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BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES AND LIFE APPLICATION XLV:
WISDOM OF THE WORLD VS. THE WISDOM OF GOD


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n 1 Corinthians 1: 24-27, Apostle Paul gave an amazing insight into the differences between the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God, unfortunately too many people and too often interpret the verses to mean, the wisdom of this world is no good, which is actually not what that passage indicate, rather along with other scriptures (which we will explore), we are simply not to rely solely on the wisdom of the world, but we are to apply them when necessary.

Wisdom is often accurately defined as the “application of knowledge”, Knowledge is when we “acquire information” and it could be good or bad, while Understanding is being able to assimilate the acquired information, in Christenese, we call knowledge “Logos”, and we call understanding “Rhema” (see Prov. 17: 27 and Isaiah 11:2).

God created us as tripartite being (spirit, soul and body), and in His infinite wisdom, gifted us differently. We know that in our body (physical) is our brain, we know that our brain houses our intellect and we know that some people have different intellectual capabilities more than others, we measure this in IQ, IQ or intelligent quotient is one of the gifts of God, acquired naturally via the chromosomes (gene) we inherit from our parental lineage, it is not uncommon (actually very common) to have a family of geniuses (does not mean that nurturing has nothing to do with smarts – it surely does, just that nature gives an edge to some). What we have in most Ivy League or top rated colleges/universities are aggregation of high IQ (intelligent quotient students) and the curve is often very steep. Top rate companies also employ these students and put them on the executive path to lead the company someday or for companies that rely on new products like Apple or Pfizer; they are put in comfortable labs with others to come up with the next big thing.

We must understand that worldly wisdom is from God, and it is a gift He gave us even before birth, and we can choose to use for and against Him (God). People gifted with great voices can use it to worship Satan, God’s enemy, people with great intellect can use it against God or for evil – for instance Al Bakr Al Baghdadi (the leader if ISIS – the Islamic group in Syria and Iraq, has a PhD in Islamic Studies – a fact ignored by western media, to portray Jihadists/terrorists as idiots), yet he encourages his men to use barbaric brutal force to instill loyalty.

We must also understand that when we put many people with high IQ in the same room, and we give them data to analyze, we would get great inventions, like cars, airplanes, the internet, driver-less cars, great marketing etc., in-fact some of the great tools we are using to enhance the gospel of Christ, so intellect or the wisdom of this world is not all bad, it is how we choose to apply it that causes problem or grieve God. I’m always very giddy (happy) when I sit under men/women with very high IQ and watch them explain scripture in simple terminology, this is what endeared me to Dr. Okey Onuzo (early in my Christian-walk), Dr. Bunmi Dada, Dr. Ken Dick (both taught me as a mature believer), and Dr. Jim Eckman (heard him breakdown the book of Isaiah, historically and contextually in 45 minutes, simply amazing).

The wisdom of this world has produced fantastic things in our world, we simply need to be conscious of them and not be carried away by them, it has produced great lyrics and arrangement of music, it has produced great books on leadership, it has produced marketing strategies that work perfectly, however, please note that all of it is because the God of the universe, first chose to bless us individually with the gift of intellect based on genetic inheritance and also chooses (according to Deut. 29: 29) to reveal things to us, at His timing (anyone ever wondered why we’ve come up with more inventions in the last couple of centuries, and not in the 0-17th centuries?

The wisdom of God is quite different from the wisdom of the world which depends solely on a high IQ analyzing data (strategically) to predict future based on pattern, this occurs in very many fields from medicine to psychology, to material engineering, to sociology, to marketing, to even building church membership. So, many churches today depend on the three or seven seven steps of church growth by a mega church pastor, to grow their church – good choir, good usher, location! Location!! Location!!!, great speeches that tickles not judging, etc.

The wisdom of God start with spiritual rebirth, because to the spiritually dead, spiritual principles are stupidity (regardless of how high the IQ is). Spiritual rebirth is when any individual willingly chooses to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (see Romans 10: 9-10 and John 3: 16), according to the bible this spiritual process lead to the Holy Spirit taking up residence in such a human (John 14: 23-31) and lead him/her into all truth, the Holy Spirit would also bring gift (see 1 Corinth. 12: 1-11) and help the person bear fruit that bring glory to the Father.

According to Jesus, even after we’ve accepted Him as Lord and Savior, we’ll remain in the world with our sinful nature but we are no longer of the world, Apostle Paul put it in another way, we are to willingly crucify our sinful nature (minute by minute, daily, weekly etc.) and choose against our free will to live for the Christ through the Spirit of God that now indwell us. When we choose to do this, only then would the Spirit of God share the wisdom of God with us as we live our lives.

The wisdom of God is not something spooky or something you have to pay money for, it is simply knowing, understanding and choosing to obey God’s written word (Bible), and asking the Holy Spirit within you to help (not grieve Him). It means forgiven when it does not feel like it, it means not committing fornication or adultery, it means asking God to help you instead of pointing fingers at your spouse, it means leaning on God and not on your intellect, it means trusting God that He knows what He is doing even when the picture is not clear. There is no better example of this than the reign of King David (Dad) and King Solomon (son).

The bible describes king Solomon has been gifted by God with wisdom that no man ever had, in 1 Kings 4: 29-34 (also 1 Kings 3: 10-14), my interpretation of the verses mentioned is that he had both high IQ and the wisdom that comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God within us, gives us insight into eternity past and eternity to come, it is not limited by data analyses). However, as time went on, King Solomon started to grieve the Spirit of God within him, and started to lean on his own intellect and understanding, he still wrote poems and gave sound judgment, but was miserable because the wisdom of God that gave him eternal insight beyond data analyses was gone.

On the other hand, king David was never described as an intellect, through his life, one can deduce or come to the conclusion that his IQ was above average, but one thing he (king David) did more than anyone else and earned him “a man after God’s heart”, was realizing that wisdom of man (which is good is limited, and that real wisdom is in inquiring of God, who is always ready to assist). We saw this in him defeating Goliath, we saw him inquire of the Lord almost at every turn in his life (when he didn’t, he paid dearly), the phrase “and he inquired of the Lord” was used more with King David than any other individual in the bible (next person was even close). King David understood where his intellect start and stop and when God’s wisdom is needed.

I encourage us to seek and develop (our) knowledge (capacity), I encourage us to apply them in our everyday life, but I also encourage us to put them in perspective. My knowledge of social anthropology does not mean I apply concepts I don’t believe, reading Rick Warren or Sunday Adelaja’s church planting or function ideology is great but does not mean that I’ll adopt it, reading how Warren Buffet or Bill Gate became billionaires does not mean that would be my formula (there is actually a spiritual formula in the bible), seeking knowledge is a great thing, it puts you ahead of your peers who choose to remain ignorant, but seeking the wisdom that comes only from been connected to the Holy Spirit is really “da BOMB” (what you want).

Jesus chose 12 guys (mostly with average IQ like me), and with the Holy Spirit, those 12 confounded the intelligent Sanhedrin council of that generation. When we simply follow the Holy Spirit and do what He tells us to do, like Peter, Stephen, Silas, even John the Baptist etc. people admire us because we are able to do what they aspire to but cannot do, such as forgiveness, such as being Salt and Light, such as exhibiting the power of the Holy Spirit etc., when you now combine the power of the Holy Spirit, with men/women gifted with a high IQ like Paul, like Moses, like Solomon in the beginning, (I will add Enoch Adeboye of RCCG in this category, I hesitate but Gamaliel – a Sanhedrin and mentor of Paul may also be mentioned here – could be argued), like Ben Carson (a pediatric neuro-surgeon, led the first conjoined twin separation), then you get what wisdom of the world (used for good or according to God’s precept) and wisdom of God (insight into eternity via the Holy Spirit) looks like.

Scientifically, folks with average IQ like me can develop it with good nurturing and people with a high IQ could be wasted with bad nurturing (this is what is happening in inner cities of America – high IQ kids slipping through the crack because of terrible nurturing, and politicians prefer to deal with symptoms rather than treat the disease).

Whether we have a high IQ or we have an average or low IQ, we should all seek to develop our knowledge capacity and apply them, however, we must know and realize that the best wisdom we can seek is the wisdom of God, that is insight into God’s throne room trough God’s Spirit in us and utter obedience to His written word, way better than human smarts, also given by God.

May heaven help us to be like King David, who although smart intellectually (at least above average), inquired more from the Lord, than he relied on his smarts? In Jesus name. Amen.

Here I stand - Remain Blessed

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