Sorting Out That Which We Encounter

Have you ever asked God in your prayers to teach you those thoughts and ways of His that He wants you to know and comprehend? Have you ever asked God to order the thoughts of your mind and guide the forming of your heart and the building of your spirit? Staying focused is not always easy and there are so many things that cross our paths, that get our attention, that draw us to look and possibly ponder on where it all leads and most importantly, what we ourselves should do in this particular matter.

Should we stand up for justice, speak out on behalf of the down trodden or voice opposition to that which we see as being a tearing down, versus a building up? My understanding of God’s Holy Word tells me “yes” to each of those questions, but there is one vital deciding factor that I believe also needs to be taken into consideration. There are two sources to draw from, one being God Himself and the other being worldly thinking. And God’s Word tells us that they are not one and the same.

If in fact, God’s ways are not our ways and God’s thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8), then the source which we draw from is actually critical and even though the principle that we may be addressing is in itself a worthy or “good” one, like seeking justice, or speaking out for the down trodden or fighting against that which we see as tearing down, versus building up, the objectives we are fighting for, will end up having us lean towards or depending upon either our own initiatives or the initiatives or commandments of God. And it is also vitally important to understand that the reasoning behind our own worldly initiatives and the reasoning behind the initiatives of God are also not one and the same. 

And maybe, just maybe, that is why Jesus gave us the Great Commission

In God’s dealings with Israel in the Old Testament, we see that it was God’s will, that He Himself be their King, but Israel rejected God’s will in this matter. 1 Samuel 8:5 and  1 Samuel 8:7 refers. 

We should also be mindful that when Jesus gave us the analogy of the vineyard, Jesus concluded this analogy by stating that, apart from Him, we could accomplish nothing. John 15 refers. 

The subtly of the variation in source pertains to whom or what we either consciously or unconsciously begin to put our trust or faith in. One being what we, either individually or collectively can accomplish and the other being what God will accomplish for us, if we focus our dependency on Him.

Zechariah 4:6 NASB comes to mind; “Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of armies.”

How often does worldly wisdom seek “might and power” or better yet, how often has some of the Christian Church at large sought “might or power”? Two different objectives and two different sources?

I saw this meme recently displayed on Facebook where those who wear masks because of Covid19 are viewed as blind sheep, while those who oppose this blind following are viewed
as lions.
I am not going to go into the reasoning behind this assumption, but this is clearly harsh criticism being displayed from a Christian, towards other brothers and sisters in the Lord, who hold differing perspectives on this particular subject. Does this strike you as something being done in love? Ephesians 4:15 comes to mind.

Matter of fact, Jesus gave us a stern warning about calling our fellow brothers and sisters “fools”. Matthew 5:22 comes to mind.

Would this be a valid example of “worldly wisdom” or “Godly wisdom”, where it is justified to ridicule our brothers and sisters in the Lord because they hold a differing perspective in the matter of preventing the spread of Covid 19 ? And more importantly, from what source is this Christian person who posted this meme, drawing their logic or reasoning from? Amazing how the subtly of a worldly source can bring out self pride and the justification of ridicule isn’t it?

I am NOT knocking about seeking justice, or speaking out on behalf of the down trodden or voicing opposition to that which we see as being a tearing down, versus a building up, but there is a difference on how we do that, that is directly associated with our source and it doesn’t take too much discernment to see which source we are drawing from when we abandon God’s ways and God’s thoughts.

Something to think about.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


  1. That’s a heck of a meme, Bruce 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ I am with you at NO point has Jesus given us the authority/command/position to become the wolf or the lion. Our adversary is the lion seeking to devour us and the Lion from the Tribe of Judah will defeat the lion, serpent. Until then we are sheep. We need wisdom and discernment only the Holy Spirit gives. The heart of the church is exposed and it is black. God have mercy!

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  2. Thank you Bruce, thought-provoking as ever! It is really interesting to think about this issue. Worldly thinking, even if seemingly logical and sensible, may lead us away from God and his will. We should not apply the logic of the world without seeking his will and purpose in his word.

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    • Thanks David, the importance of the source of our dependency is something that has been mulling around in my weary mind for days now and the importance of the subtly of the direction we choose was an answer to prayer of asking “why?”

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    • Hi Craig, that wouldn’t be an off the wall assumption one could make. Really glad you commented, what with our last conversation. Just want you to know that my understanding is not without needing correction at times and I am acutely aware that I have yet much to learn. I sincerely value you as a learned brother. Blessings!


  3. Thank you sir for the wonderful insight! Go ye therefore and teach! We teach with speech and actions. It is of utmost importance how we represent!


  4. To answer your questions, yes. Every day as I “take up the helmet of salvation,” I give my mind to the Lord. Part of that prayer is, “Let my perceptions be accurate, my beliefs be true, and my priorities line up perfectly with Yours. Give me Your wisdom, discernment, and whatever knowledge I need to do Your will today. Give me the mind of Christ pertaining to my walk, my ministry, my mission field, and my assignment for today..” There’s a lot more to it, but you get the idea. I don’t ask for God’s knowledge, because that would make my head explode! I just ask for what I need to know to fulfill MY assignment for the day.

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    • Heartily agree Annie and I understand about asking for God’s knowledge. I usually add a part where I ask for God to show me what He knows I need and that I can comprehend. Most times that doesn’t give God much to work with but then of course, with God, all things are possible! The dependency understanding was an answer to prayer. Blessings!

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  5. Thanks, Bruce. Regrettably, that meme represents the “Amen!” herd mentality of a great number of conservative Christians.


  6. Hi Bruce, great post. Your challenge about checking “our source” really hits the mark. I love the verses in James about wisdom which teach us about different sources of wisdom that we need to discern. “This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:15-18. Bless you.


    • Hi Nicola, excellent Scripture quote and excellent guidance, especially the characteristics of each! I made a note of this to remind myself of these characteristics in the future and I’m pretty sure you will be seeing this Scripture again in my posts. James 3:2 is another: “2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to rein in the whole body as well.” The Lord knows that I am far from a “perfect man” so that is a good reminder too. Thank you Nicola, sincerely appreciated. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours!

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  7. Thank you Bruce. Psalm 149 is part of God’s Word I am still chewing on — perhaps the Old Testament Commission. Only, we don’t have to go into all the world, but display His wisdom wherever we are. This honor is ours as His people. 1 Pet. 2 is another challenge when it comes to understanding who we are in Christ — “living stones built up as a spiritual house to offer spiritual sacrifices, His special people who proclaim the praises of His who brought us out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Blessings as we continue in His Word for truth and power through this wilderness.


    • Anyone who does not believe in prayer, hasn’t asked God for wisdom, because I am in awe at times when God forms thoughts in my mind. Words and concepts just materialize in my mind out of the blue, with accompanying Scriptures. Little bits of wisdom, that I never would have thought of. And even some of my posts, I pray and tell God, I need you to help me because I have no idea of how to put this together. I know they are small bits, but He allows me to see what I could not see and it is humbling. And like you said, I don’t need to know all that there is to know, I only need to know what God knows I can comprehend, and need to know, with His guidance. I’m probably still at the pebble stage but it matters not. I am just grateful and it strengthens ones faith. God’s grace is beyond comprehension. I’m just in my little patch of ground in His vineyard and it is a wonderful place to be. And you’re right, it is an honor, undeserved yet so appreciated. “Living stones” indeed, all to God’s glory. I thank you for your encouragement, I’m pretty sure you are a couple of classes ahead of me, but that’s Ok too. We can always talk in the hallways! And some glorious day we will be seated at the same table and know as we are known. Always warm thoughts when I think and lift you up in prayer Fran. God’s continue grace, peace and blessings on you and yours!

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