A week or so ago I saw this quote on Bill Johnson’s facebook status and I have been marinating in it ever since:
“Fear often looks like wisdom to those in unbelief”
So often we think we are operating in wisdom when perhaps it is merely fear that drives us. We fear because we don’t believe. We don’t believe God.
I think of decisions regarding finances that can often be motivated by the fear that God won’t provide or come through. We depend so highly on our own work and our own plan and our own “wisdom” because we don’t believe He will be enough.
I think of decisions I make in parenting and begin to see often what I am calling wisdom is really just fear. Fear that God is not good. I believe it is in my hands. I do not believe it is in His hands.
Sometimes the “wisdom” that others offer us could be them imposing their own fears upon us. Maybe stepping out in faith scares them and they want us to be just as “wise” (or fearful) as they are.
I’m not implying we be foolish with such things and chalk it up to “faith”. (So don’t go max out your credit card because you believe God will pay it off! )But that perhaps we allow God to search the motives of our heart. Allow His wisdom to guide us. We may be surprised at what his wisdom tells us to do. Often it will look quite different than our own.
So how do we know if our wisdom is fear?
As I have been dwelling on this I see that there is no fear in love.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear
1 John 4:18
If I am operating in love I cannot be operating in fear. So wisdom from love is truly wise.
To operate in love-wisdom requires oneness with the One who is love itself. The more we are united with the Spirit of God the more we become love and operate out of that love. The more we understand His love for us, the more we believe. Believe His goodness, His provision. We trust.
There have been times I have been told I am a wise woman. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I have sometimes thought I was. But as I have been thinking on this lately I wonder if sometimes what I really have been is fearful?
If we are afraid it is because we have not fully experienced his perfect, complete love. Because that perfect love drives the fear away.
Oh how I long to experience more fully and completely that love. I do not want to be driven by fear. I want to be consumed by love, driven by love and operate in a wisdom that is birthed of pure love.
Just some stuff I’ve been thinking on lately….
I love reading different translations…here are some words to ponder…
1 John 4:17-19
The Message (MSG)
To Love, to Be Loved
17-18God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
19We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
1 John 4:18-19
Amplified Bible (AMP)
18There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love [a]turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear [b]brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection].
19We love Him, because He first loved us.