The beginning of wisdom – The fear (reverence) of God is the beginning of wisdom. We’ve all had the experience of doing things our own way, without seeking God, and ending up in some kind of painful dead work that cost us time, money and confidence. Those ship wrecks are so painful that we make a commitment to do what God tells us to do in the future. It’s a healthy foundation, but it’s only the beginning of wisdom. For a season of our spiritual youth we adopt a prophetic language where, as good sons, we just follow the leading of His Spirit and we have lots of verses to support it (also good). The problem starts when God stops providing guidance for every little thing. As we mature He expects us to show initiative and wisdom. We can hear His voice and know His heart for the Kingdom in terms of revelation. Yet, we can also carry a spirit of wisdom in our own hearts, have dreams, be creative and take initiative knowing that we have His heart. We can multiply our talents when He’s not sharing specifics.
Maturity is carrying the balance between wisdom and revelation, and understanding the difference.
Revelation is God’s part – We wait for His prophetic input, miracles. Those “ahaa” moments when we hear His voice and can capture it. Breakthroughs in understanding or miraculous manifestations – healing, deliverance, etc. God takes a step and we respond.
Wisdom (or a spirit of wisdom) is our part – It’s still from God (not human wisdom), but we carry it and are free to act on it at our initiative. The result is creativity, coming up with new ideas, craftsmanship, etc. We take a step and God responds.
Revelation is what God gives us out of His heart. Wisdom is what we offer back to him out of our heart. The principal is the subject of John 15:
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. Jn 15:7-8 NIV
When we abide in Him and spend time with Him, we connect with the Father’s heart. His living words abide in us… We know what He’s doing and we can cooperate with it. That’s where wisdom begins! The next step is connecting with our own heart and asking for “whatever” that is. That “whatever” is something that is treasured in both my heart and my Father’s heart. Our Father is happy to give those things to His kids/kings, and He receives it as worship when we bear fruit. Multiplying His favor in blessing others and prospering ourselves lets our light shine to make it evident we are His disciples whose cups are continually running over. It’s fun and it flows out of our own hearts. That’s wisdom in its maturity. The Kingdom is very natural and very fun.
Let’s contrast what this looks like when wisdom is in balance and when it’s not.
Revelation without wisdom – Being so prophetic that we can’t really be comfortable unless God tells us what to do is the nature of a servant. If something goes wrong, we naturally assume that we missed God and somehow failed to hear His voice. That level of condemnation steals our initiative and it hides our hearts from the freedom of expression that is inherent to wisdom. Life is full of setbacks, problems and unpredictable challenges, even for spiritual people. God “can” lead us into battles – Kingdom is not just about us. Pleasant circumstances are not necessarily the measure of success in the Kingdom. It is both a party to be celebrated and warfare to be fought and won. Neither success or failure define us, or our concept of who God is. We shape our identity and our future by wise responses in trying situations. We really are more than conquerors. Our theology has to work on the mountaintops and when we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
Our God is not just the Master of servants and the Father of sons, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Personal initiative, in a spirit of wisdom, is the freedom that allows His words to bear fruit in our lives. It sets our hearts free to be creative.
Revelation with wisdom – Relationship is a conversation; it’s the communion of communicating and co-laboring in a mountain that results in worship. One of the characteristics of wisdom is asking for what we want. That requires a commitment of passion and involvement from our own hearts. We are not just servant-sons asking/repeating what the Father wants. To be Kingdom, it has to be what we want. We have to connect with what God wrote in our own hearts. We have to become ourselves… anything else is just religion. The written word of God is a doorway to the living word of God (Jesus). We don’t fully know something until we do it… experience it. That’s the language of our hearts.
Initiative – There is a realm in which we initiate the breakthrough or the miraculous. Wisdom asks, and the result is fruit. We’re carrying the wisdom to do “greater works.” The whole concept of “in Jesus name” is that we are His ambassadors, sent ones (apostolic) to exercise the expression of Christ in us, the hope of glory. Yes, wisdom is from God, but we carry it all the time and it’s released at our initiative. I’m always amazed at the level of initiative in ministries and entrepreneurs. They have the boldness to try astounding things and God works with them. It’s supposed to work that way. It’s maturity.
Creativity – Releasing our heart to ask for its desires releases creativity. It is a partnership of co-laboring and abiding, but most people interpret that model as needing to wait for God to act. People willing to ask whatever, bear fruit at this level as political leaders, artists, inventors, entrepreneurs… are always trying their ideas or approach to see if they work; expecting them to work, but free to tweak them if they don’t. They are not in a waiting posture – they are always thinking creatively about new approaches and new ideas. They are continually expressing their spirit of wisdom and coming up with stuff that blesses the heart of God. Their efforts are never failures, they are iterations leading to the perfect painting. Creating things that are brand new… never heard of before in Heaven, not just handed down from a storehouse.
Getting started – Our hearts have to make a decision to, 1) bury our talent and stay safely in the obedience boat, or 2) release our hearts to dream, create and risk an occasional failure (iteration). It starts with abiding in Him and having a release to pursue our heart’s desire. Then it comes down to taking the first step, assessing the results and taking a second, a third… until you reach your goal. It’s wise to do something with the gifts and talents God has given you. But the real motive is that it’s fun. There is no other way to live in the Kingdom. We release the hearts of others by the freedom we have in our own hearts. Evangelism of the heart is an invitation to a party.
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: Ps 37:4-5 NIV
Lord, I’m offering up my initiative to you as an act of worship to fulfill the role you’ve given me in building your Kingdom. I’m making the wisest choice I can and I’m committing my plan and my goals to you… you dwell in my heart and your power works in my hands.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Eph 3:20-21 NIV