Wisdom from the Upside Down Kingdom

Many of us are in places where we don’t know what to do. We may know what we WANT, but we sorely lack the essential HOW to achieve it. The Lord is literally tutoring me in lessons on wisdom. And may I just add, summer school sucks. Smile.


In an age of excess information and inflated reactions, how are we to discern what is truly wise? Some camps shout: You must use logic. Facts only. No emotions. The rival camp shouts: All decisions are based on emotions whether you admit it or not. The battle ensues. 

For example, consider this remark from a guy I just met. He was trying to decide if a particular house purchase was a good fit. When I asked him how he would choose, he boasted, “I take all the emotion out of it and just look at the facts.” I laughed in his face.

“Good luck with that,” I said. “The Lord has emotions, gave you emotions for a reason too, and you are totally deciding if this house gives you all the feels in all the right places.” Whatever.  

However, this conversation reminded me of a phrase God gave earlier in the week. 
Wisdom: the balance of logic and emotion.

The key word here is balance. We don’t lean too far on data points because we cannot predict the future from past numbers. And to be frank, the need to control and predict the future is fear-based and borders on sorcery.  We don’t lean too far on emotion because we may be over-tired, over-hungry, over-angry, or over-excited. Just over… which kills the balance needed for wisdom to grow.

Logic and Emotion. Balance. Check. Wisdom. Check.

Before we proceed, let me throw in a monkey wrench. Every new level of faith and adventure with God requires me to learn more about Him. His way of doing things, how it works in heaven, how I will have to take on or let go of earthly thinking.

This past March brought one of those upgrades. The Lord told me, “You are trying to figure this out in your world system. But I live in an Upside Down Kingdom.”

O-kaaaaay. That helped a lot. Thank you, Lord. But seriously. What does that even mean?

First came the revelation. Then came the wisdom from God to absorb the revelation. We had been talking about Jesus feeding the 5000, when He asked a question. 

How do you think the boy felt when he gave up his lunch (five loaves and 2 fish)?

Never crossed my mind.

The Lord persisted. 

That boy had his lunch. Why would he give up his lunch, so little, in the face of so much need? 

Squirming, I can tell you I went for the easy answers first.  Because he wanted to share. Because he loved his neighbor. Because the boy was moved by the great need. Because he was asked to help. Because, because, because…

The Lord would not let it go. 

But now he was hungry. And he didn’t have to be. Why did he give up his lunch, when he had all he needed?

The Good Teacher finally helped me, the slow student, grasp the answer. Because Jesus was on the scene. That lunch could do more in Jesus’s hands than in that boy’s belly.  Somehow, Jesus would fill everyone’s needs.

Enter heavenly wisdom.  Upside down Kingdom.

I had to align my life with how God does life in His Kingdom. His life is SO different from mine that it appears, looks, and feels upside down. Radical faith often requires radical sacrifice which produces a radical move of God.

Here is another tough lesson. Abraham gets a bad rap sometimes in our PC world of child-rearing. I mean, putting your kid on an altar today would land you in jail. But the real story, the bigger Kingdom story is not between father and son, but Father and son.

God instructed Abraham to think upside down. Go beyond the logic. Past the very real emotion. The Father who loved His only Son, invited Abraham to experience what He feels and to understand what it takes to make that kind of sacrifice. This was a severe test of Abraham’s heart and what it takes to walk in God’s wisdom. He passed the test. But don’t miss God’s profound response to Abraham’s willing heart.

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket, he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,  I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22:12-18 (emphasis added)

As I said, upside down Kingdom. In this Kingdom, withholding nothing, extreme dependence, and revering God have supreme value. Also in this Kingdom, it is highly rewarded. More than we can ask or imagine and for generations to come.

God is constantly inviting us to not only know about His Kingdom but to do life the way He does it. Withholding nothing. Extreme dependence. In awe of God’s generous response.

This leads me to this lovely verse tucked in 1 Corinthians that makes me chuckle. For what the world says is wisdom is actually foolishness in God’s eyes. As it is written: The cleverness of the know-it-alls becomes the trap that ensnares them. 1 Corinthians 3:19 TPT

Can I tell you how many times I have said to God, “You want me to do what?  Are you sure? This is crazy!” Yep, foolishness to the world.

There are worthy questions to ask Holy Spirit. Do you think this is wise? Will it multiply and bear fruit? Am I withholding nothing and displaying extreme dependence on You to do what only You can do?

I may be singing to the moon right now. But I tell you, we are living in an age of humanity right now, where God’s wisdom is desperately needed and rarely sought after. We are drowning in a cultural mindset that does what is “right in our own eyes,” what makes us feel good, or safe, or seen. And it’s foolishness to God.

Our solution? Just ask.

And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace. James 1:5 TPT