by Neil Anderson
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil
Wisdom was certainly the way of the Old Testament as the Book of Proverbs and other wisdom literature attest. However, in the Old Testament, wisdom was not understood as our ability to reason independently of God. Rather, it was an acceptance and knowledge of divine revelation. Biblical wisdom is seeing life from God’s perspective. When wisdom degenerates to rationalism, our walk with God is reduced to an intellectual pursuit rather than a living relationship. Proverbs 3:5-7 pictures the relationship God desires with us: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.”
Turning away from evil signifies that there are moral boundaries. The will of God is to live inside those boundaries. We are free to live as the Lord leads as long as we stay morally pure and exercise biblical wisdom. Since all unbelievers are outside the moral boundaries of God, they can expect judgment. Christians living outside the moral boundaries can expect discipline. The writer of Hebrews would attest to the latter: “But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons” (Hebrews 12:8).
It’s true that God does give us freedom to make choices on nonmoral issues, but He expects us to know His Word and make wise decisions. He has made His will known primarily in His Word, and He delights when we humbly submit to it and obey it. But we are not Old Testament saints. We are New Testament Christians. Christ has reconciled Jew and Gentile, and we possess both power and wisdom. What marks the church age is that we now have the presence of the Holy Spirit Who will guide us into all truth. “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10).
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your Word, which is a lamp to my feet, and for Your Holy Spirit, Who will guide me into all truth.