His Purposes and Our Priorities

What goes through your mind in the morning before your feet hit the floor? Is it a mental listing of all that awaits you this day? Is it a lingering rehash of the today that ended as you fell asleep last night? Perhaps it is a stir-pot of emotions, whether they synergize into empowering optimism, conspire toward debilitating fear, or blend in some measure of both. Personally, a fresh to-do list and an urgency to conquer its demands greet me anew each morning as the alarm falls silent. Eager to accomplish, it is easy to bound out of bed and beeline toward first-things-first, pursuing my passions in my strength. Some such days end with the satisfaction of completion, while others draw to a close with too few checkmarks on the checklist, yet in all self-directed days, these two most vital things I carelessly and regrettably leave behind—God’s purposes and His power.

To a people stirred to faith by the fresh news of the gospel and imploring, “What shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”1 This Holy Spirit, this gift from God, elevates our perspectives and straightens our priorities. He guides us in all truth, for instance, making known to us the words and ways of Christ,2 so we can live our days effectively in newfound wisdom. When we open ourselves to the Spirit, He puts God’s desires in our heart3 and in our mind4, then His purposes become our purposes, and our life has meaning. He blesses each one of us individually with Spiritual gifts5—wisdom, knowledge, faith, discernment and others—and we go forth collectively in His power.6 Through the Spirit, God pours out his love into our soul7, and throughout a lifetime of todays He steadily transforms us into the likeness of Christ8 with ever-increasing glory9. Our days change, for we ourselves are changed, and our lives bear fruit that lasts for eternity10. In the Spirit, God’s purposes become our purposes, and before our feet hit the floor, our days become His.

Father, slow me down today and redirect me, that your purposes would supersede my purposes and my plans be subjected to yours. Grace me to see your Spirit at work all around me and deep within me, that I would join Him and bring you glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Christ in me is wisdom.

1 Acts 2:37, 38
2 John 16:13-15
3 Ezekiel 36:26, 27
4 Romans 8:5
5 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
6 Acts 1:8
7 Romans 5:5
8 2 Thessalonians 2:13
9 2 Corinthians 3:18
10 John 15:16


A Bit of Advice from the Old Man

His moment had arrived; it was time to lead. (Have you ever been there?) All eyes were on Solomon as his father commissioned him, “Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary” (1 Chronicles 28:10). It was an enormous responsibility, so before releasing him to his work, David offered three pieces of valuable advice to his “young and inexperienced” son. Let’s eavesdrop and learn.

Be strong and courageous, and do the work.” Are you called to lead, but paralyzed in fear? David says we have a decision to make: choose strength. Every morning, put on courage, and go.

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you…” Have you lost your courage somewhere along the way? David reminds us where it is found: in trust in God. Remember that He who holds all power is faithful; He always loves you and never leaves you.

People are “ready for the work … skilled in [their] craft … will help you … will obey your every command.” Are you overwhelmed in self-reliance? Then esteem with David nobility of labor: people are capable of work and wanting to excel. Make their day by uniting all under one vision, equipping doers with what they need, and then honoring their skill with your trust. Give people the gift of going home fulfilled. Good leaders do this.

Solomon has long been regarded as the wisest man who ever lived. Must have listened to the old man!

Father, I confess that fear is constantly nipping at my faith. Fill me with your Spirit, that I would live today in strength, courage, trust and humility. I ask this as your child in Christ. Amen.

Christ in me is wisdom.

See David’s leadership advice in 1 Chronicles 28:19-21.


The Rendezvous Point

Have you ever frantically searched for a child who was frantically searching for you? Or was it you, the lost child looking for a parent? Perhaps it was in the woods or at Disney World or in the mall. Wherever its locale at any given moment, “lost” is a very distressing place to be!

People all over the world search for wisdom; we share an inner longing for true knowledge, understanding, and insight. We seek the inner compass that navigates us from naiveté to discernment, from recklessness to discretion, from injustice to fairness, from discord to peace. We pursue meaning that we know exists in an authority outside of ourselves, elusive though it seems, beyond our natural reach.

The quest for wisdom transcends generational boundaries, and Solomon, regarded the wisest man who ever lived, promised this to all of us who embark upon it: if we “call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,”[i] we will discover it. If we “look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,” then we will find “the knowledge of God.”[ii] If this weren’t encouraging enough, the ancient king of Israel assured us wisdom is looking for us, too! “Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? . . . ‘To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding.’”[iii]

So we cry out for wisdom, even as wisdom calls out to us. To our great relief, there is a rendezvous point, a place where we would-be companions can find each other. It is the spot on the map marked, “the fear of the Lord.” It is the point at which we believe God, trust God, relinquish our wills to His ways, and rest our weary souls in Him. Those who seek insight can be united with it there, for “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”[iv]

Go to that spot—the place of reverence for God and awe of Him, the place of belief and trust in His Word. There you will find wisdom waiting for you.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5 ESV)

Christ in me is wisdom.

[i] Proverbs 2:3
[ii] Proverbs 2:4, 5
[iii] Proverbs 8:1, 4, 5
[iv] Proverbs 9:1

Today’s post is an excerpt from Christ in Me. Copyright © 2016 Paul Nordman. Used by permission. All rights reserved.