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The Real God - The Wisdom Of God, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
September 2, 2021 6:00 am

The Real God - The Wisdom Of God, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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September 2, 2021 6:00 am

How do ordinary people tap into the wisdom of God for everyday living? Join Chip for a very practical approach to that question.

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The most common question I get is how can I know the will of God? I don't mean the will of God like how to get to heaven. I mean the will of God like who should I marry? What school should my kids go to?

What do I do with my money? I've got a big decision. Well, what I want you to know is that requires wisdom. And we're going to learn today how you can tap into the wisdom of God to make those big decisions that come out the way God wants them to.

Stay with me. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher on this international discipleship program, and I'm Dave Druey. We're studying several key attributes of God's character, learning how he longs for us to see him through Chip's series, The Real God. In this program, Chip finishes his message on God's wisdom.

He established some important groundwork in our previous broadcast, so if you missed it, a great way to catch up later is with the Chip Ingram app. Now let's join him for part two of his talk from Romans chapter 11. What I want you to see is this is God's plan, and here's the plan, okay?

Here's a lost world. There's been a coup, a rebellion. They rebelled against the most high God, the king, the creator, the sovereign that we've talked about. From the foundations of the earth, God giving the possibility of choosing knew this would come, and so the second person of the Trinity Christ says, I will go. I will save the people, and so the coup has happened. Sin has occurred. Christ comes. Now listen to the wisdom of God. He's born of a teenage girl in a stall. Can you imagine what the demons were thinking?

Well, you know what? I don't know what God's up to, but this doesn't look like a very good plan, and then he's going to be raised by a carpenter. Well, that's not exactly the upper elite of Jewish culture, and then finally he grows up, lives a perfect life, and then he's going to choose people because he brings what? The best possible plans by the best possible means for the most possible people, so he chooses a bunch of blue collar guys to get the job done. Peter, John, James, couple of fishermen, a crook, Matthew, a zealot, a couple wackos. Should we call down thunder on them, Lord? I mean, guys, would you just cool it? And you look at the guys that he chose.

Why? The wisdom of God. Who gets the credit when regular guys like us, ordinary people like us, follow Christ, are redeemed, get transformed, and then change the world? God does. See, God is always working toward purposes that we rarely understand, but if we don't understand the big plan of redemption and understand that's his purposes behind his wisdom, we will get lost.

Can you imagine how much of a failure it looked like? Try to visualize yourself being there, and you were a follower, you were Peter, or one of the Marys, and you cared, and you loved him, and you thought it was the hope of the world, and you're looking up at a cross, and he's hanging there, and he's dying, and he says it's finished, and he's dead. And you're thinking, this is a fine mess you got us into. I left my home, I left my job, I've been ridiculed, I've been kicked out of the synagogue, and he's dead. And you can almost, in the invisible world, seeing the demons going, ha ha ha ha, he's dead, see? God's wisdom is foolishness unto man.

But what happened? When he died on the cross, he purchased you. Redemption is he paid the price for your sin. Between Friday night and Sunday when he rose, he went to what the old creed says?

What does it mean that he ascended except that he descended to the lower parts of the earth? And he proclaimed to the invisible world, death is defeated, Satan is defeated, sin has been rendered powerless, I am the victor, and then he comes out of the grave. And what seemed absolutely ridiculous, it seemed foolish and ridiculous, was the wise plan of God. And see, it is in redemption that we see that God takes the things that the world so esteems, and he's always about turning them upside down.

Listen to J.I. Packard, I love his quote on this, God's almighty wisdom is always active and never fails. All his works of creation and providence and grace display it.

And until we can see it in them, we're just not seeing them straight. But we cannot recognize God's wisdom unless we know the end for which he's working. God's wisdom is not and never was pledged to keep a fallen world happy or to make ungodliness comfortable. Not even to Christians has he promised a trouble-free life.

Rather, the reverse. He has other ends in view for life in this world than simply to make it easy for everyone. What is he after then?

See, you'll never understand the wisdom of God, understand the ends is what he's saying. So what is God after? What's he after in the world? What's he after in the culture? What's he after in the society? What's he after in you? What's he after in me? Packard goes on to say, what's his goal?

What's his aim? He plans that a great host of mankind should come to love and honor him. His ultimate objective is to bring them to a state in which they please him entirely and praise him adequately. And he and they rejoice continually in the knowledge of each other's love. Men rejoicing in the saving love of God set upon them from all eternity. And God rejoicing in the responsive love of men drawn out of them by grace through the gospel. You see, until we really grasp God's ultimate purpose for our lives now in eternity, we will be perpetually frustrated and disillusioned.

And I think for many of us that's what's happened. Because our aim, very subtly, is not God make me like your son. Our aim is not, very subtly, we've been veered off the course, oh God, help me fulfill whatever purpose you have for this brief time on this planet for you. Because I will be with you forever and ever and ever.

We have reversed it. And we can't figure out why life is so frustrating and God won't come through. Because his number one agenda is not my personal peace and prosperity. And his number one agenda is not my personal fulfillment. And his number one agenda is not to cure my loneliness with another person.

His number one agenda is not to give me a bigger and nicer house, a nicer car, and the comforts that all the world can offer. He may do all those things out of his gracious love, but all of those in and of themselves, if the means turn into an end, are idols. And his wisdom in your life is often bringing pain that feels unbearable because redemption is so important to pry the idols out of your hand so you don't miss out on what really matters.

It's of a loving, good, kind, compassionate God that so loves you that knows that you're trading what is great and eternal and best for something that's cheap and that promises much and delivers little. And so he wants you to be wise. He just wants you to be wise. He wants you to understand how he has designed life and that he wants you to walk according to that design. And when you do, it will bring a goodness to your heart, a transformation in your relationships, a joy that you cannot fathom, and you will fulfill his purposes.

You see, it's so subtle, the little difference, but he is about in that situation that's on your mind. He's committed to bringing the best possible ends by the best possible means for the most possible people for the longest possible time. So let's wrap this up with some specific action steps to respond to his wisdom. How must we respond to the wisdom of God? Very simply, we must learn to live wisely.

We must learn to live wisely. Ephesians 5, 15 to 17, what's he say? He said, don't be unwise, don't walk as unwise but as wise and understand the will of the Lord.

He said, for the days are evil, you're living in dark times. He says, don't be unwise but be wise, live wisely, live according to God's plan. So that you can rest and so you can trust. So there is a command not only that we be wise but that we live in a way that reflects that we are trusting God.

He wants us to rest. He wants us to understand this is how I designed life. And you know, real practically, God says, this is how you can learn, this is how to do relationships. This is how to handle your money. This is how to make decisions. This is how to walk by faith.

This is how to fulfill your purpose for me. And if you will discover the way of wisdom and follow it, then all those promises of scripture about love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, the fruit of the spirit and the rewards of that life are what God wants for you. But you don't get that living in an unwise manner. And so second, not only must we learn to live wisely, it begins, then how do you get it? It begins with reverencing God.

Reverencing God. Proverbs 1, 7 says, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Job 28, 28 says, and he said to them, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding. So how do you learn to live wise? First step is, it begins with reverence for God, to have the fear of God.

And you know, you can do all kind of word studies. You know what to be afraid of God is? You know what the word fear really means, like in the Hebrew and the Greek and all that stuff? It means to be fearful. I mean, reverential awe, yes, that's true, but we kind of try and, it means to be afraid. But it's not afraid that he's going to hurt you, it's you're afraid that you won't please him. It's afraid that you're going to let him down. You know, I don't know, how many of you as a kid in my generation, how many times did you ever say, man I can't do that, if I did that my parents would kill me.

Right, and you know what, so I didn't do it. Now, you weren't really afraid that they were going to actually physically kill you, but it was a mix of consequences that you didn't want, combined with a sense of betrayal and letting them down in ways that you didn't want to face. And the way you got off the hook with your friends who were asking you to do it, I can't do it, my parents would kill me. What you were saying is, I have a healthy fear of my mom and dad, and that's where wisdom starts. I'm afraid, I don't want to mess up in my life, there are consequences. I want to do life God's way. The fear of the Lord essentially is, I am going to choose to do life God's way. I'm afraid for the consequences, and I'm afraid for what it will do to my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and what it says to Him in light of all that He's done for me.

I want to live with a healthy, wholesome fear of God. And I spent the first three years probably of my Christian life saying, you know, I'm going to be a Frank Sinatra Christian. I'm going to do it my way. I mean really, I'm going to do it my way.

And I just kept bumping my head, bumping my head, bumping my head. And you know, God loves you so much. You know, when you really mess up, He doesn't kick you out of the family.

He takes you to the woodshed. And Hebrews 12, He'll love you, I call it the velvet vice of discipline. And you know what, there's gentleness in it, but you know what? If relationships is the issue, or money is the issue, or time is the issue, He'll get your attention.

He loves you so much. And He'll just bring the velvet vice, and you can either learn now, you can learn later. I mean some of us that are hard-headed, it's painful. And some of you may be in the velvet vice of discipline. And you're not living wise lives with the fruit of living wisely. Because basically you have a salad bar mentality that all chews out of the Christian life, the parts I like, to do life my way on my terms. And God says, that's an interesting suggestion, but it's not one of the options.

It's just not one of the options with me. Not in light of who I am. And so, to respond to the wisdom of God, you have to learn to live wisely. And to learn to live wisely, it begins with this reverential awe and fear that you're going to say, I'm going to do life God's way because, are you ready for this? He's God.

Did you ever think of that? He's God. He deserves for me to live in that way. Third, it requires growing or receiving His word. There is no way to live wisely without the manual that teaches us how to live wisely. Psalm 119, 97 through 100 says, oh, how I love your law. I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they're ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. 2 Timothy 3, 15 through 17 says, all scripture, all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correction, and training in righteousness.

Why? So that the man of God might be thoroughly equipped for every good work. I do not know, and I'm not talking about reading your Bible a little bit.

I'm talking about receiving the word implanted. You need to ask yourself, how many videos, how many magazines, how many books, how much TV, and how much stuff is going into my mind versus how much truth from God's word? Because I will tell you, you are what you eat.

You are what you eat physically, you are what you eat spiritually. And it's not just a little thing like, okay, I got a little devotional, I'm glad I got it from that group, and I read the devotional to Google, boy, I like it, a little check mark, got that done today, see you later, God. I'm not talking about reading the Bible, being in a Bible study. I'm talking about receiving the word. Now, do you have to read it to receive it? Yes. Do you have to study it to receive it?

Yes. I'm not saying, God, I don't want to go through religious routines. I want you to speak to me, I love you, you're showing me some things, so I want to take your word and I want to see what it says and I want it to be the mirror to point out things that need correction. I want it to be the mirror that says that you love me and affirm me despite of where I'm at and that I'm going to write down those specific promises that I need on a three-by-five card and I'm going to read them over and I'm going to ponder them, I'm going to meditate on them because I need to trust you in this because I'm a people pleaser. I need to trust you in this because I'm a workaholic. I need to trust you in this because I keep lusting and falling back into these patterns. So I'm going to take these promises of your word, I'm going to receive them in my heart, I'm going to memorize them and meditate on them and I'm going to ask you for the grace to take the written word and make it the living word in my heart as I trust in you so that you transform my life as I receive your word. See, that's what God wants me to do.

That's how you live wisely. It's not just knowing the right thing, it's putting it into practice. Knowing the Bible never changed anyone. It is applying what you know of the Bible that brings life change. And so to live wisely begins with reverence, it means receiving the word and then it requires asking for it specifically. James 1.5, but if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men generously and without reproach. But when he asks, let him ask in faith without any doubting. For the man who doubts is like a wave in the sea tossed here and there.

This is an airtight promise. And the wisdom here is you don't know what to do about a decision. You don't know what to do about this relationship. You don't know what to do about your finances. You don't know what to do about a wayward child. You don't know what to do. Should I take this job or that job? Should I take the promotion?

Should I move or not move? What do you want me to do? Don't you have a lot of those things in your life?

I do. You know what this passage says? It comes out of the context of enduring suffering.

It's written to a group of people that have been dispersed and they've lost their families and lost their jobs and they've been disowned and they've been told, consider it all joy when you encounter various trials and know this testing of your faith. Tell you what, hang in there, endure, and God will use it to develop your character. But in the midst of your pain and your suffering, if you don't know how to handle it, if any man lack wisdom, let him ask. God promises 100% of the time to show you exactly what to do if you come and ask. And wisdom is not, don't make me smart in this, will you show me what it looks like to follow your way and your will in this situation?

That's what wisdom is. That's what you're asking. Show me what it looks like to do what you want me to do in this situation. Now here's the condition, that little let him ask without any doubting, that phrase there does not mean an intellectual doubt or that's not like honest doubts about one verse in the Bible. This is a picture of a person who's coming to God, but they're coming, literally we get our word schizophrenia, double-minded, doubting, double-minded.

It has the idea of someone who comes to God and says, should I date this person or this person? Should I take this job or that job? Should I do this with my money or this with my money?

Should I move here or move there? God, I want you to show me exactly what you want me to do so I can take it under consideration. I would really like you to show me exactly what you want me to do and I'll tell you what, I'll think about that and if it's what I want, I just might do it and if I don't, I just might not. That's the doubting of the double-minded man. You want to know how to get God's wisdom in areas where you're not sure what to do?

Here's the word picture. Whatever that area is, you imagine a blank check and on the top of that check, where you write it out to someone, you imagine, I need to know what God wants me to do or I have this big decision about this or this or this or that and then what you do is you write on the bottom of the check where you sign your name, you sign your name and then you take that check and you walk over kind of in your mind's heart and it's the throne room of God and you take it and you shove it under the door. There's light coming out from under the door and you signed your name and he fills out the top and what you're saying is, Lord, whatever you show me in advance, whatever you show me, I'm committed to doing. If you will show me, I will do it 100%. If you say break off the relationship, I will. If you say move, I'll move. If you say confront the situation, I'll confront him. If you say quit this job, I'll quit this job.

Whatever you tell me to do, I will do. I've signed my name on the bottom of the check, I put it under the door of heaven and now, Lord, you promise that you will give wisdom to anyone who asks without reproach. Even if the reason I'm here is because I've messed up in the past, these are some consequences of my sin and I really feel bad about asking you what to do because I'm here because I really know I messed up, that phrase is he'll come without reproach. God will not give wisdom and say, I was wondering when you were going to come and you really did mess up and you're getting what you deserve.

The passage says just the opposite. God will say, I'm glad you came and I'm not here to condemn you. You understand what you've done wrong. You've come with an honest heart and you've repented and now you need to know what to do and I want you to know whenever any one of my children come and they are willing to do whatever I show them, if you will ask me, I guarantee 100% of the time, I will show you exactly what to do. About 98% of the will of God in these kind of areas is being willing to do what he says and if you're willing to do in advance, he will show you. It may be through a book, it may be through a person, it may be through a counselor, it may be through a pastor, it may be through a series of events where seven people say exactly the same thing that don't know each other to you. It may be a strong prompting in your spirit and by the way, if it's other centered, loving, biblical, moral and has some sacrifice involved, it probably isn't the enemy trying to tempt you.

You know we're really funny. Oh, this couldn't be from God, you know. If we're gonna respond to God's wisdom, we must learn to live wisely and that begins with reverence for God. It grows with receiving his word. It requires asking for it specifically and finally, we must learn to trust completely.

Trust that all that comes our way is from the hand of a good and loving God who knowing all things actual and possible is exerting his unlimited power to execute the best possible outcomes by the best possible means to fulfill the highest possible purposes. Chip's gonna be back in just a minute but just a quick reminder, this message, The Wisdom of God, is from his series, The Real God. In this eight-parter, Chip explains that we naturally tend to imagine God with human characteristics, moody, impatient, unforgiving because it's what we know about ourselves and others but nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to God. That's why it's essential to see him as he really is and that's what this series, The Real God, is all about. If you're ready for a clear understanding of who God is and how that changes everything you've ever thought about him, the best way is to do this study with a small group of friends. So for a limited time, we've discounted these resources because we want to do everything we can to help you get to know the real God. For more information or to order your small group materials today, go to livingontheedge.org, tap Special Offers on the Chip Ingram app, or give us a call at 888-333-6003.

That's 888-333-6003. Well, Chip, as we work our way through this series, we're also in a season when people are thinking about starting small groups in their homes or church or with a few friends over coffee. So of all the series we have available and discounted right now, which one would you recommend? Well, Dave, it's interesting that you asked me that because I have a very quick answer.

A.W. Tozer has a quote that really changed the course of my life. He says, What comes into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you. Everything rises and falls with our view of God. He goes on to say there's a secret of the soul that we unconsciously gravitate toward our view of God. What I want people to know is that how you see God, if you see Him accurately, it affects your emotions, your view of yourself, every decision. If you don't see Him as good, you can't trust Him.

If you don't see Him as sovereign, life just seems like an up and down random chance. But it's not enough to read a book about God. It's not enough just to study about God. Real learning occurs when you take that study and then you get with a group of people and you begin to dialogue and share and pray and you begin to take the truth about who God is and begin to talk with one another about what does that look like in your everyday life. And so that's why our The Real God Small Group Resource is my number one recommendation for everyone. Of all the things I've studied in all my life, in fact, that little book by Tozer is still in my briefcase.

I must be a slow reader because I've been reading the same book for over 30 years. But what I really mean by that is I've been studying the character of God. And as I've done that with other people, the clearer that gets, the more accurate that gets, the more transformed my life and the life of others become. If you're ready to get back into community, I would say to our listeners, now is the time and The Real God would be my number one recommendation. Well, to help you make getting to know God your number one priority and to encourage you to do this study with a small group of friends, we've temporarily discounted the Small Group Resources for The Real God.

Doing this series together will get you into a deeper level of understanding as you process and talk about these key attributes of who God really is. Included in each discounted workbook is a unique code to unlock the online videos. Get the workbooks, use your codes, and you're good to go. To take advantage of this limited-time offer, just go to livingontheedge.org or tap Special Offers on the Chip Ingram app. For more information, give us a call at 888-333-6003.

Well, now here's Chip with his application. How do we tap into the wisdom of God? How do we get His mind and His heart about what to do, when to do it, where to go, what decisions to make, what not to do so that we honor Him and it works for our good? Today we covered three specific things that you need to do and I need to do if we're going to tap into God's wisdom.

Let me review them. Number one, it begins with reverence for God. You know, at the heart of this, I don't know where you're at. At the heart of this is you will never get God's wisdom until you bow the knee and say, I'm going to do life your way. You know, there's no compromise here. I'm going to do life your way.

Your word says it. I'm going to do it. When I know what's right to do, I may feel like it. I may not.

I'm going to do it. So it begins with reverence. Second, it requires asking for it specifically. God says, ask for wisdom and I'll give it to you. What's the situation where you need to know the mind of God?

Are you asking specifically? But remember the condition. You are willing to do whatever He says. Third, it grows with receiving His word. God's not dropping little wonderful ideas about what to do out of the sky. It doesn't happen in a vacuum. Remember we said it's His word. It's a lamp into our feet.

It's a light into our path. As you soak your mind and your heart in the word of God, wisdom will literally ooze out of it by the power of the Holy Spirit as you come with that surrendered heart. And so here's your assignment.

Are you ready? I want you to do this today. I would like you to sit quietly for 15 minutes and ponder your most difficult circumstance and say, Lord, will you give me your wisdom? And Lord, whatever you show me, I'll do. He may bring a verse to your mind. He may bring an idea. He may prompt you to go talk to someone. He may even say, Why don't you read that chapter in J.I.

Packer's book, Knowing God, pages 93 to 97, and you may get a perspective that you've never had before. May God grant you His wisdom today. Amen. Just before we close, I want to thank each of you who's making this program possible through your generous giving. 100% of your gifts are going directly to the ministry to help Christians really live like Christians. Now, if you found Chip's teaching helpful, but you're not yet on the team, would you consider doing that today? To donate, just go to LivingOnTheEdge.org, tap Donate on the app, or give us a call at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003. And let me thank you in advance for whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, until next time, for everyone here, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-11 16:05:07 / 2023-09-11 16:17:34 / 12

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