What I’ve Learned Since I Became Omniscient

Because God is all-wise, we should be all-trusting.

As a teenager, I knew everything. You could even say I was omniscient. I marveled at the incompetence of adults on the simplest issues. They just didn’t get it. And then I grew up, and something strange happened. I discovered that as an omniscient person, I still had a lot to learn.

What I’ve Learned Since I Became Omniscient

(Photo by Photodune)

So many times I stood so sure of myself only to discover how woefully ignorant I was.

  • I knew a lot about the Bible until I went to seminary. It turns out, the more I learned, the less I knew.
  • I knew everything about marriage until I got married. But matrimony is course in art, not science. I’ll be learning for the rest of my life.
  • I was an expert on parenting until I had kids. Parenting offers a long course of study on your own selfishness.

I’ve learned a lot since I became omniscient. But you know where that omniscient teenager resurfaces the most in my life? The same place it shows itself in your life.

When we’re talking to God.

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Choosing God’s Mercy Instead of Justice

I have a friend named Brad who made the front page of the paper, because he almost drowned. His rescue was extraordinary. He set out with a small raft and his bike, intending to make his way to a nearby lake. As he walked through the woods toward the lake, there was nowhere to walk except through sludge. He eventually abandoned his bike and boat.

And when it got dark, Brad got lost.

Choosing God’s Mercy Instead of Justice

(Photo by Photodune)

He slogged through the darkness only to find himself eventually floating in the middle of Lake Lewisville. Being as skinny as a rail with zero body fat (what’s that like?), he was soon on the brink of hypothermia.

Brad told me he had always been one never to ask for help. And yet, in this crisis, he screamed at the top of his lungs: “Oh my God! Please help me!”

You know how he was he rescued?

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Blame Shifting our Blunders

Finger pointing is hard-wired into our hearts. In fact, it started early in human history. Like, really early.

Blame Shifting our Blunders

(Painting by Domenichino. Public domain)

In the Garden of Eden, God confronted Adam and Eve after they sinned, and their reaction set the course for an entire race of blame-shifters.

We’re still shifting the blame (and getting blamed).

The solution is the same today as it was then.

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Humility Would be Easy, if Not for My Pride

I pulled up behind a line of cars at a stoplight, and a guy on a skateboard whizzed past me. Like fast.

He held his arms above his head and swayed back and forth, leaning into each turn and showing his skills to those of us stopped at the light.

Pride before a fall.

(Photo: by Globeskater (Album photo voyage perso), via Wikimedia Commons)

As he approached the intersection, he leaned to turn in the direction of the oncoming traffic but his skateboard fell out from under him. He and his skateboard (and his skills) flew into the middle of the intersection where the traffic zoomed both directions—toward him!

A large van swerved to miss the guy and hit his skateboard, bending it and sending it spiraling twenty feet in the air. After ten seconds of screeching tires, scrambling feet, and lots of yelling, Mr. Center-of-Attention grabbed his skateboard and limped off to hide somewhere.

It was the most entertainment I ever had at a stoplight.

And it made me think of life in general.

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How Feelings Fuel Your Anger

Anger often stems from unmet “needs,” such as a desire for respect, admiration, or affirmation.

There must be a balance between legitimate needs and codependency. One major way we attempt to have these needs met is by trying to control others. The Bible gives the better alternative—freedom in choices and freedom from dependencies.

I recommend The Anger Workbook by Les Carter, an essential resource used in this series.

Part 3 – “Good and Angry” – Selected Scripture

Wayne Stiles Podcast

 

How to Avoid a Titanic Mistake

More than 100 years ago, the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg just before midnight, sending it to the bottom of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

How to Avoid a Titanic Mistake

(Photo: Titanic at the docks of Southampton, 1912. Public Domain.)

The re-release of the blockbuster movie in 3-D has resurfaced tremendous interest in the ill-fated vessel. With the exception of Noah’s Ark, the Titanic has intrigued more people than any other vessel in history.

Experts of its day hailed this “ship of dreams” as “practically unsinkable.” One seaman even went so far as to say: “God Himself couldn’t sink this ship!” Thomas Andrews, one of the Titanic’s designers, boasted: “The ship is as perfect as human brains can make.”

That’s why the morning after the sinking most people refused to believe the “unsinkable” had sunk. Even the Wall Street Journal printed an optimistic report:

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I’m So Sure

If you’ve ever felt the sting of a scorpion, you and I share a common awe at how something so small can produce a sting so painful. I get the same feeling from reading Obadiah, the shortest book in the Old Testament. Written to ancient Edom east of the Jordan River, Obadiah gives a stinging rebuke to the sin of pride.

Petra—the Lost and Found City of Wonder

(Photo: The Treasury facade at Petra, Jordan—the area of ancient Edom)

The geography of Edom provided an almost impenetrable fortress. Invading armies could enter only by snaking through difficult mountain passes. This location gave the people of Edom great national security and led to some colossal arrogance on their part. “The pride of your heart has deceived you,” the Lord told them, “you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights” (Obadiah 1:3, NIV).

The Edomites’ misplaced pride would later become their undoing.

Applying Edom’s Flaw To Our Lives

Edom’s geography bears a resemblance to our affluence today. Our self-reliant culture crows:

  • “Never take guff!”
  • “Depend on no one!”
  • “Save face at all costs!”

Pride alone fuels this counsel. When we feel self-secure, we sense no need for anything or anyone else—even God. Our physical resources tempt us to reject any external influence in our lives. But as the Lord told the Edomites, such an attitude smacks of overconfidence: “The pride of your heart has deceived you.”

Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong. Self-pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak. —John Piper

Just as arrogance would displace the Edomites, so our pride will betray us unless we walk with God in humility (see Micah 6:8). God never created us to live in independence from Him, but in dependence on Him. Our model of humility? The One who is gentle and humble of heart (Matthew 11:29). What an honor to rely on the Lord of whom alone we boast . . . and from whom alone we receive all we need.

If we’re honest, we have to confess that the last stronghold in our hearts is defended by pride.

Going Places with God- A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the BibleLike This Post? Get the Whole Book!

This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible.
• These 90 devotional readings, each based on a specific place in the lands of the Bible, will help you apply the truths of God’s Word to your daily journey of faith.
• You’ll enjoy pertinent Scripture, inspirational quotes, photographs, maps, and a daily prayer.

After going places with God, you’ll never be the same.

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