More on Heavenly Wisdom
Cory spent the day looking for John’s cattle. He found thirty head and herded them in the direction of John’s homestead. When he got there, he noted that Amy’s horse was still there and he was glad.
That evening after supper, Sam was at it again. “So, you promised to tell us about the other kinds of fruit! How about now?”
Cody laughed. “You are one eager student!” he said. “OK, you remember the first two kinds of fruit?”
“Yes,” said Sam, “The fruit of the Spirit and the sacrifice of thanksgiving.”
“Well done, Sam. I’m glad you’re listening well. Now you need to actually live out these truths in your life.
“The third kind of fruit is good works, doing good to others. As Jesus taught in John 15, He is the vine, we are the branches, as we abide in him, we will bear much fruit. And abiding means, among other things, that we obey Him in what we know to be true.
“This is God’s plan for us. As it says in Ephesians 2:10, ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’
“So, as we do good things to others, obeying God, we are bearing the fruit of good works.
“Then last of all is the fruit of bringing people to surrender in Jesus, to be born again.
“If we live out the first three kinds of good fruit, this fourth one is much more likely to happen.”
“So, there you have it, the four kinds of fruit we can bear in obedience to Heavenly Wisdom, being ‘full of mercy and good fruit.’”
Cody paused and looked around at his new friends. “Now the question is, how do we live in this quality of Heavenly Wisdom?
“Let me tell you a story.” And he proceeded to tell of his difficulties with Andy and the outcome.
‘So, how did I do good to Andy, Sam?”
“Well, first you set limits for him and then you protected him!”
“Right. We never became friends, but he tolerated me the rest of the trip, leaving me alone. In the end he did thank me for saving his life.
“So, in my interactions with this difficult man, first I was merciful to him—I could have taken him apart in the fight but chose not to. And second, I was good to him, taking the time to save his life. And I also applied the next quality of Heavenly Wisdom, being impartial. I treated and protected him as I would a close friend. I made no distinction.
“Now Sam, what fruit of the Spirit did I seek to show him?’
“Well, you were patient, you used self-control, you were loving in saving his life.”
“That’s right. I returned good for evil, as Jesus commanded us. One of my favorite passages about this is in Psalm 37:1-4, a passage I use whenever I have a conflict with someone.
“It says, ’Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against the workers of iniquity. [This means I shouldn’t use their wrong methods or motives in our relationship]
“‘For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. [God will deal with them in His own way and time. I don’t need to get revenge for being poorly treated. The fact is, in the West here, all it takes is a slight to bring on a gun fight, but I chose not to be touchy.]
“It goes on to say, ‘Trust in the LORD, and do good;’ [There it is again, doing good, and we can do that because we trust God; He allowed this difficult person into my life and will use him for good for me, although I may not see that for a long time. And in the meantime, God will take care of me], “…so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you will be fed.’
“After giving me that perspective, the next verse directs me to what to do in my difficulties, ‘Delight yourself also in the LORD; and he shall give you the desires of your heart.’ So, my focus is to be on God and His wonderful character.
“I shouldn’t delight in winning or getting rid of a difficult person. I am to delight in my Savior and Lord, in His faithfulness, wisdom, love and grace. That lifts me up above conflicts, puts into my heart right desires and then God will fulfill them.”
“Amazing,” said John, “Again, that is so different from anything I’ve ever seen or heard!”
“That’s because it is Heavenly Wisdom, not earthly wisdom. And we can only know and exercise Heavenly Wisdom if we are regularly in the Word, filled with the Spirit and are looking how to join God in what He’s doing.
“Living by Heavenly Wisdom is actually a worldview shift, changing from our natural worldview that comes from our culture and environment, to God’s worldview, which we find only in Scripture.”
Picture: Heavenly view