WISDOM IS ABOUT OBEDIENCE

When it comes to wisdom, there are many other philosophies and religions offer wonderful teachings and advice. And a lot of them have similar principles with what Jesus has taught us. But as we say last week, the biggest difference is that for Christians, wisdom is a person. So for us, to know wisdom is to have a relationship with this person Jesus.

But here is the problem when it comes to wisdom. Sometime we know what to do but we cannot do it. Our mind is willing but our body is weak. We know what Jesus would do, where he is guiding us, but for one reason or another we cannot do what we need to do. That is why we need power. We need the power that comes with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

But when it comes to the power of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it comes with a specific commandment that requires a specific obedient. The power of the Holy Spirit comes with the command to witness.

ACTS 1.6-8 (NLT)

6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

WE FIGURE THINGS OUT AS WE GO

The disciples were asking Jesus to establish his Kingdom in Jerusalem. They wanted Jesus to be the king the people need, the king of justice, of love, of mercy and grace, of healing, blessings, and peace. This is what they wanted: Jesus this Promised King will establish his rule and all the people of Israel will follow him and obey his teachings and live according to his will. And then people from all corners of the world will come, observe the blessings of God’s Kingdom, and decide to bow down to King Jesus.

Basically they had thought that God wants them to take care of themselves first before they get to invite people from around the world to come to Jesus. Because wasn’t that the problem before? God’s people were not living right and so they could not be God’s witnesses to the world. So this is what they ask Jesus: when will you set these people of Israel straight so that people from all over the world can come and witness your love, kindness, and goodness in our lives?

But God has another plan. Instead of waiting for the Israelites to get their act together first, Jesus wants us to go immediately. This is not the time to wait for people to get things right. God is not looking for perfect people who are already doing everything the right way. Jesus also did not intend for Peter, Andrew, John, and the gang to try to turn themselves from bickering broken people into perfect saints before they go out and witness for him.

Listen to me: Jesus is not looking for a perfect witness. Jesus does not want you to figure things out first before you go. No. You go now. We figure things out as we go out and witness. And when we obey his command to go and witness, God will give us the power not only to live good and wise life, he will give us the power to live a powerful life.

THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL ANOINT GOD’S WITNESS

What we need to understand is that it requires more than good and wise living to become God’s witness. We Asians know more than our brothers and sisters in the West that our battle is not merely against flesh and blood. When we go witness Jesus to our families, friends, and communities, we are facing dark powers that are doing what they can do to prevent people to come to Jesus. And so we are witnessing to people who are living in the bondage of sins, sickness, and brokenness. These people don’t need a good advice. They need the Good News. And God’s power of the Holy Spirit that comes with those who preach the Good News.

This is why Christianity is dying in the West. Because being a Christ followers there does not include being his witness. And even if they witness, they witness with good words and good living. But we need more than that. We need God’s power because when we witness, it’s full on Spiritual Warfare. Evil powers and evil people do not want us to witness that Jesus has come, lived, crucified, resurrected, and glorified so that everyone can find peace, freedom, blessings, and eternal life in him. Evil wants everyone to go down with it. And Evil will use all its powers and lies to make that happen. The Devil is smarter and more powerful than us. That is why God makes sure that he will anoint us with the power of the Holy Spirit before we go out and witness for Jesus. And we have that power, we can live with wisdom and with power. We have the power not only to live a good life but also to preach the Good News.

GO WITNESS NOW

So this Christmas season, we need to go and witness for Jesus. There are broken people out there. Lonely people. Depressed people. Abused people. Hopeless people. Angry people. They all need Jesus.

Now you can be like the First Disciples and ask Jesus to bring his Kingdom and establish it in you and yours first. You can ask God to make sure that you have everything you need and everything you want first. Or you can ask God to make sure that you will live a good obedient life first.

Or you can be like Paul and just go and figure things out as we go. When we obey his commandments to go and witness, he will give us power. The power to live good and the power to preach the Good News.