value in love and obedience to it.

The world claims that all that is can be seen now. God says that all that is will someday be gone. God says much more is coming.

I realize that I am often thought of as foolish even among people who call themselves Christians. They don't think I am practical when I say that God will enable us to do anything He has called us to do. I realize they are thinking with the world's wisdom. The world says that everything that is naturally observed is naturally constructed. I know that isn't true. The earth itself was not naturally constructed. Life was not naturally constructed. I recently heard of an atheist scientist who had the courage to say that the theories of evolution simply don't make sense. But people in this world believe what they have been told to believe. It is very hard to admit you are wrong.

The world would say that I am my own. The truth is that I am His. And I can't expect the world to see that as wisdom.


Anthony Chia said...

In your article, "God puts value in love and obedience to Him. The world puts its value in love and obedience to it." Indeed, God and the world are in a clash.

1 John 2:15 (Amplified Bible) - 15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love FOR the Father is not in him.

This narration from Phillips Bible said well - 1 John 2:15-17 - "Never give your hearts to this world or to any of the things in it. A man cannot love the Father and love the world at the same time. For the whole world-system, based as it is on men’s primitive desires, their greedy ambitions and the glamour of all that they think splendid, is not derived from the Father at all, but from the world itself. The world and all its passionate desires will one day disappear. But the man who is following God’s will is part of the permanent and cannot die."

The world itself is under a worldview system perpetuated by deception by Satan, who is in opposition to God, who tries to mislead men from God. Satan is like the piper who mesmerizes the rats (us) to follow him. Just as the piper does NOT tell the rats where they are headed, Satan is NOT transparent; the "over the hill" bit he does NOT reveal - like the valley of Hinnom ( metaphorical of you know what). God on the other hand, gives us a much more complete picture; He reveals the "end of the rainbow" - get to it and it is Heaven.

I am going to complete this comment here by inserting the entire of Gal 5:16-26, replacing only the word, "law" with "sanction".

Gal 5:16-26 (law replaced by sanction) -
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under sanction.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no sanction.

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Satan and his worldview system amplified the flesh, and in its process, suppresses our development of the character of the Spirit in us. Now, choose wisely.

Anthony Chia, high,expressions
PS: Truman show I have not watched. Matrix I have. If you have not, Prentis, maybe you can have a go at it! We are "battery in a bath tub", ha ha!

Prentis McGoldrick said...

Amen, Anthony, Amen. I have watched the Matrix and I actually thought about it recently as it presents the same type of deception. Battery in a bathtub! Yeah, that is the story!