Spiritual Challenges 2

Human Wisdom Verses God’s Wisdom:

In this age of technology and greed, an increased emphasis is being put on education. Education, continually learning new things, is good if it is properly used. However, when improperly used, education can become a false God and a massive deception.

After years of study and collecting diplomas and degrees, we can become so proud of our knowledge and our collection of rewards that we get “puffed up” with pride. Sometimes we can get so puffed up that we think we know as much or more than God. Or we thing that we can do things better than God or we can become a God or equal to God. This thinking that our intelligence is like or greater than God’s or other people’s’ is a huge deception. As finite humans, we can never match God’s wisdom, and we will always be able to find someone who knows something we do not or someone who is more intelligent than we are. So why do we think so highly of ourselves? After all, who can speak a heaven and earth into existence? No any human. Yet we have the arrogance to think we can. We are greatly deceived!

We also have the arrogance to think that our “human intellect’ can reason and figure out how the world came into existence, without including God. We spend millions of dollars and fabricate grand stories so we can “humanly prove” God right out of the picture. After all, if we rationalize God away, we won’t have to be accountable for our actions. Then, we think we can live our lives in every kind of perversion, having as much fun as we want, and hurting as many people as needed so we can attain our personal goals without having to answer to God for it.

Yet rationalizing God “away or nonexistent” in your mind doesn’t truly take His presence away. God will not be mocked by humans. He will see that these people give an accounting of their lives here on earth before His throne of judgment. Then people will understand the foolishness of human rationalization and human wisdom. They do not even come close in comparison to the wisdom of God. Scripture says it this way, “Because the foolishness is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:25 NKJV)

Paul, an apostle of Jesus, warns us about thinking too highly of ourselves saying, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3 NKJV)

If anyone thinks his intellect compares with God, he should read about King Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible. The story begins in Daniel 4:1. This story clearly shows how God can deal with people, bringing their arrogance down so they can get a true picture of God’s intelligence in comparison to man’s.

I 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 Paul says, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

Often, because we are finite human beings, we allow our human wisdom to go contrary to God. As teachers of God’s word, we must take utmost caution in our teaching to guard against replacing Godly wisdom with human wisdom. We must also be careful not to twist scripture and pervert the true meaning of it. It is true that we cannot fathom the complete meaning of every scripture, but we must pray for revelation from God and do the best we can to try to interpret God’s meaning from the Bible.

One example of human wisdom verses God’s wisdom appeared to me when I was first getting to know my present husband, Steve. As we were talking, he began telling me about his church which is now my church. He told me they believed in miracles, speaking in tongues and other things I have previously been taught were wrong.

When I first found out about miracles and speaking in tongues, I went to ask the Pastor at the church I was attending then about these things. He kept telling me “we don’t do that here” or “that was for the time of the apostles.” My spiritual life was in turmoil because I wanted to know, beyond the shadow of doubt, what the truth was. I did not want to take the words of men as truth because I knew the possibility for error existed and my eternal soul was at risk. Therefore, I prayed to God, asking Him to show me the truth. I told Him that I wanted the truth straight from Him because I knew it would be the truth. I kept reading the Word of God and praying until my answer came in an experience I hope that I will never forget!

I began attending Steve’s church and listening to the messages from the Pastor. During service one Sunday morning I sat in a pew listening as the Pastor asked those wanting prayer to come forward. Then I thought “I should pray for my friend, Steve.” Soon afterwards the Pastor asked those who wanted to pray for the people up front to come forward, lay hands on them, and pray. Because of being in a new church, I hesitated for a moment but finally decided to go forward to pray for Steve. When I took my first step into the aisle between two sections of pews, though I didn’t know what was happening at the time, The Holy Spirit picked me up and put me behind Steve at the altar in the front of the congregation.

A moment before the Holy Spirit released me I heard the Pastor ask me, “Sister, do you want a healing?” Then the Spirit released me, and I became aware of my presence at the altar. Then the Pastor repeated the question, “Sister, do you want a healing?”

Needless to say, I was confounded when I realized I was at the altar and didn’t know how I had gotten from the pew to the altar up front. Not thinking clearly, I answered the Pastor saying, “No, I just want to pray for my friend, Steve.” The Pastor went on praying for the needs before him. I wish now I had said, “Yes, I’d like a healing for my friend, Steve!”

After service that day I went home and prayed, asking God, “What happened to me today?” Then I opened my Bible to read it and noticed the story of Philip and Ethiopian eunuch in Acts, chapter eight. In that story the Holy Spirit translated Philip from his location to the place where the Ethiopian eunuch was riding in the chariot and reading the book of Isaiah. God picked up Philip and put him near the chariot so he could explain God’s word more fully to the man.

I realized then that God had translated me from the pew to the front of the church and set me down behind Steve at the altar so I could pray for him. God also did this to show me how powerful He was and confirm that I was in the right place–the place where the truth of His word was being preached. Several times God confirmed the me that this was His truth, and He had more for me than I ever knew existed. Not too long after this, I was baptized by the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. God baptizes by the Holy Spirit to release His divine power in His children, giving them boldness and empowering them for service.

Many Christians fear speaking in tongues because they have been taught doctrines contrary to it by men. They have been taught that speaking in tongues and the baptism of The Holy Spirit is from the devil or it was only for the original apostles. In 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 God’s word tells us, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all, for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit words all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

If God speaks of these gifts in His Word, who are we to say that they are from the devil or that they are not for us now. God’s word says He doesn’t change, and His gifts and callings are irreversible. So why would God quit giving these gifts to people is such a time as this? We need these gifts now more than ever before! We need the power of God in our churches and our homes. We need the empowerment and boldness to speak out and live in this dark world around us today! These gifts heal and restore the church or spread God’s message to others, attracting them into the church. God has made His people vessels He can use to do His work on this earth. God pours out His power and gifts into our lives so we can pour them out to others!

Acts 4:27-31 gives us another example of God pouring out His Spirit and another examples is shown in Acts chapter two, when Peter preaches a sermon and 3,000 people were added to the church that day.

As for miracles and divine healing, we see them in our daily lives. Every time a new baby is born, someone is healed or a new people comes to Jesus, we’ve seen a miracle. Whenever our prayers are answered and God delivers someone from sickness or addiction, it’s a miracle. So how can we say that God’s divine power was only meant for the twelve disciples, and they don’t apply to us today? We need God’s divine power every day as we’re talking with people, confronting sin, sharing our testimonies and sharing the gospel! Without God’s power within us, we can’t accomplish any of these works.

I know the thought of giving control of our lives to God is frightening. We do not want to be embarrassed, humbled or humiliated by allowing God to use us to speak in tongues, to speak a language we do not understand. We don’t want to submit our will to Jesus and receive what He has for us because we’re afraid of what other people might say or think. We might even be called crazy or fanatical. But I ask you, “What is more important–saving face before people or allowing God to empower us and work through us to reach others for His kingdom?”

Jesus encourages us to believe in John 14:11-13 saying, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

Now you may be thinking, “Why should I believe what this woman says, because she’s only human like me?” To this question I answer, “Don’t rely on any human wisdom, rather ask God to show you the truth. Don’t just pray once, but keep seeking God for His answer and be open to accept it when He gives it to you. Don’t be surprised if God demonstrates His divine power in your life to reassure you that it comes from Him. Also, remember God is a gentleman and He will not force His will on anyone; He will not force anyone to speak in tongues against their will. But God wants us to have His endowment of power for service and survival of the church.

In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 scripture tells us of Godlessness in the last days. It lists several characteristics of wicked men. In verses four and five it says that men will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. Could God be speaking about some of the Christian churches of today because they fail to believe in the divine power of God and settle for a form of “religion” without the dynamic (dutamus) power of God? It will be a sad day when many believers lose faith because they didn’t believe in God’s divine power and did not have the empowerment from God to help them stand in the midst of the Spiritual battles we face today.

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