Proverbs 3:7-8 (NCV) Don’t depend on your own wisdom. Respect the Lord and refuse to do wrong. Then your body will be healthy, and your bones will be strong.

We live in the Midwest and the winters here are, to say the least, cold. We moved into our new home a year ago and this winter we have been struggling with our programmable thermostat. My husband has tried every which way he could to turn up the heat, but five minutes after he does so, it programs itself to return to a chilly 61 degrees. Unfortunately, when the outdoor temperature is ten below and the wind is out of the north at 30-40 miles per hour, 61 degrees just doesn’t cut it, and he was getting frustrated. Try as he did he just couldn’t get it warmer in our house.

“Would you talk to our landlords and see if they know how to work this stupid thing?” he asked after numerous attempts. I did and was told the thermostat was put in before they purchased the house and they had no idea how to work it. So on a whim, I pulle d down the cover of the box and low and behold, there was a message in there saying, “to download an operating manual go to this website.” The next morning we went online and did just that. He now has a printout of how to re-program the new fangled machine and is on his happy way to warmth.

How so like us to not go to the Creator but to do everything on our own, only to foul it up even more. Our own understanding of the thermostat inner machine works was immensely limited by our ignorance of what the operating manual taught us. Quite similarly, it is even when we rely on our own wisdom to do what we think we need to accomplish. Our limited knowledge of the thermostat brought us inevitably failure, but once we read the operating manual it became easier to receive the heat generated by a well running machine.

Sometimes though, even when we’ve gone to the Operating Manual given to us by our Creator, we fail to obey the instructions. We read and read and think we understand what we need to do when really the “doing” isn’t the key component but rather the “being”. Our Father wants us to rest in His Word and believe it with our whole heart and let Him work through us. We use our own wisdom and rush right out to “the doing” and fall flat on our face and then wonder why. Merely reading the Word will not bring us desired results. As we read, it’s imperative that we let His Holy Spirit fill us with His truth, believe, and then step out into that truth, letting Him manifest His will through us.

God instructs us to respect Him, reverence Him out of love by choosing to obey His Word, which is a mental conviction to trust His work. This faith in God takes the pressure off of us, reduces the stress and gives us peace. It is His peace that brings and protects our health and gives us strength and vitality. We should believe He will do the work through us and acknowledge His power at work in us. That’s wisdom given by our Creator God generously and with surpassing favor.

Like the thermostat, we will feel the warmth of His grace and His favor flowing through us.  It is this effortless movement in the rhythm of grace that brings joy.  To our amazement others will begin to be drawn to the intimacy of His presence. They will feel the heat radiating from our spirit to theirs and the Holy Spirit will begin that very same work in them.