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The Wisdom of God

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2021 7:00 am

The Wisdom of God

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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February 24, 2021 7:00 am

The Bible says that God is eager to give his people wisdom. So, why do so few of us take him up on that offer? In this lesson, Dr. Tony Evans will talk about how God can help us leverage the knowledge we’ve gained and make better decisions.

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Many people are being influenced by demons thinking that they're making an earthly decision. But Dr. Tony Evans says when we act solely on worldly knowledge, we miss the best course of action. The wisdom from below will keep you in conflict. The wisdom from above will let you operate in peace. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans.

He's the author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. These days you can access all sorts of knowledge with a quick web search. But Dr. Evans says wisdom is knowing what to do with that knowledge. And true wisdom doesn't come from an internet download. It happens when you listen to and connect with God.

Let's join him as he explains. When we talk about the wisdom of God, we're talking about his unique ability to so interrelate his attributes that he accomplishes his predetermined purposes by the best means possible. In Romans chapter 11, verse 33 to 36, we read, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and unfathomable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became his counselor? Or who has first given to him that it might be paid back to him again? For from him and through him and to him are all things, to him be the glory forever. Amen. He says in verse 33 that the riches of God are unsearchable, his judgments are unfathomable.

You can't Google it. Our lives are filled with decisions. Our problem with our decisions is our limited scope of sight and knowledge. We only know what we know, and we only can see what we see.

We don't know what might happen tomorrow, and we don't know all the details even of what happened yesterday. One of the greatest needs in life is the need for wisdom. Romans 16, 27 says that he is the only wise God. And I love what Daniel chapter 2 says about the wisdom of God. Daniel chapter 2, I want to read that passage because it highlights this concept of wisdom.

Daniel chapter 2 beginning with verse 19 says, Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel said, Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to him. It is he who changes the times and the epochs.

He removes kings and establishes kings. He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. It is he who reveals the profound and hidden things. He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and power.

Even now you have made known to me what we requested of you, for you have made known to us the king's manner. Here you see all the time he uses wisdom because of how wise he believes God to be. He goes to God for God to reveal to him what he needs to know for the decisions he needs to make.

The great condemnation of the Bible is when we lean to our own understanding. When we try to figure our decisions out independently of God. When we choose our wisdom over his wisdom. One of the leading passages on God's wisdom is Job 28.

Job chapter 28. It goes all the way down to verse 28, but let me just read a few of these verses. Verse 12 says, But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living.

Okay, did you see that? Wisdom is not found in the land of the living. You don't get wise just because you're being born.

Now let's go up to verse 20. Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the sky.

Abaddon and Death say, With our ears we have heard a report of it, we know it exists. Verse 23 of the key, God understands its way. He knows where wisdom is located. And he knows its place. For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. And he imparted weight to the wind and meted out the waters of measure, when he set a limit for the rain and a course for the thunderbolt. Then he saw it and declared it.

He established it and also searched it out. And to man he said, Behold the fear of the Lord. That is wisdom. And to depart from evil is understanding. He said, Taking God seriously opens you up to the door of wisdom. Taking God seriously, the fear of God, is the beginning of wisdom, will open you up to another world of decision-making. Your world will open up like it's never opened up before, because God can now feel free to depart his wisdom to our lack of wisdom. I'm sure many of us would say, If we knew then what we know now, I wouldn't have done that then.

Anybody know what I'm talking about? I would have gone a different direction. I would have taken a different job. I would have moved to a different location.

I certainly would have married a different person. I mean, if we would have had wisdom back then. But our limitations of knowledge, our emotions, our short-sightedness, our mayapia, it hinders being made the best possible decision. The benefit of talking to a wise person is that you get the insight of their experience and their knowledge. Because age has given them certain experiences and knowledge.

A child doesn't have the sufficient wisdom of their parents because they haven't lived long enough, experienced long enough. So if you can go to a human being to learn wisdom, and they're flawed too, why not get it from the person who can never give false data or insufficient information? When you see people play chess, or even checkers, to be able to know what the other person is doing, what they might do, what they could do, and outthinking them. You can't be God of checkers or chess. His knowledge base, his wisdom, his ability to interrelate things. That's why Romans 8.28 is so powerful.

All things work together, work together. He's interconnecting things and people and times and circumstances because of his wisdom. But because we don't see everything he sees, it will demand faith to walk in wisdom. Because we don't see it. We don't see it. We only see what we see.

We only know what we know. This is why this passage in James chapter 3 is so important related to the subject of wisdom. James chapter 3.

James lays it out for us very simply. Verse 13, among you is wise and understanding. Let him show by his good behavior and his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. So if you think you're all that in a bag of chips, if you think you're wise in your own sight, I'm a wise person. He says, don't just talk it, show it. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes from above, from God, but is earthly, natural, and demonic. Please notice something.

He says that wisdom that doesn't come from God, that is above, has three things. It's earthly. It's only tied to the five senses. It's natural.

It would be the natural thing to do. And it's also demonic. So if you hear you're a natural man, you're a demonic man. In other words, if you and I are only operating on the earthly, on the five senses, what we can see, touch, taste, smell, hear, if we're only operating on the five senses, then demons have access to you because you are not getting information from above. So many people, unknown to them, are being influenced by demons thinking that they're making an earthly decision, when actually they're making a demon-influenced decision.

Because it did not come from above. And that's deep. He says, and what you'll know about earthly wisdom, the demonic, earthly, natural wisdom, is that it produces conflict, verse 14.

Bitter jealousy, selfish ambition. It produces inner conflict and external conflict because wisdom is absent. Conversely, but the wisdom from above, verse 17, is first pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy, good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy, and the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. So the wisdom from below will keep you in conflict. The wisdom from above will let you operate in peace. Dr. Evans will unpack that idea when he continues our message on the wisdom of God in just a moment. Stay with us.

There are so many ways that God has demonstrated His faithfulness to me and to this ministry over these 40 years. You know, there were times when we just weren't sure we were going to make it. We got down to our last paycheck.

After that, there was no money to pay anyone. And I remember us having a special prayer time and asking God to intervene. And then, out of nowhere, a donor's heart was touched. And they wrote us a note and said, God placed it on my heart to send you this gift.

And it was able to sustain us until we were able to rebuild. So I am not a doubter about the greatness of God, nor His faithfulness. And I'm certainly grateful for all the friends He's given us who have been faithful, too. And I'm very grateful that for 40 years, we've seen His kind hand of favor on this ministry. This radio program, Tony's television ministry, our work with pastors and congregations all around the world, none of it would be possible without the faithful contributions of people like you. And that's why I want to let you know about a special package we put together as our way of saying thank you when you make a donation to keep this ministry going. It starts with Tony's newest book, Prayers for Knowing God. In times of crisis and change, knowing God is the only path to heart-deep stability and peace. And you'll better grasp His love, character, and strength as you embrace and converse with God through these 50 topical prayers. Along with the book, we'll also send you, on CD and digital download, all 12 full-length messages in Tony's current series, God's Heart Revealed, a compilation that will help you explore more deeply who God is and how He wants to work in and through your life. This special package is only available for a few more days, so don't miss out. Visit tonyevans.org today to make your contribution and request, or call us at 1-800-800-3222, where one of our friendly resource team members is ready to assist.

I'll have our contact information for you again after Part 2 of today's message and this. Far too many of us want to throw in the towel before we've thrown up the prayers. Dr. Tony Evans says Christians have a habit of underusing or overlooking our most valuable spiritual resource. Grace is available, but only at the throne, and you can only approach the throne through prayer. You can deepen your connection with the Lord through our in-depth course on Kingdom Prayer at the Tony Evans Training Center. You'll discover how God has wired the world to work by prayer and experience for yourself how it connects heaven with earth and time with eternity.

You'll not only gain a new understanding and appreciation for prayer, you'll actually pray in transforming ways you've never experienced before. The course is intense, but you can work through it at your own pace and get all the help you need through our online forum. And, of course, there's custom content from Tony not available anywhere else. Connect with the Tony Evans Training Center at TonyEvans.org. It's like having a seminary on your smartphone or other device.

Start today. TonyEvans.org. One of the great ways that God confirms our decision-making, our choices, is the peace He gives. Proverbs 21 verse 30, there is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against the Lord.

In other words, no matter how brilliant you are, you will not outthink God. The Bible has a whole book on wisdom. It's the book of Proverbs. It's worth just looking at that book, because it's designed to give you wisdom.

It'll show you where you've not been wise. And it deals with all kinds of subjects—friendships, money, sex, marriage, friends. It's got all these subjects spread throughout the book about the wise way to approach a situation.

It talks about getting rich quick, play the lottery. It talks about—it's got all these subjects that it leaves, it goes back to, because it's a father talking to his son. You see, it's a my son, my son, my son, about the wise way. Because in wisdom, God interrelates His attributes.

He interconnects things. That's why you saw in some of the verses, His wisdom is connected with His power. Look at James again, chapter 1. The context of James 1 is you're going through a trial.

You're going through a difficult time. And he says, verse 2, Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance and let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach.

He doesn't hold back. And it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without doubting. For the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. Let me say a word about doubting. There's two kinds of doubting. There is emotional doubting, where you have question marks that you don't want, but your emotions keep bringing them back to you. You don't want to doubt, but you are doubtful. You're feeling the doubt.

Okay? That's emotional doubting. But that's not the doubting that he's talking about. He's talking about the kind of doubting, verse 6, for one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed about by winds. So he's talking about a doubt where you're moving back and forth on your decision, not where you're feeling something in your emotion. Because sometimes you can't control that. Sometimes the thought of doubt just seeps in.

But remember, when he's talking to Christians, when we talk about faith, we're talking about acting like God's telling the truth. So you're not moving back in your decision. Regardless of the feeling, you're moving in faith in your decision. You're not being blown in movement.

You know, that's movement. Sometimes people get frustrated because they have the feeling of doubt, but they have the decision or actions of faith. Well, if you've got the actions of faith, that's sufficient, even if you're struggling with the feeling of doubt. And when you have the feeling of doubt, you simply say, like the man said, help my unbelief.

Help the feeling to go away. But to show that I'm serious, you will see me moving in faith, because I'm going to show—what God doesn't want to do is share his wisdom with somebody who's still deciding whether they're going to do it. Because he says, let not that man think he will receive anything from the Lord. In other words, God's not going to waste his information. But I have seen the way God connects people. He connects time, things that happen at the precise time, how he reverses things, how he protects you from things that you were going toward, and he blocks it, and you mad at him because he blocked it, and then you find out thanks for blocking it. You know, all of that is part of this unfathomable, infinite, supernatural wisdom of God. So the challenge I want to give you, me and us, is to be very intentional about seeking God's wisdom.

Now, how do you do that? One, in prayer, ask God to show you the way you should go. Then, appeal to his word, and ask him to reveal something from his word that will give you insight into where to go.

Okay? Give him the freedom to use any vehicle he wants, but make sure you're consistent with the word, you're not disobeying the word, you're seeking him, and let him know you're willing to walk in faith in whatever he reveals. Because God will never be more real to you than when he shows up in your choices, particularly when he shows up in unorthodox ways.

You know, you've heard me say it before, but you know, the only reason I'm in Dallas is because a man stopped me and asked a question, Have you ever thought about going to Dallas? I had my own plans. They were good plans, decent plans, but it's not where God wanted me, and a passing comment.

And the things that followed it changed my whole direction in life. And there's some other stories I will tell you at an appropriate time, things that I've seen, we've seen, that the wisdom of God— You can't outthink him, but you won't see the mind of Christ or the mind of God if he's got a debate with your human thoughts or a debate with your friends. Dr. Tony Evans will come back in a moment with a quick story from his childhood as he wraps up today's message on the wisdom of God. Before he returns, I wanted to remind you that you can get all 12 messages from Tony's current series, God's Heart Revealed, as well as his just-released book, Prayers for Knowing God. They're part of a package of resources that can help you connect with God more deeply than ever before, and they're all yours as our thank-you gift when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. Drop by tonyevans.org to make the arrangements before time runs out. That's tonyevans.org.

Or reach out to our resource center at 1-800-800-3222, where team members are standing by around the clock to help you. Some people see God's glory in nature. Others see it when something supernatural happens. But Dr. Evans says God's glory can be found in everyday places, and tomorrow he'll teach us how we play a significant part in revealing God's glory to others. Right now, though, he's back to wrap up today's message with this story. We had this guy in our community growing up named Earl. Earl was older than the rest of us, and he was like the philosopher of the hood. He was the fly. We just thought kids would gather around Earl to hear his pearls of hood wisdom drop from his mouth.

Yes, we would. Earl was the man. He was the man. And one time I came home, and I don't know what the issue was, but I said to my father and dad, but Earl said. But Earl said.

My father stopped me. I couldn't even get to the word past said. He said, Earl, did you just say Earl said something? Earl, don't run this house. But we were so enthralled with Earl that I was letting his words override the Father. And we let our words, or human words, override the Father, and we missed the wisdom of God. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-22 07:20:20 / 2023-12-22 07:28:50 / 9

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