One great enemy working against us in our pursuit of God’s wisdom is well-intentioned friends and family around us. People seek to draw us back again to the wisdom of this world. They think they know what is best. They say they are looking out for us, but they are diverting us from the path God intends for us. Wisdom acts like a compass to keep us on the narrow way.
Spiritual wisdom is not found in the academic subject matter we study. It is the gift of God. God gave men wisdom or the skill to build a beautiful sanctuary for Him (Ex 36.1-2). He gave men wisdom to produce healthy crops (Isa 28.23-26). God gives us wisdom through His Spirit to live a worthwhile life. He reveals what He has prepared for those who love Him. We receive the Holy Spirit so that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God the Father (1 Cor 2.9-12). James calls this wisdom from above (3.17). “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1.17).
The Spirit provides us with wisdom and understanding, counsel and power, and knowledge and the fear of the LORD (Isaiah 11.2). The eyes of your understanding are opened by the hope of God’s calling (Ephesians 1.18). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. He will guide us into all truth (John 16.13). We have an anointing from the Holy One and by Him we know all things (1 John 2.20). The anointing abides or dwells deeply within us.
We have teachers, but for real wisdom all we need is the instruction and illumination of God’s Holy Spirit (1 John 2.27). We have understanding and wisdom thanks to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Our goal is to know Him who is true. We are in Him who is true, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the true God; knowing Him is eternal life (1 John 5.20). Unsaved people are referred to as natural. They do not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to them; nor can they know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2.14). It is great shame when I react to life as a mere man, a natural person.
Spiritual wisdom is received through prayer. We must live according to the Word of God. So, we must know what the Word of God says. But we cannot understand the Word of God apart from prayer.
- We must incline the ear toward wisdom.
- We must listen to the Word of God.
- We must apply our heart to understanding.
- We must cry out in prayer for discernment.
- We must lift up our voice for understanding.
- We must seek after wisdom like we would seek for silver and hidden treasures.
“The LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2.2-6). We need the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ, the eyes of our understanding being enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1.17-18). Pray and ask that we might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Colossians 1.9).
Spiritual wisdom is assured because of the power and promise of God. God is good to give to those who ask. He gives liberally and without reproach. God’s hand is always open. Don’t ignore it. He will not be stingy. He will not spurn you when you ask Him for wisdom. He delights in this. It will be given to you. When, how, and to what extent is up to Him. But He will give it.
All we must do is seek wisdom from the hand of God in sincerity and in truth. Ask in faith, with no doubting (James 1.6). God may withhold from me something specific. But I will receive something better instead. I really believe that. God has the power, and God is willing. If I doubt either one of these simple facts, I make God a liar. I’m not worthy of God’s wisdom. I don’t deserve it. But I ask and expect to receive wisdom because I am weak and needy. If I thought I was worthy, God would resist me. I believe I shall have wisdom simply because God has promised to give it to me.
Sadly, many times I am unaware of my need for wisdom. I start to actually believe I am competent when it comes to my thinking. How do I know this is happening? I am not asking God for wisdom. I am not feeding on His Word in prayer. I am trusting in my own heart. Proverbs 28.26 states that those who trust in their own hearts are fools, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
If we lack wisdom, we must trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways we will acknowledge Him, and He shall direct our paths (Proverbs 3.5-6). We are often discouraged because we know we need wisdom and we don’t seem to have it. If we focus on how big the problem or difficulty is, then we will be terribly discouraged. We are insufficient to meet the need in our own strength.
If we focus on God, our hope is strengthened because He has promised, and He has the power to deliver. God can establish strength in the lives of others even through babes and nursing infants (Psalm 8.2). The treasure of God is in earthen vessels so that the excellence and power of God may be seen (2 Corinthians 4.7). God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12.9). If we doubt in the power of God to rescue us, we will sink beneath the waves (Matthew 14.30-31). If we doubt, we cannot expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1.7). If we believe, then in accordance with our faith let it be to us (Matthew 9.29).