Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Relationship = Experience

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance – for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Proverbs 1:5-7
How can we truly attain this knowledge of God that Proverbs speaks of?  What does that look like in our daily lives?Relationship = Experience - We can’t fully attain knowledge of God without first experiencing God, and we cannot experience God without a relationship with Him. Knowledge is basically a relationship.  It does not matter how much we know about God; we must knowGod.  That knowledge is to be experienced.  An immature awareness of God affects my knowledge, my understanding, and my wisdom and insight.  Coming to Christ requires little understanding of God.  A child can comprehend that God is creator, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, holy and love. They can realize their own sin, heaven and hell and the sacrifice of Christ.  In giving our lives to Christ as a child, we surrender all that we know ourselves to be.  But we add so much more to our lives after that.  Money, sexual desires, vocation, family and lots more are added as we grow up. Knowing how God relates to these areas is critical to our success and peace. 
Our God awareness can be too small for our existence. - Our whole purpose of life is to come to know God and to come into a relationship with him. The fear (reverence or respect) of the Lord is the starting point of that relationship.  The beginning.  We normally think of a beginning as something that happened at one point in time and then was left behind as we went on to something else.  In this passage the word "beginning" has nothing to do with chronology. Instead it refers to a "starting point." It is the place where we begin, but it is more. It continues to be the controlling principle of our relationship with God. It is the very heart of life for us. We begin with the fear of God, and we never leave it behind. Wisdom never comes to the lazy, careless, or casual person. It is a pursuit that calls for diligent energy to be expended.
Total awe and submission is our beginning attitude, but it is also to be the continuing core of our relationship with God.  That awe, respect, and submission should not lessen but become deeper as we grow in our relationship with Him.  
Experiencing Knowledge - I cannot truly understand what I “know” until I encounter and experience it in my life.  I only have awareness and a concept of that knowledge until then.  There is no teacher like experience and that is what God uses to turn knowledge to wisdom if we will listen to His voice during the experience.
Knowledge does not produce virtue or wisdom. Experience and observation show that people who know what is right do not necessarily always act according to their knowledge.  If knowledge is not everything, it surely is something. Knowledge may not guarantee virtue, but ignorance has a smaller chance to produce a good life.  Wrong actions may sometimes be the result of inadequate knowledge, even though right action does not necessarily follow adequate knowledge. Knowledge can also cause a false sense of wisdom and power. 
Wrong Relationships - A large portion of the content of Proverbs is about wrong relationships because they are the enemy of wisdom.  Proverbs focuses on three kinds of people – the wise, the foolish, and the simple. The Wiseis the person who embraces God's direction and learns the skill of living out His plan in everyday situations.  The Foolis the person steadily opposed to God's direction.  These people have low moral restraint and are dangerous in their influence.  The Simpleis the person who is not firmly committed and is easily misled.  Many people today, including Christians, disregard the warnings of Proverbs.  But it is all good advice!  We could save ourselves and our loved ones a lot of pain to heed the powerful words in Proverbs.  

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