Wisdom Beats Strength

“A wise warrior is better than a strong one, and a man of knowledge more than one of strength”

Proverbs 24:5 (CSB)

Jumping with lighting quick speed, spinning in an attempt to catch her tail, sliding into the sofa, and then finally, with sleekness and stealth, army crawling along the carpet, our new kitten Daisy makes her way around our living room on a regular basis. This sweet ball of tortoiseshell fur has brought us great joy this week. At the same time, she has reminded me that wisdom is important.

Since Daisy is new to our home, and really to the world, she has lots to learn, and when she listens and obeys, she is applying wisdom to her life. For instance, when we show her where her litter box is, she remembers where to go when she has to go to the bathroom. If she jumps on something she’s not supposed to, we tell her, “No” and redirect her, and she remembers her instruction, which keeps her safe and out of trouble.

But, there are times when Daisy tries to use her strength instead of wisdom to get what she wants. Just today, she jumped up in the chair with Caroline while she was eating, and Caroline put her down and told her, “No.” Daisy jumped up again. In fact she did this four times before she realized that her strength wasn’t as great as Caroline’s, and that just following instruction, using wisdom, was the better way to go.

God, our father in heaven, gives us instructions, just like we do for Daisy, to keep us safe. Solomon tells us in Proverbs 24:5 that using wisdom is better than using strength. When we wisely follow God’s word, we find grace and peace.

Are you currently struggling to do something in your own power, or are you railing against God to try to get your way? Or, have you shown wisdom by consulting God on a decision or situation in which your strength isn’t helping you?

So often, we try to do things in our own power, thinking that we can force our own way with our might, but this never works out. Even if we win the battle in some cases, we will not win the war. The entire book of Proverbs focuses on wisdom- getting it, using it, and keeping it. How do we do this? We do it by reading God’s word, seeking him in prayer, and humbly relying on him and trusting him in all things.

Our kitten Daisy is learning to trust her new owners in all things, and, like her, we can learn to trust God in all things. After all, wisdom beats strength every time. Flex those wisdom muscles as you grow in God’s word!

 

 

God Is in the Midst

“by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.”

Proverbs 3:20 (ESV)

In our greatest “storms” God is with us, and when he is with us, so are his peace and wisdom. Tucked away in the book of Proverbs is verse 20 of chapter 3 which reminds us that God is sovereign and he is right there with us, even on the rainiest of days.

As we approach Good Friday, the stormiest day of all humanity when Jesus died on the cross, we can know that God was right there in the midst of the storm. Jesus promised his disciples that after he was crucified he would be raised from the dead. God fulfilled this promise when Jesus was resurrected. In this amazing miracle, our hope and faith in the sovereignty of God are justified!

God’s power is seen in all of creation. And, because he is the Creator, he is sovereign and all-knowing. We can trust him in everything, especially in our hardest of times.

Whatever storms you are experiencing right now, trust God in them. He is with you. When you do this, “…you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet…for the LORD will be your confidence and keep your foot from being snared” (Pr. 3:23-24,26 NIV). God is in control.

A few years ago, my daughter was sitting under an umbrella on our driveway while it rained and wrote the following poem of what she observed around her. While on the surface, the poem is about the great power of a storm, I think we can symbolically see that storms are powerful because their creator, God, is powerful, and that we can find solace when we understand that the Creator is present and in control, even on our stormiest days.

Power

O powerful clouds, a sea of gray looming over the sky,

Your magnificent power lurking in my eye.

With power of thunder and lightning rolling over the seas,

Along with gentle wind high above the swaying trees.

Colossal stormy clouds spreading across the earth,

Feel the booming power of your new birth.

Feel the rain on your hands cool and wet,

Falling from the sky onto the road’s cement.

Fear the rolling thunder shaking the earth.

 See the striking lightning ominously illuminating the sky.

For this is only a portion of nature’s massive strength

Pouring out its strong heart right under our feet.

 

Our god is powerful, he is in control, and he loves us with a love greater than anything we can ever know on this earth! Embrace his love and ask for his peace daily. He will provide!

As the best day of the year (Easter) approaches, remember Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for you, embrace his great love and act of mercy, and walk in peace and grace.

Happy Easter!

 

 

 

 

Don’t Give Up!

“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”

Proverbs 31:17 (NIV)

The Proverbs 31 woman is amazing. In fact, just reading all the things she accomplished sometimes makes me tired. As working women, wives, and/or moms, we have a lot of responsibilities and it is easy to grow weary. But, I encourage you not to give up! The Proverbs 31 woman gives us a wonderful example to follow, and she gives us hope, too.

She embodies the godly qualities of diligence and responsibility throughout chapter 31, but especially in verses 17 and 27. These two verses describe her as “vigorous” in her work and not eating “the bread of idleness.” This is a woman who knows her purpose in life, and she works toward fulfilling it every day. When we read through her list of tasks, we discover that everything she does points to her purpose: to take care of her husband and children, to attend to the affairs of the household, and occasionally, to help her neighbors, as well.

The Proverbs 31 woman teaches us to work toward our purpose, that thing which God created us to do. So, what did He make you to do? Do you know your purpose for this time? If not, pray for wisdom to discover it. If so, look at your schedule and to-do list and adjust them both to allow you to fulfill that purpose.

I mentioned earlier that the Proverbs 31 woman gives us hope. I love that Proverbs 31:17 says “her arms are strong for the task.” She is not weary. She is strong! I believe she is strong because the Lord gives her the strength to fulfill her purpose, and she receives this strength on a daily basis.

So, let’s ask God for the strength to fulfill what He has made us to do, and then let us commit our work to him so that we live out Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

Courage and Love Required

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

Proverbs 27:17 (ESV)

It strikes fear in my heart. It’s not something I want to do, but if I don’t do it, I’m dishonoring God and not helping someone I love. What is this important thing? It’s confrontation.

We were made for fellowship (Genesis 2:18), and because we’re all different there is a 100 percent chance that we will disagree with someone at some point in our relationship with them. Even more so, because we are humans living in a fallen world, sin is inevitable and we will need to speak with one another to help each other get back on track. This takes confrontation and discipline.

Proverbs 27:17 illustrates this principle – we encourage each other to be our best when we “rub against” each other, which includes pointing one another toward Christlike behavior. When two pieces of metal are rubbed together, both pieces are made more sharp. This is a picture of what it can be like when we confront someone on their behavior.

Just like friction and sparks occur when two pieces of metal rub together, it can be painful when we confront others on their wrongful behavior. Despite the pain, it is always better to be truthful and to point someone back to Christ than to ignore ungodly behavior and allow someone to continue on a destructive path (Proverbs 28:23). While discipline is not pleasant at the time it is received, God promises peace and righteousness when it is administered appropriately (Hebrews 12:11).

So, when and how do we know when to confront someone?

We confront others when they are doing something that hinders their walk with Christ, hurting themselves or hurting you directly. The ultimate goal of confronting another person is to point them back to God and to restore your relationship with them.

We should confront others in love and after much prayer over the situation. Ask God for the right words to say, the right time to say those words and for the other person’s heart to be receptive to those words.

For those who need to confront someone close this week, I pray you have the courage and love to say meaningful words that will restore your loved one to you and to God.