Wisdom, the key to living the best life

reading book

Wisdom. We all want it and we all need it.

I have been spending time immersed in the the book of Proverbs in The Passion Translation (I just love this translation) . At the beginning of the book the translator, Dr Brian Simmons writes this…

The revelation herein will make you a champion. You will reign in victory and excel in life. Wisdom from above will pour into your heart until you become an example to your generation. Live in this book and wisdom will live in you.

How awesome would it be to become a champion, walking in victory and excelling in everything we do. To have wisdom residing in us that we become a shining example to our generation. Hiding the wisdom that is written in the book of Proverbs in our hearts is a perfect place to begin on this journey of living the best life.

In Proverbs three it tells us that the Lord laid the earths foundations with wisdom’s blueprints, with His divine revelation. Wisdom is a gift given to us from God. He longs to fill us with His understanding.

Listen carefully my dear child, to everything that I teach you, and pay attention to all that I have to say. Fill your thoughts with my words until they penetrate deep into your spirit. Proverbs 4 verse 20-21

To obtain wisdom we need to listen carefully to everything that the Lord is saying to us. We need to be in tune with God and recognize how it is He speaks to us. We are all unique and God may speak to us all in different ways  – through the bible, the words of a song, through the words of another person or He may speak straight into our heart and soul – but we just need to discover that unique way and listen intently.

Then as you unwrap my words they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being. Verse 22.

The wisdom of the Lord brings life and health to the very core of your being. You become healthy and healed from the inside out. When you walk in the wisdom of the Lord you know that you are on the right path, you know that the favor of the Lord will be upon you and that you can face anything that comes your way, . You know that you are living a life worthy of your calling and there is no fear, anxiety, shame, uneasiness or a questioning heart. That is what healthy and healed from the inside out looks like.

Join me in reading the book of Proverbs over this next month. As we live in this book so wisdom will live in us.

understanding your identity : we need to start over

One of my favorite songs at the moment is Simple Gospel by United Pursuit.

I  love these words from the song…

I want to know you Lord like I know a friend,  So I’m laying down all my religion. I use to think that I could box you in. I’ve been told to be ashamed, I’ve been told I don’t measure up, I’ve been told I’m not good enough but you’re here with me. I reach out and you find me in the dust. You say no amount of untruths can separate us.

I feel like this is a process that I have been going through for the past two years. I came to a place in my life where I just wanted more of God. I wanted to know Him like I know a friend. I had this feeling deep within me that there  was so much more to God that I had not yet discovered. So I set out on a journey to know God more.

Laying down my religion, breaking down all of the walls I had built to hem Him in and all the boxes I had tried to fit God into all had to come down. It was like starting all over again.

Religion had me reading the bible because I had to. Somewhere along the line I had been told that you must read the bible everyday. The bible is so hard to understand and where do you even begin? The task became too difficult and not very enjoyable so my goal of reading the bible everyday was not achieved. I would then begin to feel guilt and shame over not reading the word of God everyday and to avoid those feelings I just stayed away from reading the bible all together.

I had to lay down this perception and this lie of being a good Jesus follower meant that you had to read the bible everyday. God does not want us to feel shame and guilt over not achieving that. He wants us to read His word and if we could do it everyday then that is great, but if we don’t, He is not there looking upon us and condemning us. He is there with grace and mercy. Guilt and shame are not part of my DNA, God did not create me with those qualities, they are not my identity.

Religion had me praying every night before going to sleep, to offer Him my lists of requests because I had been told that you have to pray to God everyday. I never really had anybody sit me down and explain to me the art and love of praying and I never really set out to discover it for myself either. I had failed to see that prayer was actually talking and listening to God, that it was in actual fact a two way conversation between two people that actually had a loving and intimate relationship .

I had to lay down my thoughts that God was far off and too distant to care or worry about the little things that I was concerned about. I had to understand that I am not an orphan that He is in actual fact my Heavenly Father and that He sees me and knows me and nothing I think or care about is insignificant to Him. Being an orphan is not how I was created. My identity is that I am His daughter and I can talk to Him and He will talk back to me

To begin to really know God and to really know my identity as His daughter I needed to start all over, I needed to learn how to do my walk with the Lord all over again, but this time in the right way.

I needed to be more childlike. I needed to have a childlike, teachable and humble spirit so that I could stop believing the misconceptions and the lies I had been believing and start to understand the truth about God and the truth about myself. I also needed to be hungry for more and I had to seek these things out for myself and not just take another persons word for it.

Starting over again is hard but I truly believe that the Lord wants to break down the boxes we have put Him in and even break down the boxes we have put ourselves in.

What are some of the lies or misconceptions that you are believing about God? What are some of the lies or misconceptions that you are believing about yourself? I encourage you to start to think about these two questions and ask the Holy Spirit to help you along in this process of knowing God like you know a friend and knowing your true identity as a son or daughter of God.

 

understanding your identity : learning to love yourself

woman looking out window

Now that we have a better understanding of our Heavenly Father – His beautiful nature and His unending love for us now we need to start to understand our identity.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

We are sons and daughters of the King, we are the people of God and we need to begin to learn to love ourselves the way God loves us and see ourselves with our Fathers eyes.

There are so many of us who struggle with insecurity. We find it hard to love ourselves which then makes it hard for us to love others and hard for us to receive love from others. The answer to our insecurities is simple. We must learn to love ourselves as much as our Heavenly Father loves us.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:10-12

He loved us first. Before we even knew Him, He was pursuing us, drawing near to us, watching and waiting for us to turn our face to Him. He loves us so much that He sent His beloved Son for us. This love is powerful.

If we are going to love ourselves as much as God loves us, then we must encounter His love for us. When we experience Gods powerful love for us, it gives us the ability to love ourselves. How do we experience and encounter His powerful love?

 The prayer of Apostle Paul can help us…

A Prayer for the Ephesians

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19

It takes power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of God for us and it takes power to know this love. The Holy Spirit is the person to give us that power. We need to ask Him to give us that power in our inner being to know, experience and encounter His love.

The bible tells us this…

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

Whatever we ask, He hears us, and we know that we will have what we have asked for. He is just waiting for us to ask Him to reveal His love to us. The bible is full of verses of His powerful love for us, but I believe He wants to show us first hand what that love feels like. And as we begin to feel His love for us we will then begin to feel worthy, accepted, loved unconditionally, powerful and free. Free to love ourselves the way that our Heavenly Father loves us.

Hearing God : part two. Discovering Gods nature

walkway to beach

God doesn’t just speak to us so that He can give us directions. God speaks to us so that He can reveal His nature to us. He wants us to know Him by his heart, personality and spirit and not just be known as somebody that needs to be listened to and strictly followed.

God wants us to have a strong identity so He talks to us through His nature more then He does through direct words. He invites us in to discover more about Him and in return more about ourselves because we are created in His image.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27

How do we hear from God about His nature? We have His word, the bible, which we meditate on until it becomes our nature too. As we study the word and write it on our hearts, our heart, character and nature begin to align with His.

The bible reveals to us that..

God is powerful… 1 Timothy 6:15

God is love… 1 John 4:8

God is the truth, the light, and in Him there is no darkness… 1 John 1:5

God is holy… 1 Peter 1:16

God loves mercy and grace and He is compassionate… Psalm 103:8

God is gentle…  Psalm 18:35

God is righteous…  Psalm 129:4

God is faithful… 1 Corinthians 10:13

So now we understand that God is loving and that He shows mercy, grace and compassion so whenever we trip up and make a mistake or fall into sin we know that we can come before Him and He will show us mercy and forgiveness. We can lean in closer to Him and feel the fullness of His love and compassion. He will always be gentle with us and we know that He remains faithful so we can come before Him time and time again and He will treat us in the same loving way each and every time. This is God speaking to us through His nature.

The more that we begin to rely on Gods nature inside of us the more confident we are in our identity and in Him. We begin to take on the mind of Christ. We now no longer need to be told what is good and right for us because we fully understand who He has made us to be and we know what we should be doing and when we should be doing it.

Hearing God : part one. It all starts with relationship

loveletter

One of the top questions that I get asked is How do I hear from God for myself? Or How do I know if it is Gods will or not? People are desperate to hear from God and are desperate for reassurance that they heard from God correctly.

Hearing from God is all about relationship. It would be so much easier if God just gave us clear and direct words that we could obey but He is not a God who just speaks direct orders and demands to be listened to and followed. He is a father and He wants us to enter into a relationship, to be connected with Him in a father-daughter or father-son type relationship.

To be connected to God in this way we need to see Him in the right light. He is the perfect loving Father but sometimes if we have had a bad experience with our earthly Fathers we find it hard to connect to our Heavenly Father because we have a skewed view of what a Father truly is.

We can not view our heavenly Father with the same lenses that we view our earthy Fathers. Our earthly fathers are only human, they are flawed and sometimes will make mistakes. God however is the perfect Father and we need to get to know Him as that Father.

The scriptures reveal His perfect love for us. The scriptures tell us that…

Father God is not distant and angry, but He is the complete expression of love… 1 John 4:16

and that it is His desire to lavish His love on us simply because we are His children and He is our Father… 1 John 3:1

Every good gift that we receive comes from Gods hand… James 1:17

because God is our provider and He will meet all of our needs… Matthew 6:31-33

He loves us with an everlasting love… Jeremiah 31:3

and He will never stop doing good to us… Jeremiah 32:40

One day He will wipe away every tear form our eyes and will take away all the pain we have suffered on this earth… Revelation 21:3-4

For He is our Father, and He love us even as He loved His Son, Jesus… John 17:23

For in Jesus, His love for us is reveled… John 17:26

There are so many more scriptures that reveal Gods love for us and reveal His nature as a perfect Father. As we begin to know and understand His perfect nature we can then begin to deepen our relationship with Father God. It is from this deeper place in our relationship with God that we will begin to hear Him more clearly and know when we are in His will.

I encourage you to delve into the scriptures and discover Father God for yourself. Another great book I have read and can highly recommend is Experiencing Father’s Embrace by Jack Frost. This book helped me to let go of my earthly view of a father and really begin to understand the heavenly view of Father God. I have had so much break through in many parts of my life from simply seeing Father God through the right lens.

You can also listen to this beautiful spoken word – The Fathers love letter (just click here) or read the words of the love letter here. This spoken word is an intimate letter written just for you from Father God.