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Walking in Wisdom (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2022 3:00 am

Walking in Wisdom (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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January 27, 2022 3:00 am

We face millions of decisions over the course of a lifetime, some big, some small—and how we make them matters. Find out how to avoid making foolish choices. Join us as we learn how to walk in wisdom on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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How we make decisions says a lot about us today on Truth for Life more and how to avoid making bad choices hears Alastair back with part one of a message titled walking in wisdom. And I invite you to turn with me to the New Testament and to Ephesians chapter 5 will read just three verses 1516 and 17 as we continue our study in the book of Ephesians Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 15 look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is father is returned to the Bible we pray for the help of the Holy Spirit to illumine to as the printed page 2 Quicken. My understanding as I speak to enable us as we all listen and bow underneath the truth of your word.

The voice of Jesus Christ.

Maybe Herod today and in his name we ask it. Amen there is a part in Pilgrim's progress which readers of Pilgrim's progress will immediately recognize and perhaps if you've never read it. This will be an occasion for you to decide you would like to, but there is a point along the journey where Christian and hopeful are talking with one another and Christian becomes aware of the fact that the path is just too rough for his liking and his feet are beginning to become sore and as a result of this he has become somewhat discouraged and he begins to think that perhaps there may be a smoother path on which the might be able to walk and soon enough, and they find a pleasant little field and it's called bypass Meadow and Associates Christians are hopeful let us step aside into it and walk there perhaps will find that the smooth path which follows. To the right of the more difficult one will actually be to our benefit to which hopeful replies. But what if this platitude leaders out of the way. Hopeful last well that is not likely said Christian while little did he know because as they begin to make their way along this smoother path you see somebody up ahead of them and they call up to this individual who is vain confidence. Mr. vain confidence where you going. The asking always says I'm going to the celestial city and are thereupon ER loses his way falls into a deep pit and is never heard from again. Meanwhile the weather deteriorates. They are overwhelmed in their journey and they lie down to sleep, only to awaken and discover that they have fallen asleep on the property owned by giant despair and giant despair then takes them into custody in his castle which is called doubting Castle and as a result of that Christian and hopeful found themselves in a dark, nasty, stinking dungeon quote far from friends and in a hopeless and pitiable condition and Christian observes. Who would've thought that this path so pleasant. Would leaders astray. Now I begin there because it is an apt illustration of the necessary warning and guidance that is sounded out, particularly in the 15th verse of Ephesians chapter 5. Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, well Christian and hopeful maiden unwise move and as a result of that, they find themselves in themselves in difficulty of Paul has been writing to this Ephesian believers and encouraging them in light of who they are in Christ. In light of that to make sure that as he began at the beginning of chapter 4, to walk in a manner that is in keeping with his worthy of their calling as the followers of the Lord Jesus. He's been telling them that it is importantly, understand that they are markedly different from the surrounding culture.

In fact, there are a lot different from what they once were. Previously they were dark. He says now they are light in the Lord and he's been encouraging them.

First of all, to walk in love and then to walk in light and now he's telling them that if they're going to do that. It is imperative that they walk wisely and you see that sick 15 follows directly from verse 14. In this respect. The third word in.

If you're using DNAs in the years to be is the word then Luke carefully, then how you walk in the woods. In light of all that I've been saying you've you're going to conduct yourselves in a way that I have encouraged you. He says that it is very very important that you conduct yourselves like sensible people and not like simpletons that support the new English Bible so sensible but not like simpletons. Paul, as we've seen throughout is not suggesting that they try and become something they are not, but rather he is increasingly encouraging them to become the people they are. You are no longer what you once where and therefore you must no longer live as you once lived because you are now new and your new lifestyle will testify to your new life. It will bear evidence of soak in the verses are followed straightforwardly. I don't think there's any reason to create an elaborate outline. Let's just look at what the text says. First of all, look carefully then how you walk. Look carefully how you walk the way in which a person walks reveals a tremendous amount about us as somebody slouches along walks are very erect is possible that they were in the forces my father although he was small always stood very straight up used to say to me, why do you stand up straight, and so on and on.

And so you can often tell that the person in the distance as a friend simply because of the way in which he or she walks and those of you who are walkers and some of you will be know that there are some wonderful walks all around Ohio. There are wonderful walks all across the nation and if you made it to Great Britain and you are Hill Walker, then you will at least have Herod all. If you have not actually been in the lake district to walk up hell Valin and to walk on what is known as striding and straight edge is a narrow edges you might expect other recordings or gullies on either side of it and it is imperative that the walkers will look carefully when they walk.

Because the danger abounds.

The fact is that there are number of people who do not look carefully when they walk. Many of them fall to be injured, and an increasing number if you just check online actually fall to their deaths. So the instruction that is given in the physical realm which then translate into. This translates to the spiritual realm needs to be paid attention to. That is why Paul writes as he got the verb is Luke. The adverb is carefully so look where you're going. And be careful about it. In other words, be careful rather than care less. Be thoughtful, rather than thought less pay attention rather than becoming proud and presumptuous. Don't think for a moment, you can simply say I've got this covered. I know I can do this.

Paul has labored to make it clear that all of the divine impetus has been granted to them in Christ. The Holy Spirit is come to live within their been sealed by the Holy Spirit, we might be tempted to think about sin then just go ahead and do whatever know.

He says Luke carefully how you walk is nothing new in this by Paul. It runs through the whole Bible someone blessed is the matter doesn't walk in the counsel of the ungodly and instead, he walks in the in the light of the law of the Lord.

Proverbs is replete with this.

The juxtaposition of wisdom and the way in which a person walks.

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding her ways that his wisdom personified her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace, pleasantness and peace. We go back to Pilgrim's progress.

They had decided this path is a little stony slow Rocky is a little difficult.

This path actually is not marred by pleasantness and peace.

Let's go over the style into bypass meadow where it is apparently pleasant and peaceful and they end up in a dark, stinking dungeon point well made by bunion. The warning well sounded out. That's why sometimes when we write, perhaps in a birth e-book cover of a child we would put in their Proverbs 3, five and six. I know I often do, trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight.

In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path sets a categorical promise notes that careful walk will distinguish the walker as being someone who is unwise or wise, and you notice the negative comes first.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise.

Why do you have to say that because he's already pointed out that all of the material that is in the previous 12 or 14 versus is there not as some extraneous piece of information, but it is there is a necessity for the church to make sure they understand who and what they are in Jesus, they they made, they must begin to think wrongly about these things. That's what he said earlier on. Remember we noticed it. Therefore, do not let anyone deceive you with empty words, words, it may sound particularly wise, but are actually unwise.

This distinction is a distinction again that runs through Scripture have from childhood. Many of us have known Jesus words at the end of Matthew 567 in their seven probably I can remember going to look it up but there it is the foolish man built his house upon the sand and the rain came tumbling down and a wise man built his house upon the rock and a house on the rock stood for wisdom, foolishness, wisdom, foolishness, says Psalm 14 begins the fool has said in his heart there is no God. The fool said in his heart there is no God or some residual. I know Andrea, I know a lot of people are very very intelligent, and they're the ones who said there is no God. What is that mean, let's not talk about intelligent and intellectual capacity is talk about moral perversity is talking about the fact that the fool is the person who says and is a complete effrontery to God. I know better than you. The fool is the person who says essentially we made God he didn't make eyes we are in charge of these things we can make sense of all of this, it is the full, who then says I am jurisdiction over this.

So says the psalmist. Psalm 32 makes the same point in which I can quote from memory, but I can return to it. Psalm 32 and around verse eight and nine, where I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you with my eye upon you, says God, but don't be like a horse or renewal without understanding don't be like a horse or mule. I said I'm not a very nice thing to say well, some of your horse people. Some of you may actually be horse. Whisperers for all I know and you you can you can whisper and make them do certain thing but let me tell you that on average, and frankly even if you can whisper to them if you want to ride them in the Kentucky Derby or in the grand national and Liverpool in Aintree and England, you better make sure that you have a bit, and a bright lawn and you better make sure you got full control of that because the way in which you are going to stay on that horse and guided around the track is not on accordance with how much you're feeling predisposed post to this creature, or whether you had a little chat with him or her before you left. But whether you've got control the horses moving. As a result of that. And God says when I instruct you and teach you. I will do so in such a way that I will come down to you and make myself known to you, I reveal myself to you. I've crossed the boundary into your world in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. But don't be foolish. Don't be like a horse or mule because then you are actually revealing the absence of wisdom when the prophet Jeremiah speaks of it. He speaks not simply of the way in which we are like sheep who have gone astray.

Isaiah, but he actually describes as in terms of turning to our own course and plunging headlong as in Jeremiah chapter 8, we turned around course and we plunge headlong so that it is in fact a more forceful waywardness than that simply of the proverbial she so essentially it is this instead of being guided and governed by the principles of God's word. The full operates on an entirely different platform. The fool does not go to the Bible. The fool does not pay any attention to the Bible. The fool will tell you that the Bible is a just a collection of mythologies. It was made at a certain time, but it's got some interesting pieces in a dry love it for literature or whatever might be, but in terms of actually going to it as a as a lamb to the feet of the light of the path the fool does not do so.

So how then does a foolish person navigate their way through life while on all kinds of bases, one on the basis of feelings, feelings, this is how I feel and how I feel is in in myself is really thick.

It is both the framework for me. You get it in emotional terms are there that old song and hope feelings and feeling beings in the fact that he was really horrible and feeling is horrible and it's right up there with Barry Manilow. I'm just trying to get the feeling again. You know it's it's it's that's what what you do or how you navigated through life I feel or are my instincts or are my desires. My desires are very strong. Therefore they determine what I'm going, what if your desires are bad desires. What if your instincts are wrong instincts what they can possibly be wrong quite well and judging them only on the strength of how I feel about things that is foolishness.

By contrast, the person who is wise is paying attention to God's word. He is heeding God's word. She is focused on God's word and she is making decisions in the now, in relationship to that then one of the unwise ways to go through life.

One of the indications of the fact that I am not wise is where I am constantly focused on the now it's all about now. This is a great manager of our age.

You watch golf tournaments. He always say the same thing. While just concentrating on the now is just this moment. And that's it makes perfect sense. Only insofar as it is within the framework of those four or five hours but the now of existentialism. If you like has to be said, within the framework of eternity that God is said eternity in the hearts of a man so that a man inside knows there is more than this, so that it is foolishness to say all that matters is now an consequences. Forget them. There is no consequences. It doesn't matter know you see the Bible introduces the then two hours so that we can make sense of the now and without the then there is actually no particular sense in the now.

Jesus did the same thing. The man says. I highly tells a story of a man who had a very good business going highly successful and as a result of that he had resources he said to himself with my resources. I think I can do a little bit more work build a couple more barns build up the property. Nothing wrong with that at all. There's no condemnation that in the parable went where is it where is the issue lie. Jesus said and God said to him, check the text. God said to him, full God said to him fool tonight. Your soul will be required of you and who will then get all that you have acquired for yourself. In other words, he said, when you take the now and you said it in the context of their changes. Your mentality and the wise person recognizes a some time ago Sonny sent me a book written by a lady I've forgotten who was but it was essentially helping one to navigate through life and the suggestion was, it was cold as it was called 10 1010 and and she said in the book when you're about to make a decision, ask yourself, what will the implications be in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years.

The fool says, who cares, I think your words 110 seconds. All I care about is right now.

Look carefully how you will not as unwise but as wise, the people of me the greatest impact in the world. Other people have lived there now in relationship to that date. For example, Marie McShane dies at 29 is a Presbyterian minister in Edinburgh. What was it that Mark McShane out it was the fact that into eternity impinged upon them to such a degree that it radically affected the way in which he spent his time and preached his sermons and everything else and so it's no surprise that he's the one who wrote the poison which became the him when this passing world is done when has sunk you on the glaring sun when we stand with Christ in glory looking or life's finish story. Then Lord shall I fully know not to then how much I/O so this wisdom you see is not merely knowledge is not a possession of facts is not SATs is not postgraduate qualifications. It is possible to be have all of that and not be wise so wonderful thing if you have that and you are wise, but if you had to choose to go for simplified wisdom rather than complicated absence of wisdom know the wisdom is the ability to process knowledge in light of the truth of God's word and then to be able to apply that knowledge to the practicalities of life. So it is a God-given was because by nature. We look at things upside down inside out. It's only when the light shines in that we see where dark. It's only when the light shines on the word that we sell it at this that does make sense. Until then, we walk in darkness, that's Alister been reminding us that we should make decisions with eternity in mind, and with the Bible is our God you're listening to Truth for Life.

God's word tells us that the Bible is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, but it can only be our guide if we understand what it says and that's one of the reasons why we make Alister's entire teaching library available online for free if there is a topic you'd like to explore something you'd like to learn more about you can find the complete online library Truth for click on topics to search from hundreds of messages by Alister and because it's all three cost is no constraint.

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You probably heard me talk about our current book recommendation. It's a book titled spiritual disciplines for the Christian life. This book outlines 10 spiritual practices that when we engage with them regularly will help us grow spiritually. Spiritual disciplines are intended as lifelong activities not sporadic events and that's one of the reasons why the final chapter in this book points us to perseverance will learn how to focus our lives on eternity, like Alister taught about today. How to stay faithful in our pursuit of godliness. By understanding the role the Holy Spirit plays in our lives.

The role of fellowship and the role of struggle, request the book, spiritual disciplines for the Christian life.

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