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Wisdom is not Enough

In my last post, we saw that in the message of the cross of Christ we find the power to live for God.  When we try to do things in our own power, we end up short-circuiting God’s plan for us.  Look at how Paul describes it.

For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise man?  Where is the scholar?  Where is the philosopher of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1 Corinthians 1:19-20

Scripture makes it clear that we have to leave man’s wisdom out of the equation.  I hate to say it, but many of our church methods in this generation are man-made.  I think that’s why we see a church with a split personality.

On one hand, many churches are growing and have deep, meaningful worship times.  Preaching is as powerful as it’s ever been.  Yet in spite of all this, God’s people seem to be having almost no impact on the society around us.

That’s because the power that results in change is resident in the message of the cross.  Without that Word, everything remains at the comfort level of the world.

The above passage mentions three kinds of people.  There’s the wise man.  That’s the person who is well versed in human wisdom.

Then there’s the scholar.  The literal word that Paul used for this is a scribe.  They were the professional writers of that day.

Finally, he talks about the philosopher.  The Greek word for this means a debater.  These were people who merely discussed things for a living.

Together, this is a lethal combination for the church.  When those who follow the current thinking and trends of society, professional writers, and debaters come together to give direction to the church, then we’re headed for trouble.

Please understand – none of these things are evil in and of themselves.  But when we ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit and totally rely on our wisdom, the kingdom of God will not advance.

In the above passage, Paul quoted a verse from Isaiah the prophet.  I think it’s important to note the verse just before the one he gave us.

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”
Isaiah 29:13

I can look at society and see the trends and wisdom of corporate America.  Then, I can logically come up with a plan to reach the lost, based upon this information.  But without the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I simply have “rules taught by men.”

It’s time that the church moves away from the world’s methods.  Yes, we need to know what’s happening in society.  We need to understand the trends and changes around us.  (After all, I am working at an online ministry!)

However, without quality time spent in the presence of God – it will have no impact.  We need a Word from God – that’s where change takes place.  Allow the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide you in your ministry.

Question: What are some differences between God’s wisdom and the world’s?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

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