“… in the wilderness they put God to the test.”
Psalm 106:14b (NIV)
Where do you go when you need wisdom? A trusted friend? Dr. Phil? While those may offer a measure of wise counsel, the truth is no one knows you like the one who created you. God knows us better than we know ourselves. Jeremiah realized that when he wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) In the following verse he adds, “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind …” (Vs. 10a) Only God can truly know our hearts. He can see our motives. Only He knows the future. Here’s how the Psalmist describes God’s knowledge of you and me, “O LORD, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!” Psalm 139:1-6 (NLT) Realizing how much God understood him, it’s no wonder he ends with this prayer, “… lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Vs. 24b)
God has a path for you and me. When Israel failed to take that path, they found themselves wandering in the wilderness. Cultural changes and everyday distractions can shift us off course and before we know it, we find ourselves wandering in the wilderness as well. We lose sight of the path God has for us and we don’t know what to do. If you’re at that intersection in your life you have a choice to make. You can seek the counsel of men and hope you get good advice, or you can seek the wisdom of God. One practical way I’ve found helpful in seeking God’s wisdom is to give God FIRST consideration in all my decisions. Then I seek His counsel in His Word. Does God’s Word have any clear counsel about my decision? If He does, the answer is simple. The only question then is will I obey His Word or go my own way. Like Israel, if I choose to go my own way, I put God to the test. One translation says I’m testing His patience. I’ve done that as well and found myself having to repent of going my own way. In His love and grace, He quickly forgives and restores me on the right path He has for me.
God’s desire is to give us the wisdom we need for skillful living. In fact, James 1:5 (NLT) promises us, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” That gives me such hope!
Maybe this is the very promise you need to claim today as you repent of going your own way or doubting God’s wisdom in your life. He is for you! He knows you better than anyone and loves you more than anyone. As you turn to Him today, thank Him for His wisdom to lead you in the path of everlasting life. Then listen for His still small voice, that gentle prompting of His Spirit that will guide you as you seek Him in His Word each day.