How did I get into this mess?
Ever asked yourself that question? Or what was I thinking? Why does this keep happening to me? Where do I go from here? When did life get so complicated? Is it even worth the effort? Where do I keep going wrong? How do I know…
If so, you are just like millions of other people in the world that seek answers. The bible holds all the answers for life, and the Holy Spirit in us gives us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4)
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Through the divine power of the Holy Spirit we are able to escape the corruption of the world and embrace life with Him, His precious promises and become godly in character and nature. We are constantly seeking to make wise choices and knowing the path to wisdom helps with making those decisions.
What is the Path of wisdom?
- Proverbs 1:7 tells us, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline’. Firstly, you must be born again (John 3:7); and so receive the Holy Spirit and in Him receive the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit into all wisdom. Wisdom becomes yours in Jesus Christ as he permeates your life.
- Secondly, one must desire wisdom. The quest for wisdom: getting wiser is not an automatic and quick process; we need to be willing to pay the price to obtain it. We need to get involved in growing our wisdom. This is how:
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:1-6 NIV).
- Wisdom grows from searching and learning the scriptures- knowing the word of God. David cried out, ‘Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies’ (Psalm 119:97-98).
We need the knowledge of God’s word to make wise decisions, better choices and to speak with wisdom.
As you make sure to put the Word of God into your heart and mind, you start applying the wisdom you are learning from Christ to your decision-making processes and thus begin making wiser decisions. Remember that:
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3.16-17.
Your speech will become more gracious and seasoned with the word of God as you choose to speak wisely what God has placed in your heart (Remember what the heart is full of, the mouth speaks . Luke 6:45) Wisdom works its way from the inside out; it all begins with getting the word into your heart.
Once the word is in your heart, the Spirit will cause you to remember when you need to.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26 KJV)
How would the Spirit be able to give us direction and wisdom, if it is not our practice to study the Word of God FOR wisdom?
- You need to ask of God: we cannot understand God with human intelligence, we need to seek wisdom through prayer. Jesus constantly sought out God the Father in prayer as He thought about decisions and issues He faced (he chose to restrict the use of His divine nature and instead relied on His father). Even as he went to the cross, he prayed that ‘Your will be done’ (Matt 26:42).
Prayer is the path to wisdom: ask God for help with every decision you make.
James 1:5 says,
‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you’.
- Lastly, we must trust God’s wisdom and apply it: what does trusting God’s wisdom look like? It is saying that I have confidence that God will meet me on the other side of my obedience. James 1:22-25
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
Wisdom is a process; it is not instant. It is not natural; it takes effort. It cannot be bought or traded. Wisdom is intentional rather than accidental. It does not relate to IQ or education; anyone can have wisdom.
Why is the Process of Wisdom so Hard
- We are slow learners. Just look at the Israelite s in the desert!
- We have a lot to unlearn, old habits and ways have to be replaced with new habits and ways.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph 4:22-24)
- The truth will set us free, but it will make us miserable first.
We have to go through a process of humbling ourselves from thinking we are in control and know all the answers. We need to become teachable, so that we are open to what the Spirit will show us. Often we have to work on our stubborn hearts more than anything else.
- Growth is often painful and scary, and change is no different — especially a change in identity, from fallen sinners to believers reflecting the image of Christ. There is not guarantee of no trials, tribulations, testing, persecutions etc. In fact, it is exactly in these, circumstances that we are told in James 1 to ask the Lord for wisdom (look at the context of asking God for wisdom in James 1.)
- New habits take time to develop. If your character is the sum of all your habits, what habits do you have? We have to develop new habits of Christlike character, more commonly called spiritual disciplines, as well as a new value system. We do this with the help of the Holy Spirit.
“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Tim 4:15-16)
- Do you believe that God’s revelations from the bible is the source of all the answers you could possible need for life and godliness? Don’t just say yes, evaluate your life to see if this has been your pattern in the decisions and actions you have taken just recently.
- How would the Spirit be able bring scripture into remembrance and give us direction and wisdom, if it is not our practice to study the Word of God FOR wisdom? Can you recall a moment in your spiritual walk where you experience the Holy Spirit reminding you of a scripture, or bringing an understanding of a scripture into your mind.
- Looking at why the process of wisdom is so hard above, can you identify which of these may have discouraged you in your pursuit of wisdom?
- Wisdom is often at the other side of our obedience. Consider this statement and how it is relevant to your life. James 1:22-25
Thank You Lord that I can become wiser than I am now, and wiser than my enemies. Thank you for your word that is available to us. Help me not to neglect the reading and studying of your Word, so that the Holy Spirit can train me and develop me into the person I am meant to be, reflecting the image of Christ. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for teaching me, cause me to be sensitive to your direction and guidance in my life. Help me to be obedient to all that I understand and not merely give it intellectual acknowledgement.
Next: Knowledge and Wisdom (next in our 10 part series on Wisdom)
Previous: The Source of Wisdom (previous)
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