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~ Wisdom Versus Knowledge ~

Part 1 of 4

        For this month's series of Weekly Reflections, I just want to be a messenger of the wisdom of others. Let's begin by considering the remarkable challenge of Dr. A. W. Tozer:

        "Let us imagine that we are talking to an inquirer, some eager young Christian, let us say, who has sought us out to learn about the Spirit-filled life. As gently as possible, considering the pointed nature of the questions, we would probe his soul somewhat as follows: 'Are you sure you want to be filled with a Spirit Who, though He is like Jesus in His gentleness and love, will nevertheless demand to be Lord of your life? Are you willing to let your personality be taken over by another, even if that other be the Spirit of God Himself? If the Spirit takes charge of your life, He will expect unquestioning obedience in everything. He will not tolerate in you the self-sins even though they are permitted and excused by most Christians. By the self-sins I mean self-love, self-pity, self-seeking, self-confidence, self-righteousness, self-aggrandizement, self-defense. You will find the Spirit to be in sharp opposition in the easy ways of the world and of the mixed multitude within the precincts of religion. He will be jealous over you for good. He will not allow you to boast or swagger or show off. He will take the direction of your life away from you. He will reserve the right to test you, to discipline you, to chasten you for your soul's sake. He may strip you of many of those borderline pleasures that other Christians enjoy but which are to you a source of refined evil. Through it all He will enfold you in a love so vast, so mighty, so all-embracing, so wondrous that your very losses will seem like gains and your small pains like pleasures. Yet the flesh will whimper under His yoke and cry out against it as a burden too great to bear. And you will be permitted to enjoy the solemn privilege of suffering to fill up in your flesh "what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of His Body, which is the church." Now, with the conditions before you, do you still want to be filled with the Holy Spirit?'" [A. W. Tozer, The Divine Conquest, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1978]

        "Respect and obey the Lord! This is the first step to wisdom and good sense." (Psalm 111:10)

        "Wisdom shouts in the streets wherever crowds gather. She shouts in the marketplaces and near the city gates as she says to the people, 'How much longer will you enjoy being stupid fools? Won't you ever stop sneering and laughing at knowledge? Listen as I correct you and tell you what I think. You completely ignored me and refused to listen; you rejected my advice and paid no attention when I warned you. So when you are struck by some terrible disaster, or when trouble and distress surround you like a whirlwind, I will laugh and make fun. You will ask for my help, but I won't listen; you will search, but you won't find me. No, you would not learn, and you refused to respect the Lord. You rejected my advice and paid no attention when I warned you. Now you will eat the fruit of what you have done, until you are stuffed full with your own schemes. Sin and self-satisfaction bring destruction and death to stupid fools.

        'But if you listen to me, you will be safe and secure without fear of disaster.'" (Proverbs 1:20-33, CEV)

Click here for Part 2

John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Spiritual Resource Services

Weekly Reflections © March 30, 2000

Responses are welcome at: Reflections@prayergear.com

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