Christopher Selvey has sought after wisdom from heaven since he first began following Jesus. It was then that he began to pray the words of Psalm 25:4-5, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” He resolved to be relentless in his pursuit to know God’s ways so that his life could reflect who God is to others.
Chris still prays this way. Early most mornings, he goes directly to the source of all true wisdom. Chris believes that God gives each of us the wisdom we need for our own unique situations and callings. He says wisdom is a gift from God, and we can ask for it as James 1:5 declares.
Chris says that it can be a challenge to follow through with wisdom that is revealed, but he is grateful for the times that God has shown him what is wise. At one point in his life, he felt he should move forward with a business venture. He asked God for guidance and one day he was reading James 3:15-16, a passage that talks about what wisdom from heaven is and is not. The words, “selfish ambition” and “disorder” jumped off the page. It became clear to Chris that if he continued this particular pursuit, his home would be in disorder. He relinquished the venture which proved to be the right choice.
One filter Chris uses to make decisions is the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 lists qualities produced in the life of the believer – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He says, “If what I’m contemplating wouldn’t yield this type of fruit, then it might not be wise.”
God’s Spirit is key to finding wisdom in other ways. Chris says, “Before Jesus left this earth, He said He would send the Holy Spirit to believers. The Spirit would be our teacher and guide and comforter.” Chris trusts that there is that active voice sharing wisdom with his heart directly through the Bible and through others, so he looks for what the Spirit is saying about his daily life and tries to apply what he perceives.
We have so many choices of how to spend our time. Chris chooses to spend significant time with God in the morning, interacting with Him, soaking in His Word, meditating on words and phrases that resonate with him, sometimes focusing on a single passage or verse for days or weeks at a time. He also listens to the truth about God that is expressed in worship music, reads books about Christian principles, and hangs out with men who hold him accountable, inviting them to challenge him when he’s getting off track and to share their opinions about decisions in his life.
Recently these men went through a John Ortberg book together. “Eternity is Now in Session” asks the questions, “What if we stopped thinking of Christians as people who profess beliefs about God, and instead focused on becoming disciples who know God?” and, “What if salvation isn’t mostly about getting you into heaven, but about getting heaven into you?” Chris’ group hung out around a campfire discussing these powerful principles.
And Chris keeps his eyes and ears open to what others are going through, the lessons they are learning, and how they are living out God’s truth. He believes community is so important to learning more about God and what He wants for our lives. After his quiet time with the Lord over coffee, and before he heads out to work, he is joined by individuals to talk about life – as husbands, fathers, employees, friends, and followers of Jesus. Chris spends time with a few different co-sojourners each week. It is a two-way exchange, because it helps Chris to discern more about what God wants for his own life, and he is honored to share compassion and insight as they interact with him about their own struggles and victories.
In his pursuit of godly wisdom, Chris is certainly getting a good portion of heaven in his heart. Those who know him would affirm that God is answering Chris’ relentless prayer to learn God’s ways and reflect who God is to those around him. James 3:17 pronounces Chris’ guiding principle, “Wisdom that comes from heaven is…full of…good fruit.”