Obedience comes before wisdom. Too often we think we must understand what’s going on before we obey. We think we must use our own wisdom and judgment to weigh and balance whether or not our precious obedience is warranted. But the Bible shows us a different way.
Wisdom cries, “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.” Proverbs 1:22-23
When God gives a command, our obedience is the path to wisdom, not the other way around. We don’t obey because, in our wisdom, we grasp all there is to grasp about why this is the way it ought to be.
We obey as children, and when we listen and obey, the Spirit pours out understanding in our hearts and minds. We go from simple to wise. We go from fool to sage. His commands start to make sense as our mind is renewed more and more.
Don’t get me wrong—obedience isn’t salvation. When we obey it is by the grace of God, not of ourselves. But Christians can be fools, too. Christians need wisdom, too.
How many of the tangles of confusion Christian women find themselves in is owing to living the Christian life backwards? We try to understand all the nuances of God and His commands then obey Him when we’ve been called to obey Him because He's God then to receive understanding.
“if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you...Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you” (Prov 2:1, 9-11).
Abigail Dodds is wife to Tom and mother of five. She is a regular contributor at Desiring God, author of (A)Typical Woman, and studies at Bethlehem College and Seminary. Her mission is to draw herself and others to the reality that Christ is all and all is Christ’s so that one day we will be presented mature in him to the praise of God’s glory (Col. 1:28). She blogs at hopeandstay.com.