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January 22, 2017

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Wise and Understanding

"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom." James 3:13

James made it very clear in his epistle that we should demonstrate in our walk and in our works evident proof of what we proclaim in words as our faith--what we believe.

Wisdom differs from knowledge. All of us have seen a person who never had the opportunity for a formal education, but was endowed with an understanding heart that gave forth words of wisdom that often were astounding. Wisdom is not measured by the number of degrees accumulated or by much learning, but by applying what one has learned in the deeds we do and knowing how to use what we have learned.

This is applicable to our spiritual life as well. It is not a matter of acquiring truth from sermons or through much reading, but by applying truth to our daily walk that others might see truth demonstrated in the way we live, evident in our lifestyle.

God's wisdom is full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and hypocrisy. It is sincere and open, steady and consistent, and ever seeking righteousness and peace. Our words and lifestyles reveal what is in our hearts, the true motive that prompts our thoughts and finds its way in the deeds we do. How imperative it is to live circumspectly before others a life that will glorify God.

We must be on guard against the insidious ways of Satan to destroy our testimony and the effects of our lives on others. The application of truth to our everyday practical life, empowered by the Holy Spirit, will have an everlasting impact on all we meet. Many believers underestimate the need for a "pure heart and a right spirit" before God. Emphasis is put on the major concerns without regard for the "little foxes that spoil the vine." How many lives have been wrecked in a "moment of time" when they yielded to some fleshly desire, considered so trivial but ultimately disastrous to them. We must be vigilant, steadfast, and sensitive to the Holy Spirit, who seeks to lead and protect us.

When English explorer Sir Francis Drake returned from his fifth voyage around the world, he was caught in a violent storm on the Thames River. As his vessel was tossed to and fro and appeared ready to run aground, the Old Mariner stood up, clinched his fist and shouted, "Can it be that I have braved the dangers of seven seas, have sailed through mighty storms, and must now come home to be drowned in a ditch?"

How insidious the enemy when he invades our lives unawares, infiltrates areas where we think we are strong, and, if left unchecked, causes our downfall. By relaxing our vigil and failing to heed the prompting of the Holy Spirit, Satan can make even the strongest person susceptible to fall. Often our greatest danger does not occur in the heaving seas, but in the quiet, unsuspected waters where we are prone to be overconfident and careless!

May the Lord give us a spirit that is sensitive to the invasive elements that seek to disrupt and defeat all that God desires for us to be. Only as we lean upon Him can we be triumphant and victorious.

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.


This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-01-22


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