Wisdom of the World

My last blog post (see here) was how our methods are actually Satan’s schemes. What are these schemes? They are basically distractions that keep us from seeking God, from following Jesus by the leading of the Holy Spirit. We don’t need to because we already know what to do!

We get the Christian book which makes us feel like we’re doing it God’s way because there are verses in there in a few places. Then we imitate man instead of imitating Christ. But, it’s just wisdom of the world.

That’s his scheme, to get us to follow the wisdom of this world instead of the wisdom of God. Of course, the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God (1 Cor. 3:19). And we’re foolish to follow it. We make ourselves out to be fools when we do.

Can I tell you about a couple times that I played the fool?

When I married, I wanted to be the best wife. So, I read “the book.” I did what they told me to do.

When I had kids, I wanted to be the best mom. So, I read “the book.” I did what they told me to do.

What’s the problem with following Christian advice?

It’s a BIG problem. It was IDOLATRY.

I was following after man instead of following after God.

Thankfully, the Lord pulled me out of my idolatry, though it was painful all around. He redeemed it as only He can.

Yes, there is a wisdom of this world that is outright ungodly, but the more insidious wisdom of the world is what comes from those who call themselves The Church, who call themselves by the name of Christ. They say they speak for Him.

By the way, this idea of wisdom and especially method is what kills churches, ministries, and organizations. There were also organizations like YWAM that started out by following the Holy Spirit. There’s a story in YWAM’s history about the first group that did a drama to share Christ. It was a success! Guess what EVERY SINGLE YWAM team does now? A drama! To maybe no success at all. Okay, I don’t know if every team does it, but during my fourteen years overseas as a missionary, every YWAM team that came through did a wordless drama that had no impact.

Why do they do it? It’s wisdom to share with a wordless drama since they don’t know the language. It’s a way to communicate. They’ve seen it be really effective at times. Of course, it’s all denying the leading of the Spirit and the power of God to overcome any obstacle.

You may grow your church by following man’s method of coffee bars and loud music, but you won’t grow the Body of Christ, which is your actual mission.

We need to keep our eyes on Jesus. Anytime we’re attempting to follow after another’s steps to success, we need to recognize the temptation to idolatry and refuse to follow anyone but Christ alone. We need to not be lazy and spend the time seeking Him, and we need to trust Him enough to wait on Him.

You can’t call yourself a follower of Jesus if you are living by man’s book, and not God’s.


I have told people to throw away their Christian how-to books: those books on parenting, on marriage, on leading a small group, on having a prayer ministry, on having quiet times, on being in business, on missions, any of it, all of it.

What’s the problem?

Imitating what those authors did is following man, not God.

God does something great in someone’s life or ministry and they write a book and people try to copy their success. The problem is that it wasn’t their success. It was God’s.

While we’re all hopefully on the same path of wanting to be transformed into the image of Christ, He’s working out different things in our different lives and at different times and in different ways. We don’t get to play God and decide how He’s going to do it.

And like with all sin, it comes down to that – playing God. It’s the sin of the garden and it’s what is still with us today, this wanting to be in charge, take control. Of course, if we were God, we’d know what to do and wouldn’t have to copy someone else, but we ignore that part and try to take what we see as someone else’s success and apply it to ourselves. We try to make it happen.

It won’t succeed. If you do happen to have some outward appearance of success, it isn’t real success because it’s not what God chose for you. It will likely cause trouble down the road.

I’ve known that methods are the enemy of life in Christ. Now I know why.

There’s a Greek word methodos which is found in just two verses. The word is not translated method in either, but it is a root of our word method. How is it translated? Schemes. Both verses talk about the devil’s schemes to get us.

So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and from by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

Eph. 4:14

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Eph. 6:11

Satan’s schemes, our methods.

Following methods means we haven’t sought God and aren’t willing to seek His ways or wait on Him. It means we can’t trust Him to pull through, so we have to make it happen ourselves. That’s what we’re really doing, even while we convince ourselves we are doing it “God’s way” by following the how-to guide with a few verses tucked in there.

You have to choose who you are going to follow. Are you going to follow man? Or are you going to submit to being led by the Spirit? Only one will lead you where you want to be heading.