Screening Calls

“Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech.” – Proverbs 1:20-21 (NIV)

Isn’t technology great?  I love having caller ID on my phone, so I know which calls are the important ones to answer – like from my wife or anyone of you reading this blog post ;).  Thanks to modern technology, now I can choose not to answer the phone when a telemarketer or unwanted solicitor calls.

I started a new Bible reading plan this year, and even though modern technology has made it quite easy for me to get into the Word on my phone, I decided to stick with the good ol’ fashioned paper Bible to do my reading this year, but I am keeping track of the reading plan on my phone through Youversion.  It’s a great app for reading plans.  The plan I’m currently doing is one that has me reading in the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs each day.  It’s amazing how God’s Story is seamless from one book to another, regardless of where it’s at in the Bible.  For example, today’s reading had me in Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs, and John.  And the overwhelming theme that came out of that reading for today across all those passages was this: sin calls and wisdom calls, and we will always answer one of them.

It took a whopping three chapters in Genesis for man to go from a perfect relationship with God to falling completely into sin.  And by Genesis chapter 6, God is ready to wipe mankind off the face of the earth!  (There are still 44 more chapters in Genesis to go after this, let alone the rest of the ENTIRE Bible.  Just wanted give perspective to the length of time it took for man to make a mess of things.)

Unfortunately, when left to themselves, people tend to get worse instead of better.  Look at the escalation from Adam to Cain.  In just one generation, simple disobedience (eating the fruit) turns into outright murder (Cain killed his brother Abel).  Genesis 6:5 (NIV) says, “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” 

Wow.  It’s a good thing we don’t live in the Old Testament, right?  We’re on the “other” side of the flood, so we’re good, right?  If only that were true!  But the New Testament proves that man is still untrustworthy.  John 2:24-25 (NIV), “But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.  He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.”  Mark 7:21-22 (NIV), “For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly.”

That list has grown quite a bit from picking a piece of fruit off of a tree.

There were two voices that Adam and Eve could listen to in the Garden – one of wisdom and one of deceit.  God is never the voice of deceit.  And Satan is never the voice of wisdom.  It’s always the other way around.

The same two voices call to us today.  And they will continue to call us until we answer one or the other.  James 1:13-15 tells us that the evil desires within us want to answer sin’s call.  But when we answer that call, it only leads to death.

So how do we avoid answering sin’s call?  We can’t do it on our own (if you disagree, I invite you to re-read Genesis 6:5, John 2:24-25, and Mark 7:21-22).  We need to learn how to screen our calls.  We need to ID who’s calling so we know if we should answer or not.

The Bible is a kind of “caller ID” when it comes to distinguishing between wisdom and deceit.  It is the Word of God, breathed out by God (2 Timothy 3:16).  It is His voice.  And His voice is always the voice of wisdom.

Do you have a plan to dig into God’s Word this year?  If not, why not try one out?  Youversion has several to choose from, including topical plans, entire Bible plans, devotional plans, and has different plan lengths, from 1 day to an entire year.  Invite someone to join you in your journey through the Word.  We’re called to follow Jesus together.  If you’d like to join me in the plan I’m going through, I’d LOVE to discuss it together with you!  Here’s the link: Four Streams Bible Reading Plan

Both sin and wisdom are calling you.  Can you tell the difference?  Which one will you answer?