Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The wisdom of God

"The all-wise God," how easily the words roll off our lips. Lodging the concept in our hearts to entrust ourselves to God is more difficult. I'm reading Watchman Nee's "Changed into His Likeness." Nee was imprisoned while pastoring in China. He was incarcerated for over 20 years and died in jail. 

In the prime of Nee's ministry, God put a stop to Nee's desperately needed leadership. From behind prison bars, Nee wrote from his heart and his relationship with God what he could no longer preach. 25 years after his death, I read in Seattle about Nee's insights into the call and submission of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Nee writes that God demanded Abraham surrender even the promised conduit through which the nations would know God... his one and only Isaac. 

"Would we be as willing to lay down not only God's promise for success but everything we've built in obedience to God? Even the ensuing successful ministry or call of God?" asks Nee.

I'm thinking ahead. I'd be 73 - how old will you be in 20 years? Would it feel like "the wisdom of God" to live behind bars in a dictatorship, not in a country where prisoners are well-fed, have our own TV, and can work or study on the government's dime? 

I don't always trust writers, even if they are "Christian." Many of their humanistic self-help shticks are offered under a thin guise of spiritual wisdom. But Nee speaks to me out of his experience, having given everything to God including his influence in the church and his congregation. God knew a simple pastor from China, serving under an oppressive regime, could only gain a worldwide voice and influence, by being silenced and impounded. Nee never achieved fame and glory in his lifetime, but his humble devotion continues to teach and bless others long after his death, just like the faith of Abraham. Therein lies the inexplicable wisdom of God.

Read more:
*Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Psalm 98:1-3 NIV

*Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?

Who has ever given to God that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36 NIV

*You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4  NIV

1 comment:

  1. I read Watchman Nee in the 1970's and it's time to do so again. I gained so much spiritual insight from his wonderful teaching but I remember one illustration bothering me. It was the one where the young Chinese wife let herself be so badly abused by her mother-in-law and husband. I wasn't sure that kind of submission was the right way to go. Many thanks for your insightful thoughts ...Genny