Becoming wise ; being transformed into the bride of Christ

bride

In Proverbs chapter 31 from verse 10 through to the end of the book it talks about The Radiant Bride. It is a picture of the perfect bride, or a virtuous woman but it is also a picture of the end-time victorious bride of Jesus Christ.

It says (reading from The Passion Translation); as the bride of Christ, we should be of strength and mighty valour, full of wealth and wisdom, give out revelation truth, be extravagantly generous to the poor, have a shining light that can not be distinguished and have bold power and glorious majesty wrapped around us (just to name a few).

When you read through the chapter it can become a little overwhelming.Our focus usually goes straight to all the things that we are not or to the things that we are seriously falling short at being but Proverbs 31 actually gives us a picture of what we can become.

Jesus loves us just where we are in our journey, but He also sees the potential that we have. He looks at us and can see the virtuous and radiant bride that we are going to become.

Proverbs 31 is not a picture of what we look like at the start of our journey but what we will look like at the end of our journey. As we walk with the Lord, growing closer to Him, soaking up His word and His wisdom we become transformed into His likeness and transformed into the radiant bride of Christ.

Father God we thank you that you love us just where we are and I thank you that you never give up on us. I pray that you help us to not focus on our downfalls but to see the victorious and radiant bride that we are going to be. I pray that we will be transformed into your likeness as we draw closer to you, spending more time in your presence and reading your word. Amen.

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Growing in wisdom

womanriver

Making decisions can be hard sometimes. Just the other night my husband and I were lucky enough to sneak away for a couple of hours without the children in tow and we decided to go out for a nice meal together. The thing was we both could not decide where to go and eat.

Sounds silly I know but this was our dilemma, we very rarely get the chance to go out for a nice meal as a couple so the pressure was on to pick just the right restaurant so that we wouldn’t be disappointed with our meal or with our night out.

We were trying to decide between three different restaurants and we were given access to some discount vouches so we thought which ever one of the three restaurants has a discount voucher will be the restaurant that we choose to go to. Well of course all three restaurants had great vouches that we could use so we were back to square one.

Does anybody else out there struggle with making decisions? And I am not just talking about the silly decisions like where to go to eat dinner, but I am talking about the major life changing decisions that sometimes we all have to make.

The bible tells us this…

Your future is bright and filled with a living hope that will never fade away. As you listen to me, my beloved child, you will grow in wisdom and your heart will be drawn into understanding, which will empower you to make right decision.  Proverbs 23:18-19

As we listen to God we will grow in wisdom and we will begin to understand His will and be able to confidently make the right decisions.

To grow in wisdom we must draw close to the Lord and listen to Him. God is always speaking whether it be through the bible, through a spoken word, through a song or straight into your spirit. The question is are you always listening?

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

We need to position ourselves to hear from the Lord. He has so much for us, it is up to us to explore what it is He has for us. He is not going to lay it all out for us, He actually wants us to engage with Him.

To grow in wisdom we need to sit at the feet of God, spend time in His presence and listen for His voice and immerse ourselves in the bible as it is full of wisdom.

As we begin to walk with the Lords wisdom in our hearts our future becomes brighter and we are filled with living hope that never fades away. We are beloved children of God, and His wisdom and understanding that He freely gives to us will empower us to make the right decisions.

(the story ended well by the way and we ended up choosing a lovely restaurant and had the most amazing meal!)

Learning to speak wisdom to ourselves

find that life-givingword of encouragementrising up in your heart

Anxious fear brings depression, but a life-giving word of encouragement can do wonders to restore joy to the heart. Lovers of God give good advice to their friends, but the counsel of the wicked will lead them astray. Proverbs 12: 25-26 TPT

The foot note for this verse at the bottom of the page said this…

Stop worrying. Think instead of what brings you gladness. Our focus must never be on what we can’t change but on the everlasting joy we have in Christ. Sometimes we have to find the life-giving word of encouragement rising up in our own hearts. This is the secret of finding perpetual encouragement by the word that lives in us.

Stop worrying. It’s easier said then done some times! To help settle those feelings of anxiety when they begin to rise, focus on what brings you gladness. My trick is to stop looking at what is worrying me and to just focus on the Lord and His promises to me.

He promises to be my strength and He promises to turn all things to good for those who love Him. As long as I remember these promises, fear will melt away, worrying will cease and anxiety will no longer rear its ugly head. It is how we turn our focus from what we can’t change to the everlasting joy we have in Christ.

Most times we seek out external advice and encouragement when we find ourselves going through something difficult. We do need each other but the Lord also wants us to be able to fill our minds and our hearts with His wisdom and love so that when we begin to feel ourselves becoming downhearted we can look within ourselves to find that life-giving word of encouragement that we need to lift us up again.

Hiding the word of God in our minds and in our hearts is key. We can store His wisdom there for when we need it the most. It becomes our well spring for life. Not only will we be able to find life-giving words of encouragement for ourselves but we will also be an encouragement to others around us. We become the lovers of God who give good advice to their friends, verse 26.

Learning to speak wisely

speak

If you shrug off an insult and refuse to take offense, you demonstrate discretion indeed. But the fool has a short fuse and will immediately let you know when he’s offended. Proverbs 12:16 TPT

Sometimes this is an incredibly hard thing to do, just shrugging off an insult or unkind words that somebody may have said to you or about you. It takes great wisdom to know how to do that and great wisdom to know how to respond appropriately.

To be able to shrug off an insult we need to be firmly rooted in our identity as a child of God. That He created us in His image, we are wonderfully made, we are forgiven and set free, loved unconditionally and righteous. Insults that may come our way can not make us second guess ourselves because we are all these things and more.

Yes we are human and are therefore not perfect, and yes we always have things in our lives that we need to be working on but our identity as a child of God always remains true.

When the insults come your way, stop and remember your true identity and do not let the insults take any ground in your mind and in your heart. Remember what God says about you, after all that is the only opinion that truly matters.

And when you go to respond to somebody that has not been so kind to you remember this…

Reckless words are like the thrusts of a sword, cutting remarks meant to stab and to hurt. But the words of the wise soothe and heal. Proverbs 12:18

Try and rise above the situation and not enter into an exchange of unkind words. Reckless and hurtful words are like the thrusts of a sword and it is not going to end well. We need to have Gods wisdom hidden in our heart so that when we go to speak, only His wise words are what comes out of our mouths.

We know that the greatest commandment that Jesus left for us to do is to love other people and sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. One thing that I try to always remember when I am interacting with other people is to see the goodness that is inside of them. To see them as God created them to be and not how they may be behaving in the heat of the moment.

Father God we ask that you help us to always speak wisdom, truth, life and love. Help us to see the goodness in one another and to draw that goodness out and into the open. Help us to be a people who seek to build one another up and not to tear one another down. Amen.

Wisdom means being teachable

may your heart be full of understanding like the heavens are high and the oceans are deep.

For there is great satisfaction in speaking the truth, and hard work brings blessings back to you. A fool is in love with his own opinion, but wisdom means being teachable. Proverbs 13: 14-15 TPT

The thing that jumped out to me in this passage in Proverbs is that wisdom means being teachable. 

My understanding of being teachable is that you are willing to learn and that you are hungry for more. You are hungry for more insight, more knowledge, more understanding, more revelations and you are wanting more growth in your life. A wise person is teachable, they are always hungry for more.

Hunger is the key. We will never arrive at the place where we can sit back and say “OK Lord, I think I know everything I need to know about You and about myself”. There is always more to learn and to discover but if we are not hungry for more then we will just become stagnant. It is like we have made a box for God and we have filled it to the brim with all we think He is and there is nothing left to know.

But we know that God can not fit in the little boxes that we build for Him so we need to stop thinking that we have arrived at the place of knowing everything and begin to take on that teachable spirit talked about in the book of proverbs.

When we become teachable we can begin to discover more of the Lord and more of the things He has for us. In the bible it talks about Gods revelations being hidden from us. They are not hidden from us to be kept a secret but they are hidden from us so that we will search them out.

God conceals the revelation of His word in the hiding place of His glory. But the honor of kings is revealed to all by how they thoroughly mine out the deeper meaning of all that God says. The heart of a king is full of understanding, like the heavens are high and the ocean is deep. Proverbs 25: 2-3

And in searching out Gods revelations, that is where we grow closer to the Lord, we begin to learn and understand His ways more clearly, feel His love more deeply, we become stronger, bolder and our faith becomes ignited and begins to grow.

Always be hungry for more, always be seeking to spend more time in the presence of the Lord, hearing His voice and understanding His ways and may your heart be full of understanding like the heavens are high and the oceans are deep.