Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry



By Jeannette Haley

It was a very long time ago, and Christmas was coming. My mother told me I
needed to write a letter to Santa Claus and ask for what I wanted. She always
loved the idea of Santa Claus, and even though I suspected my letter would end
up in the hands of my hard-working dad, I got busy with a pencil and the last
sheet of precious drawing paper I had. I didn’t know until around thirty years later
that my dad kept that letter to Santa Claus among his treasured personal
My carefully worded plea simply told him that I needed a new drawing tablet
more than anything else, and that I was writing to him on my very last piece of
paper. It was a serious situation for me because if I didn’t get a drawing tablet,
that meant I couldn’t draw anymore, and then what would I do? I just couldn’t
imagine such a grievous and sudden end to my fledgling “art career!” Thankfully,
my request was granted, and that, along with other gifts from under the most
beautiful Christmas tree you ever saw, accompanied by a magnificent, delicious
dinner, made for a day of joy and wonder.
Then, just a few hours later, came December 26th with the usual “thud” that
always plunged me from the mountaintop of temporary bliss into the valley of the
“blues.” To the mind of a child, twelve months until the next Christmas Day is
akin to an eternity of waiting. Even my beloved little dog, Angel, decades later,
went through the same emotional roller coaster every Christmas of her life—a
day of fun as she tore tissue paper from new toys, followed by the sudden
change the next day when it was all over. That poor little dog went into
depression for two weeks after Christmas every year. But her joy at Christmas
became our joy and laughter for the sixteen Christmases God gave us together.
How things change, such as the perception of time, when you become an
older adult. It feels as if time keeps speeding up and the Holiday expectations
along with it. There are other changes too—changes from the self-centered “what
I want” to genuine concern for what others want or, more importantly, need. The
Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:7 that we need wisdom. “Wisdom is the principal
thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Where
on earth can we find wisdom and understanding? It can’t be found in stores on
the mall. It can’t be purchased on the Internet. You won’t read about it in the
newspaper; neither can you turn on your TV and find it. You can hunt for it as
one would for lost treasure, traveling by land and sea, yet it will still elude you.
You can even write it on your Christmas wish list and mail it to the North Pole,
but wisdom and understanding will never drop down your chimney no matter how
much you long for it. You can attend a church, get all excited about the music,
listen to the sermons, laugh at jokes, enjoy all the potlucks, picnics and parties
and still miss out on true wisdom and understanding.
There is only one true source of wisdom, and it is not from searching deep
within yourself, nor can it be found among the world’s great intellectuals. God’s
wisdom cannot be found in science even though sometimes true science points
to an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator. It is not found in man’s vain philosophies,

nor can it be “educated” into you by any college or institution of “higher learning.”
The bottom line is, the systems of this world belong to Satan, and his so-called
“enlightenment” is the pseudo “wisdom” of pride, evil and death. God is the only
source of wisdom, for the Bible says, “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory
and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” Jude 25.
[Emphasis added.]
How is it that so few in these perilous times even bother to ask the Source of
all wisdom for wisdom, and yet we are told in James 1:5 “If any of you lack
wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him”? Unlike the silly, non-existent Santa Claus who little
children ask for toys and trinkets, our great Creator God invites us to ask Him for
wisdom, and then promises to liberally give it to us. What a difference it would
make in these perilous times if only people sought after God’s wisdom as
revealed in the written Word and the Living Word. Sadly, it appears that the
majority of earth’s inhabitants aren’t even wise enough to recognize their great
need to ask for wisdom! Instead of asking for wisdom and understanding, they
seek to abolish it through their ungodly abominations. Psalm 14:1 tells us, “The
fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done
abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”
This short but powerful little Psalm goes on to tell us the interesting result of
the “workers of iniquity” who have “no knowledge” and “who eat up my people as
they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.” Verse 5 says, “There were they in
great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.” Stop and think for a
moment about the “great fear” we see, hear and feel on every side as God
continues to shine His light on the evil deeds of the workers of iniquity.
Meanwhile, even though the righteous may be persecuted, afflicted, tormented
and even martyred by the enemies of the cross, nevertheless, “the people that do
know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among
the people shall instruct many”” Daniel 11:32b, 33a. The wise are given this
beautiful promise in Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the
brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the
stars for ever and ever.”
At this time of the year people often begin to ask those whom they wish to
bless with gifts, “What do you want for Christmas?” How would you respond if
God asked you what He could grant to you? Perhaps you might ask for time to
make out your list, or maybe pressing financial and physical needs would be your
initial response. But consider 2 Chronicles 1:7, which reads, “In that night did
God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.”
Solomon didn’t hesitate to commune with God, and then asked, “Give me now
wisdom and knowledge . . . .” verse 10. God granted wisdom and knowledge to
him because he did not ask for riches, wealth, honor, revenge on his enemies,
nor long life, “but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest
judge my people, over whom I have made thee king” verse 11b.
The journey to find true wisdom and understanding doesn’t begin with an
airline ticket to some exotic, mysterious, unknown destination but it begins right
in your own home as you open the Holy Bible. Every word in it is “God-breathed”

and is written for our instruction. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and
is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness; That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all
good works” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. Romans 15:4 “For whatsoever things were
written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and
comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
There is no need for us to grope as blind people, desperately searching
through the darkness of this world to stumble upon the great treasure of wisdom
and understanding because God’s “treasure map” (the Bible) tells us exactly
where it is to be found. “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together
in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the
acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father and of Christ; In
whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” Colossians 2:2, 3.
[Emphasis added.]
Obviously, no one can put “the gift of wisdom” on their Christmas list, but we
can follow the instructions Jesus gave in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given
you; seek, and he shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Proverbs
9:9, 10 says “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just
man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of
wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” To quote from an A.W.
Tozer sermon on the wisdom of God for your edification, “What would wisdom
and spiritual understanding, for example, make out of man? Would the man filled
with wisdom and spiritual understanding write cheap poetry? I would certainly
hope not. What then does he do? Walk around in a brown robe and pull loose
from the world, hiding in a cloister or an ivory tower? Absolutely not.
“What is the purpose then of this baptism of the ancient wisdom of God into
the heart of a man? The old wisdom man said it was to make a man a friend of
God. Paul said, ‘That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being
fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened
with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and
longsuffering with joyfulness’ (Colossians 1:10-11). This is the practical meaning
of this infusion of divine wisdom into the man walking with God.” 
The bottom line is, one of the greatest gifts we could ask God for is wisdom
which comes through enlightenment and the fear of God, and understanding
which comes as the result of walking in obedience to Him. But what “gifts” do we
have to offer to the LORD since He is the Creator of all things, and all things
belong to Him? We find the answer to that in Hebrews 13:15 “By him therefore let
us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving
thanks to his name” and Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the
mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable
unto God, which is your reasonable service” along with John 4:23, 24 “But the
hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in
spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and
they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
In conclusion, perhaps instead of only thinking about what we want, it would
be wiser to focus instead on what pleases the LORD; that is, the sacrifice of

praise, offering our bodies as a living sacrifice, and worshipping Him in spirit and
in truth. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who
hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath
first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and
through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
(Romans 11:33-36.) Praise the LORD!