Posted by: mikenicholsblog | April 8, 2015

going vertical

Think about what your response would have been. God comes to Solomon in a dream with this offer:

That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
I Kings 3:5

In response, Solomon asked for an understanding heart so that he could govern God’s people well and know the difference between right and wrong. Of all the things he could have asked for, he chose an understanding heart (The Message calls it a God listening heart). If God gave you and me that offer, what would we have requested? Wealth? Beauty? Fame? Because of Solomon’s response, God chose to give him a wise and understanding heart. The Wisdom of Solomon is legendary, and wouldn’t it be nice if our own legacy would be wisdom. Well, it can be!  Proverbs 4:7 gives us a great picture of God’s view of wisdom.

Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment. (NLT)

If it’s such a big deal, we should all be seeking it! But what does a man or woman of wisdom look like anyway? When I think of a wise person, my mind goes to the person that doesn’t speak the most or the loudest, but when they speak, I want to hear every word.  Their thoughts are typically reasoned and balanced. They have a handle on the subject matter being discussed, and an understanding of how to apply their knowledge.  A right and proper definition of wisdom to me, is the mind of God revealed. A person can possess abundant worldly wisdom and skill in certain areas, but the wisdom that transcends those characteristics is wisdom that looks at life from God’s perspective. None other than Billy Graham once stated, “Knowledge is horizontal, but wisdom is vertical – it comes down from above.”

I don’t believe for a moment that any one of us will approach the greatness of Solomon’s wisdom, but our capacity to tap God’s unlimited resources is far above what most people ever seek or experience. I am convinced that men and women who genuinely seek wisdom will find it. All Christ-followers should embrace and live the wisdom words from Proverbs 8:17…

I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.

Solomon showed great wisdom when two mothers came to him, and he was confronted with the question of who was the true mother. His response was classic and very wise, if you remember. We are not Solomon, but we will be confronted with incredible circumstances, and by God’s grace we can respond with true Wisdom.

Corrie ten Boom tells a fascinating story about her father’s wisdom in her book, The Hiding Place.  Consider this…

As a child, Corrie once traveled with her father by train from their home in Haarlem, in the Netherlands, to Amsterdam. Her father was a watchmaker and traveled to repair parts for new watches that he had sold. He carried a large, heavy briefcase with his parts and tools. Corrie had seen the word “sex” written somewhere and couldn’t understand what it meant so she questioned her father as they traveled. She asked her father to define the word “sex”. He turned and looked at her, but said nothing. At last he stood, lifted his heavy briefcase from above and put it on the floor. “Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said. “It’s too heavy.” she said.

“Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load.  It’s the same way Corrie, with knowledge.  Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it.  For now you must trust me to carry it for you”.

Wow, what wisdom! Corrie’s father was thoughtful and didn’t shun the question, but gave his young daughter a reasoned and profound answer. We can all learn from his response.  I am sure he was a man who took in the Word, prayed about life, and applied the truth he knew. And at a critical moment, his words were wise.

If God would grant you any request, what would you ask for? Would you ask for wisdom? Ask anyone the world over about the Wisdom of Solomon and they would understand what you meant. If you are following Christ and passionately seeking wisdom ….the people in your world may view your legacy as wisdom. Think about it … seek it!

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