Throughout my life and ministry, I have often read and quoted James 1:5 which says “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” With it comes the reminder that God desires to be intricately involved in the growth of our wisdom as we face difficult situations in life and ministry. There is no doubt in my mind that each one of us has asked for wisdom as we faced a decision in which we did not know how to handle or we have encouraged others to ask God for wisdom for their own unique situation.
While asking God for wisdom for our lives is an important step in the process, as I look back on the book of Proverbs, the writer reminds us that gaining wisdom is a process which usually involves the day to day decisions that we make as well as, the tough decisions, situations and circumstances we find ourselves in. I would be great if we could simply ask God for wisdom and He instantly zaps us with all the wisdom we will ever need. But Proverbs 2 reminds us that it is through a series of “if/then” statements, that wisdom is acquired.
How do we gain wisdom in our lives and apply it daily?
- Be receptive to wisdom (1-2) In order to gain wisdom, we must position ourselves to be attentive to the voice of God. This is not something that simply happens because we attend church, read the Bible, or preach a sermon. It happens when we purposely stay aware of the presence of God and attentive to His leadership in our lives.
- Earnestly pursue wisdom (3-4) Throughout our world, we are reminded on a daily basis of what pursuing a dream, position, or prominence looks like. Those who are running for an office, auditioning for a spot on a television show, or building a company becomes an all-consuming passion and focus to those who succeed. It is that laser-guided focus that the writer of Proverbs encourages us to have in our pursuit of wisdom.
- Cry out in prayer for understanding (3) Since we are encouraged to be receptive and pursue wisdom, it stands to reason that the source is not found in our human understanding, but in an outside source. The Holy Spirit was sent for that purpose, to be the one who gives light to our path, who gives sight to our understanding. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can apprehend and apply the truth of God’s Word in our lives. Pray earnestly for wisdom and He will guide you!
- Search, through diligent study, for wisdom (4) Have you ever lost something that was valuable? How did you search for it? Did you tear the house apart looking for your lost item? The writer tells us to search for wisdom which we do so through the discipline of study. While prayer is the first step to opening our understanding in order for the Holy Spirit to guide and direct, we are reminded that we are to diligently search out wisdom.
Wisdom is a valuable and necessary quality to nurture in your life. It is important that each one of us make the commitment to seek wisdom and keep seeking the rest of our lives. Wisdom doesn’t come for just a momentary circumstance but is developed throughout our entire lives. Cherish the process, remember what you have learned in the past, and God will continue to grant wisdom in the days ahead.