I wish to encourage you to walk in wisdom. The word “wisdom” occurs some 200 times in Scripture, obviously it’s significant to God. Most of us realise that this world’s idea of wisdom is very different to God’s wisdom and that it’s far too easy for us to make the same mistake that Israel did, where everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6).
Consider how that God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure… so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east… For he was wiser than all other men… (1 Kings 4:29-31). Solomon possessed an unnatural wisdom, an out of this world wisdom, it was gifted to him from Yahweh. Now, Solomon tells us that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (Proverbs 9:10).
Often, we think of wisdom as doing that which is most expedient for ourselves, resulting in the greatest pleasure. However, God looks for a wisdom that expresses our fear, our reverence for Him. Godly wisdom seeks to duplicate the Lord’s reasoning, seeking outcomes that express God’s glory, God’s character, God’s satisfied justice in Jesus Christ, God’s mercy, and God’s love. This reverential fear of God is the constant starting point for God-like wisdom, and it invariably turns away from sin. This is why Solomon instructed, be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil (Proverbs 3:7).
James, Jesus brother, assures us that If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind (James 1:5-6). James is not giving a magic formula that guarantees the outcome we want. Rather, he appeals for humble self-examination that leads to the obvious conclusion, we lack God-like wisdom. Upon this realisation, we turn to the ultimate and unchangeable source of divine wisdom, God. And He gives wisdom generously to the one seeking it.
Make no mistake; James is not promoting a formula for health, wealth and popularity. Rather, the humble person of reverent dependence (faith), seeks God’s mercy to change the way they think (repentance), so they ask for God’s wisdom to be implanted in them. Two things are inherent in this request; 1) They’ve had enough of being tossed around by half-hearted, pretend faith, that is self-dependant. 2) They obey the wisdom they receive from God. Consequently, having already humbled themselves, they would hardly go out and do the opposite of what God says. Resulting from their surrendered faith, they will have a heightened sense that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick… (Jeremiah 17:9). They would endeavour to trust in the LORD with all (their) heart, and lean not on (their) own understanding. In all (their) ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight (their) paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
I leave you with Solomon’s reassuring exhortation, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:1-5).
Together for Christ as Lord: Lincoln Forlong