“By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)
Who is the Builder of your house? Are you relying on your own wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to build it? Is its foundation something solid, or shifting and sinking sand? Who is your architect, designer, and craftsman?
We get to choose who builds our house and the materials of its foundation and structure. Our choices for builder are ourselves or God, the Master Craftsman. Our choices for materials are things of this world or things of His Kingdom. Jesus makes His desire clear: to prepare your house for you and fill it with all wonderful things.
God is the source of all wisdom (“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” – Romans 11:33), and wisdom comes through knowing God. Notice I didn’t say knowledge about God. Knowing God comes through time spent in connection and communication with Him, just like you come to know a new friend or build an intimate relationship.
Reverence for the Lord is the natural outflow of knowing God and another source of wisdom. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). When “fear of the Lord” is referenced in Scripture, it doesn’t refer to being afraid of God; the intended meaning is reverence for God, recognizing God’s holiness, and responding with appropriate humility and awe in His presence. As Proverbs 22:4 states, “Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.” Similarly, Hebrews 12:28 says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” God offers to build our house with beautiful materials – love, holiness, reverence, humility, honor, wisdom – the stuff of His Kingdom, making us a lovely dwelling place for His Spirit.
But we have a choice. We can choose to build our house with the stuff of the world. Paul draws a sharp contrast between the so-called wisdom of the world and God’s wisdom, saying, “God made foolish the wisdom of the world” (I Corinthians 1:20), and, “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise.For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (I Corinthians 3:18-19). For Paul, the only true wisdom is belonging wholly and completely to Christ (I Corinthians 3:23).
The wisdom of the world looks to the creation to understand created things, but trying to understand purpose, meaning, processes, death, truth, and other such “big picture” questions of life by looking at the world for answers is like trying to define a word using the word itself – it is inherently limited in understanding. Doesn’t it make more sense to look to the Creator rather than looking to His creation for wisdom? The created thing, including humankind, cannot access or comprehend the mind and heart of its Creator, His reasons or purposes or motives or thought processes, unless His mind and heart are revealed by the Creator Himself. Enlightenment can only come from the Source of all light.
The world’s wisdom opposes and hinders everything leading to Godly wisdom. For example, if you choose self-protection over love, you lose the richness of relationships and the opportunities for growth that come, even through the pain of loss. If you choose the easy road rather than the narrow way, you miss the learning experiences you gain from the struggle and the insights those moments bring you. If you make yourself the center of your universe, you limit your growth to your own perceptions. If safety and security are your idols and fear is your guide, you will find yourself trapped into creating what you most fear, a self-fulfilling prophesy.
God’s wisdom doesn’t venerate easy or safe or self-focus. God’s wisdom doesn’t fear pain or hardship; it doesn’t look to the circumstances to determine what is good and right and true, or to determine how to feel. God’s wisdom embraces hope and openness and honors the true self, the created self. God’s wisdom is found in centering your life on Him alone, walking with Him as your genuine self through everything, no matter how difficult or painful. Your experiences with Him help you gain insight, and He provides enlightenment and truth through His presence in the midst of it all.