Application Before Wisdom

I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the bible teaching I am privileged to listen to. Until recently I couldn’t figure out why I got annoyed. I figured it was a lack of maturity when my mind wandered to shopping lists and lunch. Then I figured I wasn’t a mature enough Christian to understand what was being taught. As is usually the case, someone else’s wisdom was the springboard for my understanding.

There is a pastor I listen to on the radio who challenges me with every sermon. My mind doesn’t wander and I understand almost everything he says. He made the comment (I’m paraphrasing) that “exhortation before substance is bad.” “Yes!” I thought. “That’s it!” That ‘yes’ was solidified during a recent sermon in church from a visiting speaker. He spoke on the portion of Joshua that described a difficulty God’s Chosen People had getting to the Promised Land. Before we did any more reading from the bible the visiting speaker launched into the five lessons from this scripture that we could apply to our lives in 2010 so that we would be successful. I was disappointed–the speaker is a good man, a solid Christian with much wisdom to offer.

Biblical wisdom is not biblical knowledge. Biblical wisdom is the foundation for my understanding of God, and my relationship with Jesus Christ. Biblical knowledge is knowing facts and figures that comprise the details of the bible.

Biblical wisdom is critically, fundamentally important to my spiritual well-being. I need help uncovering the wisdom of the bible—I rely on my pastor and the pastors I listen to for this help. I need encouragement, sure, everyone needs to be encouraged or reminded to do the right thing, once in awhile. But, please, do not exhort me with biblical knowledge until you’ve first helped me discover the wisdom of the scripture.

So, now what? Now I pray like mad for my pastor and for all Christian speakers. I pray for the wisdom of the bible to be made clear to them and to me, for it is truly “the lamp unto my feet and the light unto my path.”



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2 responses to “Application Before Wisdom

  1. Ben

    Hi Kathy,
    The Bible of our Creator God is an amazing work that has stood the test of time, is prophetically revealing (1/3 of it fortells future events of one type or another), shows us all to come to know Jesus on a personal level, tells us of God’s commandments and His instructions, lets us know how God uses all of us in our various capacities, tells us history and how to learn from past mistakes and so much more.
    You are right, that the Bible can seem a bit overwhelming to understand just by reading the words. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you understanding, search for a helpful concordance, look up things (where you can), search for articles that pertain to your area of study and maybe find a how-to-study guide to seek out the best way to learn the Bible. This will be life-long study for you, just as it is for all of us. God didn’t create the world in one day, He took a certain amount of time to create what is just right. So it is with the Bible. Study frequently and with the Holy Spirit leading you. Knowledge will come.

  2. Kathy

    Thank you, Ben, your comment is so encouraging!

    I love how God sends His wisdom down in the form that is so intimate and right for each one of us.

    I now need to head to the bookstore for a good concordance! My next “official” study is to be 1 and 2 Samuel. I love the Old Testament stories, so I can’t wait.

    God’s blessings on you.


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