What does it mean to really have wisdom?
Why is wisdom so important?
Well, in Genesis, it was lack of wisdom on Eve and Adam’s behalf that caused the first moment of sin – creating a distance and separation from God. So I would say it’s pretty important!
In starting the series ‘I Can See Clearly Now’, it was great to consider what it means to SEE as God sees. That true wisdom is found as we relinquish control to God and allow him to create new life in us.
As Solomon, the great Proverb writer puts it in Proverbs 26:12: “Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.”
So, we’ve learnt how what we SEE is important. That how we can either choose to see what is wise in our own eyes or choose to submit what we see and know to God because God “sees what is good” (Genesis 1).
Let’s now take a look at what happens when Jesus sees and notices people and how he calls his disciples to submit what they see to him.
34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
First thing Jesus ‘sees’ when he sees the crowd is compassion. He notices them, he cares for them and he has a heart for them.
The disciples have a great idea, but ultimately came up with what they thought was best. They didn’t consult Jesus, didn’t consider what he could do, but simply wanted to act. In the process they were actually pushing the people away and dismissing them like they were someone else’s problem.
Jesus steps in and says to the disciples; “you give them something to eat…” or in other words; YOU deal with their problem.
We can see the problem of the people and can easily dismiss them, let them sort out their own issue, let them figure out what they need to do. Though Jesus wants to transform how we see people, how we see the vulnerable, how we see their ‘problem’ and take action. In this story Jesus shows us by example in that he took the little they had and transformed it into something that was for thousands!
This is what happens when we submit our thoughts, feelings and desires to the leading and guidance of God. He transforms them into new creation and new life.
Firstly, I believe God wants us to stop. To take notice. To consider how we see the world around us. Are you in such a hurry in life that you find it hard to stop and notice the vulnerable people who need your compassion? Make a decision to stop and notice.
Secondly, he calls us to look up to heaven, to keep trusting God in how we can help others. Keep placing what you have and who you are in God’s hands, believing he’s going to create new life in the circumstances of your life or the lives of others around you. Wait on him for instruction on what to do next. Clarity could come quickly, in a moment of prayer, or over a longer period of time. We can never know God’s timing on these matters, but the main emphasis here is that we give God the opportunity to speak to us before we choose to control the situation or act in our own wisdom.
It’s important to note though that if we are ever in doubt about what we feel we have heard, especially with major life decisions, we should seek (like the disciples) wise counsel for sound, Biblical advice.
Lastly, let’s respond in obedience. Once we’ve clearly heard God’s wisdom and instruction, let’s actually step out in obedience and follow him. Trusting in His guidance and faithfulness to come through in our circumstances.