But for the Warning in My Heart

The following conversation between Boromir & Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring in which Boromir tries desperately to persuade Frodo to go to Minas Tirith instead of the way that Frodo has chosen reflects well the battle we all have between choosing God’s wisdom over the world’s wisdom.

Boromir: “I know why you seek solitude. You suffer. I see it day by day. You sure you do not suffer needlessly? There are other ways, Frodo, other paths that we might take.”

Frodo: “I know what you would say. And it would seem like wisdom but for the warning in my heart.

Boromir: “Warning? Against what? We’re all afraid, Frodo. But to let that fear drive us to destroy what hope we have… don’t you see, that is madness?”

Frodo: “There is no other way!”

Frodo’s way presents more obvious struggle, difficulty and even impossibility, and Boromir’s way does seem easier at least in the short term. But key in on the reason Frodo gives Boromir for his decision. Frodo tells him that a warning in his heart indicates that Boromir’s way exists as the wrong choice.

Earthly wisdom doesn’t ask for an invitation, and it requires little effort to understand. It pursues, much like Boromir pursued Frodo to persuade him. Worldly wisdom is relative, unique and different depending on an individual’s tastes, preferences and moods. Applying worldly wisdom lacks any complexity too. Just follow feelings, and the world’s wisdom easily takes over. In other words, do nothing to stop the world’s wisdom from impacting you, and impact you it will.

Godly wisdom, while infinitely more abundant, comes by asking God for it and gaining an understanding of His Word. Deliberately choosing Godly wisdom protects your heart against the world’s selfish and increasingly evil ways. When we learn to Develop Wisdom that comes from God and then apply it, we find that His wisdom creates a “pathway through the wilderness” and “rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

So why does the world’s wisdom sometimes seem so much easier to obtain and apply that God’s wisdom?

In our instant-gratification culture, easier often seems better and even feels better at least for a little while. Experience tells me, however, that easier often leads to more complications in the long run. God’s ways get at the root of our beliefs, attitudes, actions and words, something many people want to avoid for fear of what they’ll find.

The world’s wisdom provides a short-sighted solution to meeting a craving we all have inside of us. More stuff to have and do seems to be the solution for satisfying this craving. Yet, scripture tells of a very different way to fulfill that craving, which seems insatiable when filled with the wrong things. Because no matter how much sand you eat, it will not fulfill your craving for water!

“As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for thee, O God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2)

“My soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)

“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture said, streams of living water will flow from him.’” (John 7:37)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty, I will give drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.” (Revelation 21:6)

Worldly wisdom never satisfies because, as Romans 2:15 says, God’s wisdom (His law) is written on our hearts. The world’s wisdom can never erase or write over that which God imprinted on our hearts – the warning in our hearts to live according to His will and His ways.

Only when we realize that and then pursue the only wisdom that can truly satisfy us to the core will we discover a burden that truly is easier and lighter than anything the world has to offer (Matthew 11:30).

DISCUSSION: How do you fight the lure of worldly wisdom and pursue the complete refreshment of God’s wisdom?

For more discussion on this topic, please read Piper: The Devil Says All Truth Is God’s Truth by Loren Pinilis at Life of a Steward.

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17 Replies to “But for the Warning in My Heart”

  1. I think we fight it best by shoring ourselves up with God's Word – taking the time to carry out thoughts captive to the truth when they're saturated with the world's "wisdom."

  2. I think sometimes we are attracted to worldly wisdom because it says it is in agreement with how we think things should go. A lot of times you do not have to do anything but let things continue along if you follow worldly wisdom. Sometimes with God's wisdom you have to step up and take an action that sometimes is unpopular. It can be hard to do something you know will make people see you in an unfavorable light. Following the world's wisdom you do not stick out.

    The sad truth is sometimes when we follow God's wisdom we have fellow Christians question our actions. I have found as a parent life in the short term can be a lot easier to not follow God's wisdom on items that some people would not consider major. It is tough to choose short term hell and strife to do so. Ultimately you know that the choice was correct and you are thankful that you did not choose the easy way.

    1. Definitely a very difficult choice to make at times. That's why we have to know our why. We have to be in tune with the God who creates our why. The closer we get to Him, the more we are okay with being aliens and strangers.

  3. I like your point about the warning in our hearts. I know so many times the Spirit sends off some alarms about what's wrong. But other times, I find that I just buy into the world's wisdom without ever thinking. It's a long process (which I'm still going through and will probably always go through) where Godly wisdom unearths the worldly wisdom that has been planted in my heart and mind.
    How do we fight the lure of worldly wisdom? I think it's a slow process. It comes down to growth. That, of course, happens through the word – but we also grow when the church and christian community can help us examine the word and ourselves more deeply.

    1. You hit on the key exactly – God's Word and our involvement in a Christian community. We NEED both in order to not succumb to the world's wisdom. We need them so our discernment gets dialed up to ultra-sensitive and we can recognize what's from the world and what's from God more easily. Don't you love how He equips us to do what is needed?

  4. Thanks again Kari for sharing such important teaching! I believe we all struggle with this, no matter how long we have walked with God, but if we are tuned to Him with our heart and are willing to heed the warning and obey God we will be blessed. And even when we fail, He takes the good, the bad, and the ugly and works things out in ways we can't even imagine!

    1. He definitely looks at the intent of our hearts, and I am so glad. I can mess up, which I do all too often, and He gently restores knowing that I truly aim to please Him. We are hit so much with worldly wisdom, and we don't know it if we aren't studying His truth regularly.

  5. This was truly a great post, Kari! I thoroughly enjoyed it and needed it today. Thank you for sharing the wisdom you have been given.

    What a great line, "…but for the warning in my heart."!!!

  6. I am wrestling with this same issue, so I would say that the timing of this post is not coincidental. I see changes that can be arguably be defended as necessary, but my heart is not at peace. Whenever in my 40+ years in the business world when there is pressure to make the deal today, because it suits the interest of the company over the interest of the customer, I personally feel unsettled. Persistence coupled with patience and perseverance are characteristics of a Christian influencing this world, not to get our way but God's way, not in our timing, but God's timing. I sat and spoke with a mother as she was preparing to buy a replacement vehicle for her son – her concerns led to a great conversation which led to talking and sharing about the company's Christian mission. That is why I do what I do! At a lunch with the decision maker of an important new commercial account for the business, we shared about church matters and publicly prayed over our meal in the restaurant. That is why I do what I do! Is that the goal of all my co-workers? No, but I pray they can see the benefit.

    1. Wow, Coach. Sounds like you are really wrestling with this issue. Great job choosing to pursue God's wisdom and not the world's wisdom in spite of the pressures around you. Keep wrestling… God has wisdom He wants to pour into you today. Be encouraged! Persistence… patience… perseverance… definite keys to knowing and applying wisdom from the Lord.

  7. Thanks Kari… the same concerns are being echoed to me by others and I am trying to give good guidance about how to handle it as well. I am trusting God with my concerns. As our Bible Study addressed at lunch today, we need to accept the Peace of & with God in such times to settle our hearts. Again, as always, thanks Kari… _

    1. We never need to doubt that trusting Him more is the answer. We do what's right and then trust Him to work everything out for His ultimate good. He will… I can promise you that because He promises that!

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