In the Old Testament, God traveled with the Israelites in different forms to protect them. The Israelites knew that their God was fighting for them because they could physically see God going before them and behind them.
Who comes to mind when you think of the word “wise?” Maybe it’s your grandmother who can always offer great life advice or your dad who somehow seems to know the right answer to every problem. Or perhaps, the word wise brings to mind several people that you trust to speak God’s truth into your life when you need it most.
When we have people that we look to for guidance and direction, we wonder - “how did they acquire such wisdom and how can I gain wisdom?” The simple truth is that gaining wisdom does not happen overnight. Acquiring Godly wisdom takes time, experience and a faithful heart that longs to be like Christ.
James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” As the verse tells us, the wisdom that believers seek comes from “above.” We long for wisdom that is given to us by our Father and Holy Spirit, the kind of wisdom that Jesus used to heal, teach, disciple and perform miracles during his time on Earth. Jesus put faith in his Father in Heaven to lead and protect him, which is the perfect example for us to also acquire wisdom.
The first step to acquiring wisdom, as described by the Bible, is knowing that God grants wisdom in His own perfect way when we ask for it. In 1 Kings 3, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and told him: “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” That’s right - God presented an opportunity for Solomon to ask for anything he desired! Instead of asking to be blessed with power and riches, Solomon recalled the way the Lord had blessed his father, David, because of the way David walked in “truth and righteousness” alongside God (1 Kings 3:6). Solomon admired the way his father was in tune with the Lord’s plan, so he answered God’s question by asking to be given an “understanding heart” to “discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9).
God was pleased with Solomon and answered by saying in: “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words. I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.” (1 Kings 3:11-14)
Solomon humbly asked God for wisdom, and God granted it to him because of his pure intentions and willingness to use that wisdom to further the Kingdom. When we ask for wisdom, God will use situations in our life to foster wisdom within us. In order for us to learn and grow, God will place people in our life as teachers and lead us down paths that will teach us, just like he did with Solomon and his father, David.Overtime, we are able to learn from our experiences and grow in wisdom. As we grow in wisdom, we are equipped to make God-honoring decisions and counsel others.
How do we gain wisdom? First, we must be willing to seek guidance throughout life. If a person or multiple people came to mind when you read the first sentence of this post, then it is likely you seek out wisdom from other believers around you, which is integral in your own walk with Christ. The Bible says in Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.” A proud spirit that rejects the wisdom of others will never be able to grow in wisdom, because that only comes by learning from those around you and accepting accountability. But with a heart that is willing to learn and a humble spirit that aims to please Christ, your walk as a believer will be an adventure as you acquire wisdom!
Remember Jeremiah 29:13 which says, “You seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Take a moment today to pause and ask God for wisdom and let him give it to you in his own perfect way.