The Only Question That Really Matters

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Early this morning as I started my prayer and meditation time. . .I was reminded of a time when someone made me an offer that would make most envious of what they would perceive to be the ultimate opportunity.

As Don Corlene, the Godfather would say, it’s the kind of offer you seemingly can’t refuse. . .but there are two things I know for sure.

Never make a major decision without first asking the Lord and if married, your spouse.

My fine wife and I agreed that we would commit the offer to prayer as we sought the Lord’s direction.

So with that background info, we asked the Lord. . .if this would be the right thing for us, this ministry and the generous person who extended the offer. As I was talking with the Lord about this matter, something quickened in my spirit that got my attention.

The proper question is not whether or not the offer, if accepted, would be of benefit to the ministry or the person extending the offer; the Lord reminded me that the proper question should be. . .if we accept this offer will it advance the Kingdom of God?

The only question. . .the only answer that mattered was whether or not, my accepting this offer would benefit the Kingdom of God.

Personally, I’m closer to the Lord right now than I’ve ever been in my entire life. But the truth is … it should be that way for all of us.

Every scripture we read and study, every day that goes by we are learning things that take us closer to walking in wisdom and stature with God and man… just as it says Jesus did here on the earth in Luke 2:52.

I like to think that I’m focused on pursing His purpose for my and our lives. But there are times I miss it and this was one of those times so I repented for not asking the right question.

I’m also thankful the Holy Spirit made a point to direct me.

As I was meditating on the Word, God allowed me to see Colossians 1:9 and He allowed me to see in in the New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) which made it very clear.

That's why we have not stopped praying for you. We have been praying for you since the day we heard about you. We have been asking God to fill you with the knowledge of what he wants. We pray that he will give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

It’s not what we want but what He wants. . .when we realize this and walk in it, then He will give us “spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

That’s exactly what we need and desperately desire, right now and every other minute of our lives. . .His spiritual wisdom and understanding.

As I was typing this. . .it occurred to me that many believers have gotten themselves into financial trouble when praying for direction because they’ve asked the wrong questions.

They want God to agree to allow them the new big screen LCD television.” Perhaps, it would be better to say, “God, will the purchase of the new big screen LCD television, help you in establishing your kingdom.”

God is not against us having things … but will it be used more for NFL football, Survivor and streaming show and movies. . .than it will for programming which builds our faith, strengthens our character and sharpens our focus to implement Your purpose for our lives.

The same questions could apply to anything we buy no matter what it is. Where is our focus? Are we caught up in things or caught up with Him?

We have a dear friend, a member of the Mensa Society, who has an IQ of over 150. . .a brilliant man.

In conversations, it’s not unusual for him to say, “Let’s get this conversation off you and get it back where it belongs, on me.”

The Lord reminded me that we need to get our focus back where it belongs. . .on Him.

The question is and always should be, will what we do advance the Kingdom of God and His divine purpose for my life.

As Colossians 1:9 says: We have been asking God to fill you with the knowledge of what he wants.”

I just couldn’t get Colossians 1:9 out of my mind.

There are some believers who have been to church most if not all their lives and yet are seemingly ignorant of the Word.

I felt impressed of the Lord. . .to go deeper into Colossians 1:9.

Ignorance is a choice.  I'm absolutely convinced that the statement I just made is 100% factual and spiritually accurate as well.
Colossians 1:9 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
"For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things."
Does that sound like He wants you to be ignorant…ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Here are eight reasons ignorance is a choice especially when it comes to seeking God’s wisdom on decisions you need to make.
First, ignorance is simply...a lack of knowledge.
If you ever read any of our teachings you know that ignorance is not knowing whereas stupidity is knowing but choosing to. . .ignore the information.

Speaking of stupidity. . .there are some stupid laws on the books in the various states of this country. However, ignorance or a lack of knowledge of these laws would be no excuse.

Consider some of these other dumb, outdated or ridiculous laws.
It's illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church in the State of Alabama.
It's illegal for
donkeys to sleep in bathtubs in the State of Arizona.
It's illegal
for men and women over the age of 18 to have less than one missing tooth visible when smiling in Tombstone, Arizona.
It's illegal for women to drive in a house coat in the state of California.

It’s illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel in Texas.

It’s illegal in Carmel, New York to go outside while wearing a jacket and pants that do not match.

Even in the ridiculous, ignorance of these or other laws is no excuse.
Someone once said, "what you don't know can't hurt you.” That's a lie for several reasons.

First thing is … God knows it.

Second thing is …if your spouse is having an affair. . .running up huge gambling debts or involved in something illegal. . .you may not know it but it can hurt you and your family.
Second, if you lack knowledge, it's your fault because knowledge is available.

Acts 17:30 in the New International Version says:

“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.”

There were times in the Bible that God overlooked ignorance but that’s no longer the case. He does not expect us to walk in ignorance when we have the knowledge right in front of us.

And frankly, not seeking his direction. . .is truly being ignorant of the Word.

James 4:17 says:

Therefore to him that knoweth how to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

I think it’s safe to say that if you have to repent of something. . .that means you have sinned.   By inference, logical interpretation and common sense. . .it’s a sin to be ignorant.

Everyone sins. But you’ll sin a whole lot less if you keep applying the Word every day of your life. Life gets sweeter the more you walk in God’s will.

Third, God wants you to have knowledge.

There is practically no excuse for anyone to be ignorant about anything in the 21st century.

You can Google or search the internet for any and every sort of information. Knowledge is everywhere if you look for it. And I don’t mean stupid stuff. I mean you can gain a virtual education in hundreds of subjects. Do-it-yourself projects galore. And some could turn out to be quite profitable.

Of course, you have to use wisdom in putting value or faith in the search results that you find.

Just because something is featured prominently on a search page doesn’t mean that it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. . .but it can lead you to more knowledge through research.

If you don’t own a computer. . .go to the public library where you can use computers for free. However, the greatest resource for knowledge in your life is not found in the stacks of your local library but rather in the 66 chapters of your Bible.

There is also no excuse for anyone not having a Bible especially in the United States.

Romans 1:13 says:

“Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.”

According to Strong’s Concordance the word ignorance means:

“not knowing.”

Simply said, ignorance is not knowing the facts. And as I said at the beginning of this broadcast. . .stupid is knowing the facts but choosing not to do anything with or about that information and insight.

Benjamin Franklin said, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

There is a cure for ignorance. . .get knowledge.

Fourth, making a decision without all the facts is ignorance.

Proverbs 18:13 says:

“He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”

In the New Living Translation it says;

“Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.”

Here’s our translation of that verse.

It’s a sin to make a decision in ignorance when all the facts are available.”

The good news is that God will forgive you of ignorance. . .which can be overcome by the gaining of knowledge.

And obviously, He expects us to be gaining knowledge all the time.

Fifth, God wants ignorance silenced by a godly life.

1 Peter 2:15 says:

“For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”

God wants us to live our lives before men that they cannot find a way to accuse us of evil deeds. We find such an example in Daniel as stated in Daniel 6:5:

Finally these men said, "We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God."

1 Corinthians 15:34 in the Message Bible which says:

“Think straight. Awaken to the holiness of life. No more playing fast and loose with resurrection facts. Ignorance of God is a luxury you can't afford in times like these. Aren't you embarrassed that you've let this kind of thing go on as long as you have?”

Sixth, ignorance will separate you from the love of God.
Ephesians 4:18 in the New International Version says:

“They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”

1 Timothy 1:13 says:

“Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.”

As I said earlier, wisdom delivers anyone from ignorance. . .regardless, of their personal situation or circumstances.

Seventh, knowledge leads to wisdom.

Hosea 4:6 is an indictment against the priests who were withholding knowledge from God’s people. The scripture says:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me…. “

Knowledge is knowing and wisdom is putting the knowledge into practice to help you succeed. God wants His people walking in knowledge and wisdom.

James 1:5 in the Amplified Bible says:

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”

Eighth, there is a significant financial reason why you shouldn’t be ignorant but walk in knowledge and wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 9:16 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“So I decided that wisdom is better than strength. Yet if you are poor, no one pays any attention to you, no matter how smart you are.”

Yes, wisdom is the principal thing. . .but a wise, poor man is just that. . .poor and no one will pay attention to him or her.

I think it’s fair to say that knowledge leads to success … wisdom and wealth . . . go hand in hand.

1 Kings 10:23 says:

“So King Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth.”

Solomon chose wisdom and got riches. . .that is an important principle to understand.

It is not worldly wisdom but God’s wisdom that makes us successful. That is proven in Proverbs 10:22 in the Classic Amplified Bible:

The blessing of the Lord—it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it].”

True riches come from receiving the blessing of the Lord.

There are two scriptures I’ve shared with you several times during our Rich Thoughts for Breakfast calls. . .but they bare repeating.

Ecclesiastes 7:11-12 in the Message Bible says:

“Wisdom is better when it's paired with money, Especially if you get both while you're still living. Double protection: wisdom and wealth! Plus this bonus: Wisdom energizes its owner.”

God doesn’t want us ignorant. . .because ignorance takes us nowhere. . .it separates us from the love of God. . .it’s a result of not getting all the facts. . . . you will never please God nor prosper as long as you remain ignorant.

However, you don’t have to remain ignorant. . .because it’s a choice. . .we can do whatever we make up our minds to do. Today is a good day to start.

And, we think, the biggest example of ignorance is not asking God’s opinion about any decision or opportunity. . .no matter how good it may sound.

The only question. . .the only answer that matters is whether or not, accepting any offer or opportunity would benefit the Kingdom of God.

In case you’re wondering we didn’t accept that generous offer because we were directed not to.

Time revealed we made the right decision as the opportunity didn’t turn out the way it was described.

In the times in which we live. . .with its economic uncertainty. . .people will be offered opportunities that sound so good. . .but later you realize there were a lot more attachments … than there were enhancements.

One more time. . .remember. . .

The only question. . .the only answer that matters is whether or not, accepting any offer or opportunity would benefit the Kingdom of God.

When God pulls you over to give you a ticket … you get the idea He knows exactly what He’s talking about. He will never lead you wrong.