I just returned home from a 5-day, 40-mile backpack trip in the wilderness. Ever since, I have been pondering the concept of nourishment. While backpacking, all nourishment had to be packed and carried. And, we could only go so far until we had to have access to a water source. Nourishment is that which sustains life yielding growth and health. It seems obvious that nourishment is required for our physical bodies, but nourishment is also necessary in other vectors of our lives, such as our spiritual, relational, and emotional health.
As the body of Christ, we all have access to the nourishing sap of the olive tree according to Romans 11:17 and of course we all have access to the living water of Christ. Why is it that some of us remain malnourished and others are growing, flourishing, and maturing towards wholeness in Christ? A prayer in Colossians 1 gives us some insight.
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Am I walking with God? Am I pursuing his will? Am I pursuing all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives? In what areas must I allow the nutrients of the Spirit to nourish through wisdom, so that I may live a life worthy of the Lord, bearing fruit, with great endurance and patience, giving joyful thanks to the Father?
We turn to wisdom literature for further insight. Proverbs 3:8 tells us that wisdom yields health and nourishment. Just before, verse 7 warns us not to be wise in our own eyes, but to fear God. Later in chapter 8, verse 35 tells us that those who find wisdom find life and favor from the Lord. There must be something to partaking in wisdom.
Later in chapter 9, wisdom is personified as a lady who has built her house and prepared a feast. Lady wisdom invites us to come and partake in wisdom, so that we find the blessings of the life-giving way of our Father towards flourishing and thriving. Folly on the other hand is also personified as a woman, but one who is unruly. She too has prepared a feast. She too is inviting folks to come and partake. Her invitation is deceiving and one of lies: stolen water is sweet and food eaten in secret is delicious. Lady wisdom offers true nourishment, while folly’s table leads us astray, depleted, and defeated.
May we be the blessed referred to in Proverbs 8:34 who genuinely listen to Lady wisdom. Healthy habits and rhythms help us to hear her voice by the power of the Spirit through discernment. Intentional silence, solitude, stillness, sabbath rest, meditating on God’s Word, submitting to rebuke and correction as well as deep relationships with other believers who speak truth over us are some ways to hear Lady wisdom.
Jen Binford, Coach