BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7 NKJV).
Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines wisdom as the “Ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.” Wisdom is invaluable. “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all desirable things cannot compare with her” (Proverbs 8:11 Amplified Bible).
From the Bible, we learn that there are different types of wisdom, as shown by the phrases used for them. 1 Corinthians 2:4-8 says, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (New King James Version).
Note in this passage the following phrases: the human wisdom, the wisdom of men, the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, the wisdom of God, and the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages. One could classify these into three types of wisdom: human wisdom (also the wisdom of men i.e. human philosophy or intellect), the wisdom of this age (also the wisdom of the rulers of this age), and the wisdom of God (also the hidden wisdom).
1 Corinthians 2:13 also mentions man’s wisdom. “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:13 New King James Version).
1 Corinthians 1:20-21 refers to two types of wisdom. Paul says, “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe (1 Corinthians 1:20-21 NKJV). Note the phrases “wisdom of this world” and “the wisdom of God.” In verse 24, Paul refers to Jesus as the power of God and the wisdom of God. In 1 Corinthians 3:19, the Bible also refers to the wisdom of this world and says it is foolishness with God.
Also, in James 3:13-15, the Apostle James talks about two types of wisdom: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic” (NKJV). Here you see the wisdom that is from above (heaven) and wisdom that is earthly, sensual, and demonic.
The wisdom any human being walks in could fall into any of these categories. It could be human wisdom – based on human philosophy or intellect. It could also be earthly, sensual, and demonic wisdom. Or it could be the wisdom from God. 1 Kings 10:4 and 2 Chronicles 9:3 talk about “the wisdom of Solomon.” But it was the wisdom God gave him. 1 Kings 10:24 says, “Now all the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart” (New King James Version). Also, Ezra 7:25 refers to Ezra’s wisdom as “God-given wisdom.” He had the wisdom of God. Furthermore, King Belshazzar told Daniel that he had heard that the Spirit of God was in him, and that light, understanding, and excellent wisdom were found in him (Daniel 5:14). Daniel’s wisdom was godly; it was from God.
You need godly wisdom – wisdom that is from God. “[Skillful and godly] wisdom is in the presence of a person of understanding [and he recognizes it], but the eyes of a [thickheaded] fool are on the earth” (Proverbs 17:24 Amplified Bible).
Proverbs 23:9 says, “Do not speak in the ears of a fool, for he will despise the [godly] wisdom of your words” (Amplified Bible). Whatever you despise, you cannot possess. Don’t despise godly wisdom or live by worldly wisdom. Desire godly wisdom, for Proverbs 24:3 says, “Through [skillful and godly] wisdom a house [a life, a home, a family] is built, and by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation]” (Amplified Bible).
How can you get godly wisdom?
1. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour makes you a child of God. Invite Jesus into your heart. This decision brings you into a living relationship with God. The Bible calls Christ the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). When you invite Jesus into your heart, you also invite the wisdom of God.
2. Walk in close fellowship with God. This is a non-negotiable requirement to access the wisdom of God. You can’t live far from Him and hope to operate in His wisdom. An integral part of fellowshipping with God is daily study and meditation on His Word and obedience to the same. “Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts” (Psalm 119:98-100 New International Version).
Proverbs 2:7 says God stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly. To walk upright means to walk with integrity. And you cannot walk with integrity if you don’t walk according to the Word of God. Therefore, integrity means aligning your words and actions with the Word of God. To gain godly wisdom, therefore, you must increase your daily intake of the Word of God and meditate upon it to do according to what is written (Joshua 1:8). The entire Bible is a book of wisdom.
Walk in fellowship with God. In Genesis 5:22, the Bible says, “Enoch walked [in habitual fellowship] with God” (Amplified Bible). Also, verse 24a says, “And [in reverent fear and obedience] Enoch walked with God” (Amplified Bible). After he had given birth to his son, Methuselah, when he was sixty-five years old, afterward, he lived another 300 years in fellowship with God. Walk in fellowship with God. 1 John 2:24 says, “So keep on believing what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will always be in close fellowship with both God the Father and his Son” (TLB).
3. Become a fool. To gain the wisdom of God, you must acknowledge that you’re not wise but a fool! Those who are wise in their eyes do not need godly wisdom. Writing to the church at Corinth, Paul said, “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV). The Amplified Bible puts it this way: “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool [discarding his worldly pretensions and acknowledging his lack of wisdom], so that he may become [truly] wise.”
If you want godly wisdom, you must humbly regard yourself as a fool. Proverbs 3:7a warns not to be wise in your own eyes. Isaiah 5:21 says woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight.
4. Fear the Lord. To fear the Lord means to reverence and worship Him. The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10). The Good News Translation renders Psalm 111:10 thus: “The way to become wise is to honor the Lord; he gives sound judgment to all who obey his commands. He is to be praised forever.” You cannot get godly wisdom if you don’t reverence and worship God. The Bible also says the fear of the Lord is wisdom (Job 28:28). Reverence and worship God.
5. Seek and ask God for wisdom. The Bible says “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7 NKJV). Note the phrase “get wisdom” which is earlier stated in verse 5. Get wisdom! He who gets wisdom loves his own soul (Proverbs 19:8a). But Proverbs 14:6 says a scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it. He cannot find wisdom because of his wrong attitude of scoffing. Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding (Proverbs 3:13).
You must treasure wisdom. You must hunger and thirst for it. Fools don’t value wisdom; they despise it. Therefore, they don’t seek it, and they can’t get it. Proverbs 1:7b says fools despise wisdom and instruction. According to James 1:5, if any Christian lacks wisdom, he should ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. If you ask, it will be given to you (Matthew 7:7).
Solomon asked for an understanding heart to judge God’s people, the Israelites, to be able to discern between good and evil. God decided that what he had asked for was a wise and understanding heart (wisdom and knowledge), and He gave it to him plus riches and honour that he didn’t ask for (1 Kings 3:9, 12-13; 4:29-34; 5:12; 2 Chronicles 1:10-12). If you ask Him, He’ll give you. Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the LORD gives [skillful and godly] wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Amplified Bible). Those who are strangers in God’s presence will not receive His wisdom because they won’t ask for it. God says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV). That’s the wisdom of God which is not open to everybody except those who fellowship with Him.
One way that God gives wisdom is through the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom. Isaiah 11:2 says concerning Jesus, “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD” (NKJV). Proverbs 1:23 says, “Come here and listen to me! I’ll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise” (TLB).
Paul prayed for the Ephesians that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, might give to them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Ephesians 1:17). There is a spirit of wisdom, which the Holy Spirit gives to believers today. There was a foretaste of it in the Old Testament. God filled gifted artisans with the spirit of wisdom, that they might make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him to minister to Him as a priest (Exodus 28:3).
6. Associate with those who have godly wisdom. Proverbs 10:13a says, “Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding” (NKJV). Wisdom is too lofty for a fool (Proverbs 24:7a). Therefore, don’t associate with fools. According to Proverbs 13:20, whoever walks with wise men will be wise but the companion of fools will be destroyed. That means wisdom is transmissible or infectious, just as folly is!
Joshua received the spirit of wisdom by impartation from his association with Moses and stewardship to him – he was Moses’ servant or assistant. Moses laid his hands on him. “Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses” (Deuteronomy 34:9 NKJV).
You can contact God’s wisdom through relationships with those who have been blessed with the wisdom of God or by exposing yourself to their resources. You can read their books or listen to their audio tapes or watch their video tapes. Pursue God’s wisdom; avoid worldly wisdom which is foolishness before God. Proverbs 19:3 says, “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD” (NLT). Run your life with godly wisdom; don’t ruin your life with foolishness called earthly wisdom.
Conclusion: Desire godly wisdom. Don’t settle for the wisdom of this world. Godly wisdom will keep you safe or rescue you. “He who trusts confidently in his own heart is a [dull, thickheaded] fool, but he who walks in [skillful and godly] wisdom will be rescued” (Proverbs 28:26 Amplified Bible).
Godly wisdom will distinguish you from others. The palmist says, “Nothing is perfect except your words. Oh, how I love them. I think about them all day long. They make me wiser than my enemies because they are my constant guide. Yes, wiser than my teachers, for I am ever thinking of your rules. They make me even wiser than the aged” (Psalm 119:96-100 TLB). That was godly wisdom in operation. It will make you wiser than others! They’ll come and listen to you like all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart (2 Chronicles 9:23). This shall be your testimony in Jesus’ name.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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