Yesterday's sermon was the second in our series on Proverbs. The previous Sunday we talked about what wisdom is and this last Sunday we talked about how to pursue wisdom.
One of the critical points I tried to make is that in our modern world we use technology and science like ancient people used magic - to conform the world to suit the desires of our soul. Rather than the way wisdom is supposed to function to conform the soul to cope with reality (this insight comes from CS Lewis I believe, but I originally encountered it in a Tim Keller sermon on Proverbs).
That distinction is critical to understand because wisdom is the Bible is described as a path, not a technique to master. Going to a seminar and gaining a key insight does not give you wisdom. It is a path you must pursue. The path begins with your heart.
The heart is the central of the person and is much more holistic in the Bible than english communicates. We tend to think of the heart as the place of emotions, but Biblically, especially in the Old Testament it is the place of our thoughts, desires, and drives all of our behaviors (10:8, 13; 14:14; 13:12; 15:13, 28; 23:19, 28:14). Proverbs 4:23 captures this best, "Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it," (NIV 2011).
There are three things I said we should do in order to train our hearts in wisdom:
1) Know your heart. Exegete your heart. Know its temptations and desires and therefore internalize God's commands. Prov. 3:1, 3, 5.
2) Know the Lord, trust in Him. Learn to exegete scripture.
3) Know your context and exegete the culture.
Finally, the path has been set before by Christ who was perfectly obedient before the Father and calls us to follow him and be his disciples. Our path to wisdom is a cross shaped life where we obey him by faith in what he has done for us. We do so in the Spirit and not in our own strength for the glory of God and not for our own.
Pursuing wisdom thing is about growing in Christian character with love expressed in the cross of Christ. This is our chief aim.