Series: Wisdom That Works
Message: How to Gain Velocity
Preacher: Jenniffer Ogden
Reflection: Mark Witas
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Jessyka Dooley
Live Beyond: J. Murdock
Live Purpose: Emily Ellis
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Proverbs 2:1-22 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul” (Proverbs 2:10).
When I was pastoring at Pacific Union College one of the pastors on my staff had a coffee cup facing the chairs in front of his desk where church members would sit for counsel. The words on the cup read: “I know more than you.”
I love that cup.
I also love knowing things. I have a constant craving to know more about certain topics because, in my experience, the more I know the better I am.
I don’t ever want to be a know-it-all, but I do want to know lots of things about lots of things. I want to sit and watch Jeopardy and feel like I could have won some money. I want to be aware of what’s going on in the world. If a conversation comes up, I want to have a half a clue about the context of what’s being talked about.
Conversely, I hate not being in the know. I don’t like to be in the middle of a conversation that’s so far over my head that I’m lost. That’s why I never hang around astrophysicists or chemistry majors.
So, why this insatiable desire for knowledge? Here’s my slant on it—I think the more I know about art, culture, sports, science, romance, literature, zoology, music, food, math, and geography, the more I know about God. I believe that behind all the beauty and pain of this earth is at least part of the story of its Creator. The beauty and mystery of God is a part of all these things. The more we know, the more “woke” we are. And the more woke we are, the more in touch we are with God’s Spirit, moving through humanity, through the knowledge we acquire to understand how deep and wide and perfect our Creator God really is.
It’s good to be in the know.
Recalibrate: Think something that you don’t know much about that you’d like to learn. Set a learning goal for yourself.
Respond: Pray these words: “God of infinite knowledge, increase mine. Amen.”
Research: Read The Importance of Learning.
Remember: “For the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6, NIV).
Mark Witas is the lead pastor at Sunnyside Adventist Church in Portland, Oregon.
Make a spyglass or some binoculars out of cardboard rolls with your little one. Hold them up and go on an adventure, spying out things around your home or on a drive in the car or a walk in the park. Play a game of spying out amazing things. Wonder at how pretty daisies grow and how dandelions spread in the breeze when you blow on them. Wisdom is living in the wonder of God. From the simplest of things to most complicated, know that God is over and above and beyond it all.
We all want to be good people, right? What are some things that good people do—at home? at school? at the park? Write down a list of five nice things you don’t normally do that you will do today! The Bible says in Proverbs 2:20, that, “Wisdom will help you be a good person, it will help you do what’s right.” Pray and thank God for giving you wisdom each day to do things that are good and right. Ask Him to open your eyes to the wisdom He has put right into your hands.
When I was in middle school I was entered into a spelling bee and won first place in my school! Because I won there, I was given the chance to go on to compete in the citywide spelling bee against all the kids from the local schools. When I arrived at City Hall where the competition was taking place, I was seated directly behind a girl who had her name taped to the back of her chair. As the spelling bee began, students were quickly eliminated one after another. After each student was removed, the facilitators would remove their name from their chair. Every time a student was eliminated, the girl in front of me would turn around and press down on the tape holding her name on the metal seat back as if to help glue it down further. As she did, she would spell the word that the student had just missed, only she would do it correctly. This girl knew her vocabulary words! Somehow, the task of pressing on the tape and practicing her spelling was a reminder that she was still in the fight and was ready to battle against another word.
In Proverbs 2:10, Solomon tells us that when we are walking with God on the good path, “wisdom will come into your heart and and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.”
I never found out what happened to the girl (because I was eliminated before she was), but I will never forget the peace and confidence she had while sitting there on that stage. She always knew the word the student before her missed, and it must have been because she had spent so much time studying her list of words diligently. When you have done all you can to stay prepared and have walked the good path, it’s easy to be confident in your skills and know that no one will come and take away your name or your chair.
Solomon tells us that we can have the same confidence in our place with God when we do all that we can to stick close to Him. No matter what comes our way, our names are secured in His book despite all the words that fly our way to knock that tape free from our chair!
What are some ways you can be confident in your relationship with God? How might you go about securing a stronger relationship with Him? How would knowing that you are walking the good path help you live with less anxiety and free you to live more abundantly?
“Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy” (Proverbs 2:10, 11). I’ve always been a pretty happy person. Both in the eighth grade and my senior year of high school, I was voted class clown! It brings me so much joy to bring joy into other people’s lives. However I have to admit that it wasn’t until I accepted God into my heart that my joy became truly genuine. Before I began to have a relationship with God, my joy and happiness came from a need to impress people or from their expectations of me. It wasn’t until I grew in knowledge of God and intimacy with Him that He created and cultivated in me a genuine joy that overflowed. I love how one of the Fruits of the Spirit is joy, because I think it is a vital part in our walk with God. This weekend, I pray that you will have genuine, joy-filled moments, and that you will take time to grow in your knowledge of God and deepen your intimacy with Him.
Zan Long is GRC director for faith development for ages 0-17. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and serves at her local church in nearby Kellyville.
Jessyka Dooley is assistant youth director for the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Denver, Colorado.
J. Murdock is associate pastor at Boulder Adventist Church in Boulder, Colorado, where he focuses on youth and young adult ministry.
Emily Ellis is a senior studying theology at Walla Walla University in College Place, Washington.