In the 54 years that I have been a Christian, like everyone else, I have had to learn the most important things in life through failure. They have been many but as I have grown in my understanding, three principles have guided me to make wise decisions. Proverbs 9: 10 says: ”The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding” I am convinced that true wisdom comes to those who are related to the God of all wisdom and truth. I am condensing it into three brief statements.
First, when it comes to receiving information, Check it out.
God has given absolute truth by which to understand His will and purposes for us. It is the inerrant word of God. All other information that we receive must be examined in the light of what God has said, and what He means by what He said.
The church at Berea in Acts 17:11 is a good example. We are told that they received the word with all readiness of mind. They were excited and eager to know what God had to say. These words show us that they had a teachable spirit. The next thing it said is that they searched the scriptures daily to see if it was so.” They were teachable but not gullible. They were unusual Christians by today’s standard. We don’t know how long they were believers, but it appears that they were properly taught and started out their Christian life in high gear.
To be the pastor of such a church would be one of great responsibility. I would pray more diligently in order not to mislead these dedicated servants. Knowing that they were searching out what I say would cause me to be certain that I wasn’t giving them any ammunition. They did not have Christian writers back then telling how to interpret the Bible. It is a common practice, even among sound evangelicals, to use scripture to support our ideas. When we understand the intended meaning of scripture, we can spot when scripture is used improperly. I am convinced that meditating on scripture is the best way to understand as God intended it to be.. If I were to memorize the whole bible, and lacked understanding of those verses, I would still come up short.
I was a member of a group that accepted any ideas as long as you had a scripture verse to back it up. (Later I discovered it to be a cult and I dropped out) I recall a cartoon that I once saw. It pictured Satan sending out his demons to tempt the world. His admonition to them was “remember, quote lots of scripture”
In closing this point, make sure that you are skilled in sharing not only what you believe but also why you believe it. “Be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks”..
The second principle surrounds the matter of temptation: Don’t go there.
Temptation is such a complex matter, but whether we yield or not, it involves making a choice. The wrong choice is to go there; the right choice is to stay away. Satan’s usual tactic is to bring it to us, but sometimes we help him by the things we put into our minds. Although God forgives, forgets, and removes our sin and takes away the guilt, Satan has a unique way of reminding us of them. Sometimes the memories he brings go back long before we were Christians. Whatever we put into our memory banks have the potential to enslave us. Overcoming temptation involves a lot of failure as well as victories. The more success that we have the greater will be our ability to resist. God promises a way of escape (I Corinthians 10:13) but we must be wise and deal with temptation before it gets too strong. When we think about it or decide to exercise curiosity it won’t be long before we yield. Is there a practical solution? Yes! Here it is. First don’t say to yourself “I can handle that” Without God’s help you can’t. James 4: 7,8 tells us how to resist. “Submit yourself unto the Lord” In other words in order to gain strength we need to turn to God for help. Second the verse says “Resist the Devil and He will flee from you.” Ability to resist is possible only by submitting to God. This is something active that we must do. Third verse eight says “Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you’. We must take the position that we need Him for every temptation that comes our way. I would like to suggest that you memorize James 4: 7, 8 and go to it regularly. You will find that in time that you will acquire the strength needed for every attack. Don’t go there is the formula for overcoming temptation.
The final principle that I feel to be equally as important to the first two is: In all other matters, “Listen to your wife” You may be wondering where I came up with that. It is very biblical and is stated as a principle rather than a command. One question we need to find an answer to is “Why did God create woman? Do you know why God said “It is not good for the man to be alone?” I have heard many great and wonderful attempts to explain why God said that but I think the answer is in the verse preceding it. God gave man the command to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, If he did he would surely die. Upon being given that command, man had before himself the potential to make a wise or a foolish choice. I am convinced that God created woman to assist man in making wise choices. I believe that is the place of the woman today. God has made her different for a reason.
Frequently, major problems occur in a marriage by one acting independently from the other. This happens usually in the area of finances. There is a reason why God made them male and female.
Men tend to operate logically. Women on the other hand are intuitive. Have you ever had an experience of making a decision that everything was carefully planned out and logic said that it was the right thing to do. There were green lights all the way. You were excited and shared it with your wife. What was her response? “I don’t feel right about this.” It is important to listen to the spirit of your wife. Make sure that you have her with you. The husband and wife are designed to work in harmony. The electric circuit is a good illustration of the necessity of the male and female role acting harmoniously to produce powerful results. How many marital problems could be avoided if marriage partners acted in harmony for the purpose for which God designed them Listen to your wife is always a good idea and a wise choice..