The FATAL MISTAKE! Ohhh, we’re so clever, so resourceful by human standards! But are we wise enough to turn to the One Who is the source of ALL wisdom, to seek and to walk in His counsel?

by admin

The FATAL MISTAKE! 

 

Have you heard this one?  “Good judgment comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgment.”  This is not wisdom speaking – I am speaking purely from experience!

My computer is a very important  tool in my work.  I write and perform music.  I write articles, and my sermons are kept safely there.  All of this makes my computer a critically-valuable asset, because I rely on it to create, and to store, and to retrieve, and print out my work.

So you can understand my distress when, one evening, I was trying to access  a file     when a bright blue-and-yellow banner flashed across the screen, with a huge exclamation point, and in large block-letters, the words: “Fatal Error”!  I invoked my most clever,  my most ingenious maneuvers to rectify the situation …  but the computer then proceeded to lock up, and I could do no more with it.  It was frozen.  I couldn’t do “diddley”!  Nada!  Zip!

Thanks to the expertise of a professional technician, my computer was restored to functionality.  But I learned a valuable and expensive lesson from that experience – and that lesson is this:  My own human wisdom falls woefully short.  So, heretofor, upon finding that I’m on the brink of trouble, I will stop in my tracks, and I will immediately seek greater knowledge and wisdom than my own  to fix the problem and to avoid another fatal mistake.

Prov 28:26  “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.”  KJV (… who trusts in his own wisdom, his own judgment, his own knowledge and understanding)

Did you know   that about 100 people die each year from chewing on – and accidentally swallowing – ball-point pens?   So much for human wisdom!

And in this present age, while we are virtually   drowning in technical data, wallowing in  information  and knowledge galore,  there are still vast numbers of folks who believe that the earth   is flat … and, yes, there are others who are still convinced that the sun   revolves around the earth!

I’m a recovered alcoholic.  Knowing full well that drinking impairs judgment with the first drink,   where’s the logic in the experts’ counsel to “drink responsibly?

Is it   at all humanly possible to navigate the potholes and pitfalls of life thru our own ingenuity?    And who – or what – is our ethical and moral authority?  Is the conscience      a reliable guide?

Remember Jimminy Cricket, the Disney cartoon character?  Jimminy Cricket  used to advise kids:  “Always let your conscience be your guide.”  But is my conscience a dependable guide?

Prov 16:25  “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof  are the ways of destruction (death).”  KJV

I’ve heard it said that we all follow our consciences. The difference lies in   what  feeds  our conscience. Whose counsel do we seek?  Where do we get our information?  What is the source that we turn to  for advice and for direction?

The Swine Flu vaccine in 1976 caused more death and illness than the  disease that it was intended to prevent!   Where was man’s wisdom then?

And 100 years ago, it was believed that the narcotic heroin possessed valuable health benefits.  Heroin was thought to be beneficial for clearing the complexion, for giving buoyancy to the mind, and for regulating the digestive system.  We now know much better now, but …

God, speaking thru the prophet Isaiah, says:  “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.”  Isaiah 53:6

And thru Moses, He strongly admonished the Church in the wilderness: You shall  not do     at all     what we are doing here today,     every man doing  whatever is right in his own eyes.”  Deuteronomy 12:8  NAS

So then, to what standard should we turn  in order  to be certain   that we’ll arrive at right decisions? … that we can make wise choices?  Isn’t there a more trustworthy source of guidance   than mere human judgment   or opinion?   than the human conscience?   a safer, more-sure  source?

Deuteronomy 12:28  “Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, in order that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your GodNAS    … what is good and right in the sight of the LORD, as opposed to what is right in our own eyes.

King David, whom God called “a man after My own heart”, states: Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet, a Light unto my path.”  Psalm 119:105 

The Bible was once the only textbook used in many schools,  in the days of our grandparents.  Children were taught their reading, spelling, history, and a sound code of morality and ethics from God’s Word!

God’s Word is not only a foolproof guidance system, but it’s an excellent hedge against those “fatal errors”.  Again, listen to King David’s testimony:

Psalm 119:11 Thy Word have I hid in my heart,    that I might not sin against Thee.”  And in Verse 9:  “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Thy Word.”  RSV

A perfect example would be Noah.  Despite being asked to do something so “off-the-wall”,  so outrageous,  so completely illogical,  so unfathomable, as to build an immense, humongous boat   on dry land, far away from any body of water,  Noah still obeyed,   and we can be so very glad he did!

Genesis 6:13  So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.  17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark – you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”  NIV

Noah trusted God, and obeyed, because  He knew God.  We, too, can know God, and we can learn to trust Him, and to walk in His counsel …

Another Biblical great, Enoch,   and the Creator God   were inseparable.  Genesis 5:24  tells us that “Enoch walked with God …”   NIV It’s not referring to a stroll that Enoch took with God.  This means that Enoch lived in harmony, step-by-step with his Heavenly Father.

Amos 3:3 says “Can two walk together except they are in agreement?” 

It says: “Enoch walked with God;   then he was no more,”  because God took him directly to heaven!  He was translated without seeing death.

God’s path is straight and true.  Matthew 7:13, 14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.  NKJV

But it’s a safe path!  Proverbs 3:5-7 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him,and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes

Instead, we want to go straight to the Source of all knowledge and wisdom.

Tobacco was once widely considered, even by the medical profession,  as a cure for many ailments, such as headache, toothache, arthritis, stomach aches and … bad breath!  (Have you ever smelled smoker’s breath?)  Furthermore, tobacco was also made into a tea and even pressed into pills for medicinal purposes.  Of course, we now know quite differently.

James 1:5   If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all, without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”   NIV

1 Corinthians 3:19 “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”  NIV

Foolishness!  A recent survey revealed that about 7% of Americans still believe that Elvis Presley is still alive!  Now listen to the wisdom of our Creator:

1 Cor 1:24  “… the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

Now here’s a laugher regarding human judgment:  In 1875, the director of the U.S. Patent Office resigned his post, declaring there was simply nothing left to invent!  He therefore recommended that the U.S. Patent Office be closed!    Say whaaat?

Let’s amend the opening statement so that it says, “Good judgment comes from the Source of all wisdom – which is the Lord God.”  And here’s why:

I Corinthians 2:16  “For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to instruct    Him? …” RSV    Rom 11:34 asks, “…who has been His counselor?” 

In John 14:6  Jesus proclaims, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

It’s a statistical fact that   more people are killed by donkeys than by airplane crashes!  There must be a considerable element of flawed human judgment  - as well as much misplaced fear – in that statement!

Listen now to John 16:7 Jesus is speaking to the disciples: “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor  (The Holy Spirit) will not come to you;   but if I go, I will send Him to you … Verse13  But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. NIV

God has made a New Covenant  with His people.  It contains “God’s GPS”.  As the central component of His Covenant, His promise is to write His Law in our hearts – a direct reference to His inscribing the 10 Commandments, His moral law, on those tables of stone.  But God promises to remove our hearts of stone,   and give us hearts of flesh,    upon which He’ll inscribe His precepts.   Thru the Old Testament prophet  Ezekiel, He promises …

“I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone … and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”   Ezek 36:26-27

And again to the New Testament church – that’s us! – He says: “I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be My people.”  Hebrews 8:10  NIV

When the Patriarch Daniel, in exile with the Nation of Israel, prayed for understanding and guidance, God’s right-hand angel, Gabriel, appeared before him, saying, “From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard.” Daniel 10:13, from The Message

We must first become humble and submissive, teachable and willing to do what He asks of us – present  ourselves to Him with a willing spirit.

And then what?  Well, this is Paul’s experience,  and it can be yours, too.

Galatians 2:20  “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh   I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  NKJV He’ll guide your steps, guard your thoughts, give you clear speech, pure intentions, wisdom, understanding, and His guidance,  His good judgment!

King David petitions the Almighty in Psalm 25:4 “Show me the path where I should go, O Lord; point out the right road for me to walk.  Lead me; teach me; for You are the God who gives me salvation.”  TLB

Matthew 1:23 is the prophetic announcement of the coming Christ.  Listen: “and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, ‘God with us.’ ” KJV  More literally, God IN us – God incarnate, God IN humanity, in human flesh!

Paul continues in  I Corinthians 2:16:  that,   thru the indwelling Holy Spirit,  “… we have the mind of Christ.”  RSV  When you abide in Him, and He is abiding in you, you then have access to His wisdom, and to His judgment … to God’s GPS ! You have access to the thoughts, the ways, the mind of Christ!

Isaiah 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ ”  NIV

“And if you leave God’s paths and go astray, you will hear a Voice behind you say, ‘No, this is the way; walk here.’ ” TLB

In  Psalm 1, The wisdom of God’s path is contrasted with the fatal error of human ways:  “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of (mockers) scoffers!  2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.  3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.  4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.  5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,  nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.  6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.”  NASU

God offered to King Solomon in his youth, perhaps the wealthiest, wisest man who ever lived, a choice between riches, fame, and wisdom.  After much contemplation, Solomon asked for wisdom.  God’s response went like this: Since you’ve chosen to receive wisdom, I’ll give you all three!

And as his father, King David, proclaims in Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do thy will, O my God.  Yea!  Thy law is within my heart.” ASV

Human wisdom?  According to a late-19th-Century dictionary, Uranium was thought to be “a worthless mineral found in the Southwestern United States.  In this very same way, many fail to recognize the value    of the counsel and the priceless wisdom    that can be found within the pages of the Holy Scriptures.  Need we say any more about human wisdom?

God’s Book, His inspired, Holy Word, is different from any other ‘authority’, because it comes from our Creator and Sustainer.  It states plainly, ‘Thus saith the Lord’,  rather than what the wisdom of man thinks or says or supposes!   You can trust the Scriptures in all matters!

You may read any other book for entertainment or to glean information from its pages.  But when you open God’s Word, you are extending the invitation –  giving Him the opportunity –  to speak directly to your heart,  by and thru that very same Spirit  Who inspired the original writers of the Scriptures!

”God’s Book, the Holy Scriptures, is different from all other ‘authorities’, because it says, ‘Thus saith the Lord’, rather than what man thinks or says or supposes!   You can stand firmly on the  Word of God with both feet!

Learn to know your Heavenly Father   and His Son, your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Find your guidance and direction in the Source of all wisdom, and   there  is where   you can safely place your trust and your confidence!

One of my favorite Christian authors wrote more than 100 years ago:  “There is no insanity so dreadful, so hopeless, as that of following human wisdom, unguided by the wisdom of God.”  -  Patriarchs and Prophets

 

Heavenly Father:  Give us a hungering to know You, the willingness to obey You and to serve you from the heart.  Reveal Yourself to us in terms that we can  grasp.  And incline our feet to walk in Your ways, and in all of Your Truth.  In the worthy, righteous, and holy name of Jesus we pray – Amen

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