Updated: Jan 23
Sometimes we disregard wisdom just because it didn't come to us the way we thought it would/should.
The book of James says in chapter 1 verse 5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."
What the Bible doesn't fully discuss is the modality (the mode in which something is distributed) in which the Lord will use to deliver that wisdom to us. And modality matters. If I handed you the cassette tape above, do you have the equipment to listen to what is on it? If not, modality just became a major roadblock to you receiving the information that I was trying to share with you.
Modality was a major roadblock to people believing in Jesus during His time on this Earth. In fact, before becoming Jesus' disciple and upon initially hearing about Jesus, Nathanael responded with the following statement: "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked."
Nathanael almost missed salvation because he just couldn't fathom that salvation would have come out of Nazareth. Some people today would partially discredit anything on a cassette tape, even before listening to it, simply because the information was on a cassette tape. They would think, "This must not be current or relevant."
And in kind, many people discredit God's wisdom because He didn't/doesn't send that wisdom to them through their expected modalities... their "brand name" sources such as a leading book or pastor or thought leader.
Do we honestly listen to the janitor in the same way that we do a "brand name" pastor or leader? Why not?
Because we forget what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:27, "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."
This was one of the biggest reasons that the leaders of Jesus' day rejected His work, His teaching, and ultimately who He is. Who was this man to teach them anything? Why would they, the powerful and learned men of Jesus' day, listen to a peasant tradesman from a small backwater town in the middle of nowhere teach them about what they were the world's foremost experts in?
In fact, think about this - Jesus tells the apostle Paul in Acts 23, who was a prisoner at the time, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.” Witness to My Cause? Where? How?
In trying to keep himself from going to prison or being killed? As a witness at his own trial? Would Jesus allow Paul to go to prison and stand trial to give him a forum to preach the gospel - because that is probably the only way the people present would hear a clear presentation of the gospel and how Jesus wants to save them?
But to the leaders present, both in Jerusalem and in Rome (and during his time in prison in between those trials), Paul was criminal in their minds, and to some of them, a vial criminal.
Now imagine that you heard a criminal in jail telling you about how to live your life. Would you believe that person? Would you make life changes right then and there?
How about a child or someone who isn't very educated? What if wisdom comes to you from the most unforeseen places? It often does!
Will you listen to truth and wisdom when it comes? Or will you allow your pride to keep you in the bondage of lies because wisdom didn't come packaged the way you thought it would?
Not that you want to leave this teaching with homework, but sometimes that is what is needed. Read 2 Kings 5:1-14 in the Bible. It is an incredible story of a healing of God that was almost totally missed simply because the packaging of the healing wasn't what the sick person wanted.