Sometimes, we look at our fallen world, which has turned from God to the point of atheism and self-worship, and we see so many souls apparently unmoved by the persistent loving voice of wisdom crying out to them. Yet, since the Holy Spirit is unseen, we may not always perceive His work. The Holy Spirit has a ministry, and it is not simply a “church” ministry. Jesus said of the Spirit, “He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8).
When someone yields to the Holy Spirit, then His work becomes visible, and we see the fruits of surrender, weeping, repentance and a changed life. But there is a great deal of work the Spirit does behind closed doors or underneath the hard exterior of the people He is drawing. Believers often testify that God powerfully reached their hearts when they first heard a gospel witness, but outwardly they showed rejection or anger. Be encouraged. We serve a God who is working even when we cannot see it.
But what is this mysterious work? When Proverbs 9:1 states, “Wisdom has built her house,” we may recall the words of Jesus: “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). His church is not a physical building or a denomination but a family of repentant believers. God’s mysterious work is to draw people out of the darkness of sin and the clutches of the devil and into that family. We read that Wisdom has prepared a feast and sent out “maidens” as messengers to invite all people to that feast (9:2-6). In Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast, the king similarly prepares a banquet for his son and sends his servants out to the street corners to invite everyone to the feast (Matthew 22). Through the voice of the servants and maidens, who tell others about Jesus, His voice cries out. He yearns with love for those who are going to their destruction and do not know their right hand from their left. “Come, eat of my food, and drink the wine I have mixed” (Proverbs 9:5). He invites us to receive His body given up for us and His blood poured out for us as the only solution for our sin and shame. Every sinner is invited to receive it as food that will satisfy his or her soul.
Yet, another voice is calling in the streets, to the same category of people: “whoever is naïve” or “simple,” namely all of us (9:16). God’s wisdom calls us out of sin and foolishness (9:6), while the woman of folly encourages temptation, deception, and secrecy. Highlighting the fleeting sweetness sin has to offer, she conveniently withholds the end destination, which is the depths of hell (9:17,18). The cartoon picture of a devil and an angel on the shoulder may seem cliché, but in reality, we are surrounded by people who are daily confronted with these two voices as they make their decisions. I, for one, want to be ready to share the voice of God’s wisdom when, by divine appointment, I find myself speaking with someone who is lured or confused by the wrong voice. God help us to be children who know our Father’s voice! Lord, help us to abide in Christ, so that His words abide in us, and our prayers for lost souls are mightily answered.
The Rock Church