I have a lot of friends send me links to articles, videos, or Facebook posts gone viral. They typically span from one side of the spectrum to the other, much like my friends’ list, and I receive each one with an open heart and mind. Because, you see, I don’t know everything. Sure, I have opinions, but I’ll never claim to know all the answers. So, I will watch that video with an open mind and listening spirit. I may not finish them all, but I give each opinion, each commentary, and each bold-emblazoned rant equal opportunity to be a pass or go for my heart.
Pass or go. When I watch some of these videos I think they are put together very well. I read the eloquent words a particular author painstakingly pens and I think, “they did a great job getting their point across.” Many of the things I read or listen to are very convincing in their natural medium, but it’s there I try to separate the wheat from the chaff. In a world of so much misinformation, so perfectly packaged, we must have eyes to see and ears to hear. But not the way you would think.
Matthew 13: 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
It’s easy to see with eyes of this world because this world is where we are. I often have to remind myself that I may be “in” this world, but I’m not “of” it. I am seated with Christ in Heavenly places. So, while my body is here in the world, my spirit exists with Christ. I have to keep that mindset. I have to utilize my spiritual eyes and ears in a world so noisy. I have to accept the gift of wisdom.
Wisdom. This must be our prayer. After watching a particularly saddening video from a friend this morning, I sat in the shower praying for wisdom. This is what the Church (we believers) need most.
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.
Remember when I said earlier that I don’t know everything? Well, because of that, I frequently pray for wisdom. We exist in a time of public opinion, in a time of social media, in a time of free-flowing and varying information, but also in a time where the enemy still prowls and seeks to devour. God gives wisdom when we ask! We must have wisdom, but not wisdom simply from our local church, respected “Godly” friend, favorite news channel, or well-produced YouTube video. We must have wisdom from the Holy Spirit. We must have spirit and truth. We must have quiet time set aside to commune with Jesus in prayer, and more time reading and re-reading scripture. We need more time in the Bible and worship than we spend on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. That way, when craftily concocted notions come our way, the Spirit of Truth will give us eyes to see and ears to hear! Without the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit, we are tossed to and fro.
Have you noticed the world lately?! There’s a lot of people being tossed to and fro.
A large issue with the human nature is the sin of pride. I have taken to laying down pride at the feet of Jesus every morning in the shower. If you haven’t noticed, the shower is my prayer closet. I get up early on work days just so I’ll not neglect that time. I lay down pride, something I struggle with, and that we all struggle with. Human hearts crave love. Most of those hearts don’t realize it’s the love of Jesus they need. So they fill their hearts with other things. But it doesn’t have to be drugs or booze, guys. That’s the devil talking to the church. Nope. Most times the religious folks fill their love bucket with pride. We believe if we are knowledgeable we are loved. If we are right, we feel good. To be wrong, that feels bad. We desire acceptance, and we need people to accept our point of view. To applaud us for it! If anything threatens our existence of being right, we become personally threatened. We get angry. We push away another point of view. We ridicule it, even. Pride. We have ears, but don’t hear. I mean, we already know everything God said. Why listen for more? We have eyes, but don’t see. We’ve already seen what God wants us to see. No need being open for more.
We have become a stagnant people. Hard-headed like our ancestors in the desert, and arrogantly certain of our opinions. We lack wisdom. We have plenty of disinformation, but we’re lacking in any way to tell it apart from what God may be trying to speak.
I would encourage you as a believer to seek God first. Seek Him over the media. Seek Him over what you’ve always been taught or told in your tiny circle. Seek His heart in the red letters of scripture, and pray for wisdom to apply that instruction to your very life. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is about the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5). Read it. And then read it again. Sometimes I read this chapter before I go into work. Meditate on it. Ask the Lord to show you how to carry these fruits. And then ask yourself if the opinions you speak are in line with these fruits that tell us the Holy Spirit thrives in us. Ask yourself if what you read bears those fruits. Ask yourself if the information coming to you has the fruit of the spirit, or if it is simply disguised with the fruit of the flesh.