Human Wisdom – Don’t trust yourself!

One fine day four people were flying in a small, four-passenger plane: a pilot, a minister, and two teenagers, one of whom had just won an award for being the Smartest Teenager in the World.
As they were flying along, the pilot turned to the three passengers and said, “I’ve got some bad news, and I’ve got some worse news. The bad news is, we’re out of gas. The plane’s going down and we’re gonna crash. The worse news is, I only have three parachutes on board. This meant, of course, that someone would have to go down with the plane. The pilot continued. “I have a wife and three children at home. I have many responsibilities. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to take one of the parachutes.” With that, he grabbed one of the chutes and jumped out of the plane.

The Smartest Teenager in the World was next to speak. “I’m the Smartest Teenager in the World,” he said. “I might be the one who comes up with a cure for cancer or AIDS or solves the world’s economic problems. Everyone is counting on me!” The Smartest Teenager in the World grabbed the second parachute and jumped.

The minister then spoke up and said, “Son, you take the last parachute. I’ve made my peace with God, and I’m willing to go down with the plane. Now take the last parachute and go.” “Relax, reverend,” said the other teenager. “The Smartest Teenager in the World just jumped out of the plane with my backpack.”

A lot of people think they’re pretty smart, but in reality, they’re a lot like “The Smartest Teenager in the World” in that they jump out into the world without parachutes. They think they know a lot and have all they need to live happy and fulfilled lives, but what they really have is a backpack. The only parachute that will ultimately save is Christ and he is what we must place our faith in. All other ways are false and lead to death. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Some people have not learned how to make wise decisions. They act impulsively, without thinking. The result is sometimes the same as what happened to the Smartest Teenager in the World, death.

Can we really trust ourselves?
(Proverbs 3:5-8) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

We cannot lean on our own understanding of things, and we cannot trust ourselves alone. We are human and we are fallen. If we trust our own judgment to make decisions then we will always choose to please ourselves. That is our sin nature. That is the nature God is trying to do away with in order to make us more like Jesus.

God Will Guide and Communicate His Plan. (So we can lean on His understanding and not our own.)
There are two things that Scripture promises us that we can be fully assured of, the first is that God has a plan for our lives and number two is that God can and will communicate that plan. We are communicative people created by a communicative God. He has guided and directed people from the beginning of the Old Testament and continues to do so today.

God says in Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”

God knows the way we should go, and what we should do, and he promises that he will instruct us, when we are willing to listen.

(Proverbs 3:5-8) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

It is God who gives understanding not Man
It is the corrupt nature of man that leads us to make the wrong decisions. We think that we can do it, that we are old enough to make our own decisions. It’s our life and we can do whatever we want to do. But scripture says, “your body is not your own, you were bought at a price, therefore honor God with your body” Through the blood of Jesus we were purchased, and changed, and renewed, and he has done this great thing for us that no one else can ever do, we owe him our lives, yet sometimes we can’t even give him our own actions.

(1 Cor 2:9-12) “However, as it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”

We cannot know the things of God. There are no humans that just know the sovereign plan of God. The only things we know about God are what the spirit reveals to us through scripture. God tells us about God. When you hear someone preach, and you experience true conviction it isn’t the persons words that convicted you, it is either the Word of God or the Spirit of God. God teaches us about God and always has. We are who we are today spiritually not because of any man, but because of God. Sure God used people to change my life, but he could have used anyone who was willing to serve him. It was not the person that changed me, it was God working through that person.

What causes us to mis-read the spirit or make the wrong decisions?

1. The Unwillingness to think. – God has given us a mind, and we should use it. When making decisions we need to think, do our actions honor God? Will it cause me to sin? Has it caused me to Sin? Does it line up with scripture? If your unwilling to use the brain that God has given you, then you don’t have a chance to make the right decisions.

2. The Unwillingness to think ahead. – Most of the time you can see what is right or wrong by looking at its long term consequences. What will this cause in my life? What will happen because of my actions? What is the long term affect? If the answers are negative then its probably a wrong decision.

3. The unwillingness to take advice – Scripture is forceful on the need for taking advice of others. In fact you can find verse after verse after verse on this issue alone. Proverbs 12:15 says – “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 15:31-32 says – “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.”

Ecclesiasties 10:1-3 says – “As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. The heart of the wise inclines to the right but the heart of the fool to the left. Even as he walks along the road, the fool lacks sense and shows everyone how stupid he is.”

We need to realize that we are corrupt humans and our feelings and thoughts will deceive us regardless of how spiritual we are. We can never distrust ourselves too much.

4. The unwillingness to discount personal magnetism – What this means is that there are people that seem like they are wonderful people and anything they say is right and we can get deceived into believing that everything this person does and says is the truth and the way it is. The truth is everyone is human and we are all subject to mistakes, there is no one that is perfect and there is no one human that we can completely trust and completely follow. When you listen to someone speak, your job is to respect what they say, but also to decide whether you believe that or not, and to think critically about it instead of accepting everything as the gospel truth. (1Thess 5:21) “Test everything. Hold on to the good”

5. The unwillingness to wait – We have a hard time waiting on God, cause he is not on our schedule. We want things now, but again God knows better. God is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present. God will give us what we need right at the exact moment we need it. But some of us can’t wait and jump right in without leadership from God.

(Psalm 139:23-24) “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

We don’t know what is best for us, but God does. It’s time we place less trust in ourselves and more trust in the savior who created us for His good purpose.

(Proverbs 3:5-8) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”