There are many things that are a life long pursuit for people.
There is money, success, fame, position, fitness, health and many more. All the energy and money we have goes into our life long pursuits. Solomon said this to his son, and he was considered the wisest man that ever lived:
“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding. Wisdom is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. It is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare to wisdom.” (Proverbs 3:13-15). Wisdom guarantees joy, long life, riches and honor.
He also said: “Listen my son to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you; love wisdom and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme, therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding. Esteem wisdom and she will exalt you, embrace wisdom and she will honor you. Wisdom will bring great value to your life.” (Proverbs 4:1;5-8)
How does one pursue wisdom above all else?
Here are a few things to remember in your pursuit:
- Clarify in your mind that wisdom is available to all. God does not show favoritism (Romans 2:11) and so as a believer every one of us has access to the wisdom of God. He does not give wisdom to some and not to others. You don’t need straight A’s for Christian living, be a regular church attendee or even to be a Christian for a number of years. No great prayer record or encyclopedia knowledge of the bible is needed. There is nothing that would disqualify you for wisdom, it is God’s delight to simply give it to us. He makes His godly wisdom available to all believers. (James 1:5)
- If you are in a situation that you need wisdom, all you have to do is ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5) He is not going to shake his head, turn His back on you, be disappointed in you for asking. He will not make you feel guilty, make a big sigh, be angry with you or abandon you to figure out things by yourself. His word says that if you simply ask, it will be given to you.
- He has one requirement though. In James 1:6-7 it says that when you ask Him [for wisdom], be sure that your faith is in God alone, not in people, yourself, powers, crystals, chance, luck etc. You have to believe that the wisdom will come from Him because He is going to give it to you. One cannot then waver – for a person with divided loyalty (God and…) is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Expect wisdom from God when you ask for it. Look for it, expect it with a full conviction that you will receive it. Declare that you do not doubt it and thank the Lord that you have received it.
Here are a few strategies in your pursuit of wisdom:
- Dig into God’s Word. His word is a never ending mine of wisdom for those that are willing to dig for it.
“For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:6)
There is principles and guidance to face just about every situation you may face. The WHOLE council of the bible and not just portions we pick and choose from will lead us in wisdom. God’s word is a lifelong focus of study, not just reading. God’s Word is full of the insights and advice you can directly apply to your life and the situations you face every day.
A prayerful reading of the Word on a regular basis builds up a storehouse of His wisdom in your heart, which when needed is ready to be applied in life’s situations.
- Be ready to choose a different path. As you pursue wisdom regularly, you will eventually come to the realisation that the wisdom of God does not match the wisdom of the world around us. In fact, very often, God’s wisdom seems to be the direct opposite of what the world calls wisdom. Gods wisdom surpasses the wisdom of the world every time if we choose His wisdom.
When we acknowledging and honor the Lord with our life, it is the foundation and the start of true wisdom. The world chooses not to fear the Lord, so its wisdom is limited to man’s thinking.
This is how the Lord puts it:
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
So, when we choose to follow the direction of the Lord, worship Him and submit our lives to Him, we often find that we give up or avoid what is commonly accepted by everyone else. Family, friends, co-workers and people in general may ridicule and despise your choices, but God’s way is the best.
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” –Proverbs 1:7
In other words, be willing to be called a fool for the Lord according to the world. (1 Cor 4:10)
- Expect opposition in your pursuit of wisdom. Know that the Devil does not want you to be wise because wisdom will keep you from foolishness and error.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” –1 Peter 5:8
Our enemy will do his best to confuse us about what is truth. He will distract us from God’s word, lie and plant half truths into our lives. He will cause us to question God’s way and God’s direction. He will cause us to seek the comfort and ease of the world’s wisdom, rather than God’s wisdom. He will remind you of past mistakes and push your fear buttons. He will make you aware of compromising and competing options.
Therefore, it’s vitally important to get quiet before the Lord by spending time in Bible study and prayer. Sometimes the only way to deal with the enemy in our mind and heart is to throw the truth from God’s word at him and use the Word to combat his strategies (see Jesus’ example at His temptation). It is also wise to speak with trusted, mature believers who demonstrate wisdom and the characteristics of wisdom in their own lives.
- Be ready to pursue wisdom for life. It is exactly when you know everything, that you know nothing. It is precisely when we pride ourselves in our own wisdom, when we act like a fool. It is important to always come before the Lord with a humble, learning attitude that truly seeks His wisdom. Never to embrace the attitude that we have completed our lessons in wisdom.
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness; (1 Cor 3:18-19)
“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Cor 10:11-12)
“Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (Prov 13:10)
Finally, to Get Wisdom for Life…
- Pursue it. What we pursue becomes the focus of who we are and what we do! What are you pursuing? One that pursues wisdom, values it, seeks after it, prays for it and chases after it. There is action in the pursuit, not a passive desire.
- Wisdom is learnt by watching the world and its decisions and considering the outcomes (Proverbs 6:6)
- Wisdom walks with those that are wise (Prov 13:20)
- Wisdom considers eternity (Psalm 90:12)
- Wisdom brings all things back to how they relate to Christ (1 Cor 1:16-17, 2:3)
- Wisdom rejoices when insulted (1 Peter 4:13-14)
- Wisdom prioritizes coming to God first, seeking Him out and moving deeper into relationship with Him. (James 4:8)
- Wisdom glorifies God (Col 3:23, Eph 1:17-18)
- Consider the priorities of your life, what is most important to you? List them in your journal in order of importance. Now evaluate the time you spend on each and ask yourself if that is an appropriate amount of time spent on your priorities? Ask yourself: Are you giving time to that which is important to you?
- Have you experienced opposition in the pursuit of wisdom? What are the buttons that the enemy will push to get you to give up the pursuit of wisdom? Can you put a reminder up in your house, that will remind you whenever you see it, to always make the pursuit of wisdom a focus in your life?
- Study the passages of scripture listed above and their context, so that you can clearly understand what the pursuit of wisdom is all about.
Lord I ask that you would give me spiritual wisdom and insight so that I might grow in my knowledge of You. I ask that you would lead me on a life path where I will live a life worthy of you and please You in every way. May I bear fruit in every good work, growing in my knowledge of You, being strengthened in all power according to your glorious might. May I have great endurance and patience and joyfully give thanks because it is You that has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of light. You rescued me out of darkness and brought me into the Kingdom of Your Son, in whom I have redemption and forgiveness of sin. I thank you that as I continue to live in Him, I am rooted and built up, strengthened in faith as you teach me. I declare that I am not taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophies which depend on human tradition and the basic principles of the world, but in Christ I have been given the fullness of Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. I declare that I am becoming wiser each day.
Next: Wisdom in Small Things (Next in our 10 part series on wisdom)
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