Do you lack wisdom? You’re in luck. One of the benefits of being a Christian is that you can seek wisdom from God. But what if you’ve never thought about asking God for help in this area of your life?
How do you get wisdom from God? Let’s unpack a few texts and see if we can figure it out together.
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What is God-given Wisdom?
God-given wisdom, as the name suggests, is wisdom that comes from God. It is not tainted by the needs, desires, and emotions of humanity. God-given wisdom is divine wisdom; it comes from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
God-given cannot be acquired through the pursuit of earthly things or through man’s efforts since it is strictly a gift of grace. Only God is wise so only He can give us this kind of wisdom.
Why We Need the Wisdom of God
Now you may wonder, why do we need wisdom from God? Isn’t the knowledge that I have enough? Well, you see, what we know is limited. We can’t see the big picture or how one action will affect another. We can’t see how our decisions affect the people around us. God can.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
(1 Corinthians 1:25 ESV)
God is all-knowing. He has perfect wisdom and is capable of understanding the impact of every single decision on every single thing. It would be like that guy in Men in Black who could see all the different futures based on the choices each person made.
But God’s wisdom is so much better because He is invested in working things out for our good. He desires to use His wisdom to draw us closer to Him.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!(Romans 11:33 ESV)
What Does the Bible Say About Wisdom?
Whenever anyone thinks about what the Bible says about God giving wisdom, the verse that comes to mind is probably James 1:5,
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you
The author seemed to think that not only was God willing to give wisdom to anyone who asks, but He would also give wisdom generously. James understood that wisdom was something to be sought after. In his letter to the church, he took the time to explain the difference between the two types of wisdom.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.(Proverbs 1:7 ESV)
Understanding who God is and giving Him the respect due to Him is where wisdom and knowledge begin. When we choose to turn away from that fact, the Bible considers us foolish. Just think about it, why would you choose to depend on your own understanding when you have access to knowledge that exceeds the greatest supercomputer that has ever been or ever will be created?
(God is much more than a supercomputer. He is our Creator and sustainer. He is the giver of all life and deserves all our praise. But I thought to imagine a human being trying to outsmart a supercomputer would give you an inkling of what it must be like when we choose to ignore the wisdom that God offers.)
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;(Proverbs 2:6 ESV)
But here’s the beautiful thing, God gives wisdom. He’s willing to give us access to His secret files (sorry, the supercomputer idea is stuck in my head) if only we’d be willing to trust Him.
How to Get Wisdom from God
Now that you understand why wisdom is important in life, let’s talk about how we acquire wisdom. We’ve already alluded to one of the ways–we can ask the Lord to give us wisdom, but let’s look at four specific things we can do to access the knowledge and understanding that comes from God.
1. Study God’s Word
As children of God, we are called to read and study the Bible. The Bible is God’s instruction manual for humanity and we’ve already determined that God is wise. If we lack wisdom and want to become a wise person, we have to become familiar with what God has written for us to learn about His character and ours.
You would be surprised at what you can learn by studying the Bible. You can learn how to be a better parent, how to treat your spouse, anger management, and how to have a positive self-image to name a few.
2. Read and Meditate on His Word
After we spend time in the Word, we don’t just close our Bibles and forget about what we read until our next quiet time with God. Oh no! We need to meditate on what we had read or what we understood from the Bible.
As we spend time thinking about what we learned, God is able to use his words to impart wisdom to us.
3. Spend Time in Prayer
At least some of our time each day should be spent in prayer. If we want to learn from God we have to spend time in His presence wrestling with the things we want to learn more about.
If you lack wisdom, ask God for wisdom and understanding and allow Him to give you the knowledge that you seek.
4. Apply His Precepts
The final step to receive godly wisdom is to apply the knowledge that the Lord gives you during your Bible study and prayer time. The knowledge acquisition process is not complete until we learn how to apply the knowledge God has given us.
What are the Signs of Wisdom?
But after you have sought wisdom from God by following the four steps above, you may wonder, how do I know when I have acquired wisdom? What are the signs of a wise person?
As in all things, the Bible is our guide as it shows us how to be a wise person. Here are some of the things you can expect after you have received wisdom from God.
1. Ability to hold your tongue
A wise person is able to hold their tongues. Now, this might not seem like such a great sign of wisdom until you think about someone who says everything that pops into their heads. Do you consider that person wise? I’m sure you don’t. This is what the Bible has to say about the person who doesn’t think before they speak,
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
Proverbs 29:11 ESV
A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.
Proverbs 18:6 ESV
A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
Proverbs 18:7 ESV
Oh, my word! According to these verses, a fool says exactly what he’s thinking but a wise person does not. A foolish person invites fights and arguments and his words can actually lead to his ruin.
2. Ability to make good decisions
Another sign of a wise person is to make good decisions. When you learn to depend on God, you begin to trust that He has the best plans in store for you. You take your problems to Him and allow Him to direct your path.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:21 ESV
3. Ability to impart wisdom to others
A person who has godly wisdom possesses the ability to impart their knowledge to others. They do this not by using their own wisdom but by directing those who need assistance to God who is wise. They understand that earthly wisdom is not the way to go. Let’s look at the example of a person to whom God gave wisdom.
Solomon was considered the wisest man on earth. In his early days as king of Israel, people came from all over the world to learn from him (1 Kings 4:34).
God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. In fact, his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and the wise men of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite and the sons of Mahol—Heman, Calcol, and Darda.
His fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish.
And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.
1 Kings 4:29-34 NLT
The wisdom that God bestowed on Solomon made him an expert on several topics. The wisdom that comes from God is legendary. It draws people in as they seek to not only receive wisdom for themselves but also to learn the source of such wisdom. While Solomon walked with God, he was wise beyond compare, but when he started worshipping idols, he became foolish.
4. Ability to lean on God in trials
A wise person learns to depend on the wisdom of God in a trial. They seek Him in the midst of their difficulties understanding that God invites them into His presence and longs to share His wisdom with them.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
5. Ability to let God fight their battles
Are you still trying to fight spiritual battles in your own strength? A wise person understands that our ability to fight the enemy in our own strength is impossible. They have learned to access the weapons that God has given them and utilize the whole armor of God.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10 NIV
6. Ability to get angry without sinning
You probably read this line and thought, what does anger have to do with wisdom? Well, I have a question for you. Have you ever been so angry you did, or said, something you wouldn’t have normally? Or, have you ever been so angry that days after the thing that triggered your anger you were still mad? You may even have had a ball of unforgiveness against the person you felt had dishonored you.
Well, my friend, that kind of anger does not give honor to God, and who is a wise person but someone who acts in ways that honor God?
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 ESV
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
Proverbs 14:29 ESV
The ability to restrain yourself when you’re angry requires wisdom–the wisdom that comes from God.
All Wisdom Comes from God
If you lack wisdom, God is waiting for you to ask Him to give you knowledge and understanding. Because God is wise and knows everything, we know we can trust Him to give us the best advice on whatever it is we’re going through.
I saw some of this depicted in A Reckless Love by Beth White. There were times when the main characters did not know what to do or where to go for help until they turned to God. They sought in in prayer. They sought Him by reading, studying, and meditating on His Word.
The Lord desires to give us wisdom but He’s waiting for us to come boldly before the throne of grace and ask Him for it.
A Reckless Love Review
The Daughtry House trilogy by Beth White ends with Aurora’s story in A Reckless Love. Aurora, nicknamed Pete by her family, is the baby but don’t be fooled by her age or diminutive size–she’s a firecracker!
Aurora is used to managing her family but not in a mean way. She has very decided opinions and is forceful in getting what she wants. But she loves fiercely and will put herself at risk when the people she loves are in danger. She meets her match in Deputy Marshall Zane Sager.
Zane at first wants nothing to do with her even as he is drawn to her. But, circumstances being as they are, the two are thrown together as they try to protect two witnesses who were to testify against men who had done heinous crimes.
I enjoyed the romance between Aurora and Zane. He tempered her exuberance while she drew him into a world of light and laughter–something he needed after the life he had had.
I enjoyed the storyline but some of the storylines were a little hard to follow and I felt like I needed to read all the books in this series to understand some of what happened. I had read A Reluctant Belle without reading the first book in the series and had been able to follow the storyline, but it was a bit more difficult with A Reckless Love.
This was probably because she was wrapping up a series and had a lot of pieces to juggle. Still, as with A Reluctant Belle, I was drawn in by the history. Beth White has a skill for recreating the tension that may have existed in the South post-war. She treated this serious subject with compassion and heart.
Know God–the characters had a strong reliance on God. They spent time with Him, studied His Word, and knew they had to rely on Him. There was a strong theme that God would give wisdom to anyone who asks throughout A Reckless Love.
The characters, especially Aurora, frequently prayed for wisdom and understanding in a way more Christians ought to. I don’t know about you but prayer isn’t always my first reaction to a trial. In fact, there are lots of times when I’m in a situation and forget to access my spiritual warfare toolkit. But you know what? The minute I stop and ask God for wisdom in a particular situation, He grants it.
Know yourself–I feel that the character who learned the most about himself in this book was Zane. He had to realize that you have to let go of the past in order to grab hold of the future.
Run your race–each of the Daughtry sisters and in fact, every character in this book had to figure out and run their own path. This was evident in the fact that though Joelle, Selah, and Aurora had the same parentage, they had different strengths and were drawn to different things.
I received an advanced reader’s copy of A Reckless Love by Beth White from the publishers through the Revell Reads Bloggers program; a positive review was not required.
About A Reckless Love
In the fine tradition established by her Southern grandmama, Aurora Daughtry has recently orchestrated the marriage of her eldest sister and facilitated her middle sister’s engagement. She also rejoices in her part in transforming the family’s dilapidated plantation manor into a luxurious and lucrative resort hotel. Just when it seems there is nothing left to absorb her considerable talent for managing people, in walks federal deputy marshal Zane Sager.
But Zane is not at Daughtry House for a vacation. He’s tracking a killer and collecting two key witnesses to a federal judge’s murder.
Aurora takes it upon herself to disabuse the cynical lawman of his conviction that the world is out to get him. But just as she’s on the verge of cracking Zane’s defenses, the man he is after reminds him that no one he loves is safe. Ever.
Award-winning author Beth White closes out her Daughtry House series with this exciting and emotional tale of two strong-willed people who may have met their match.
About Beth White
Beth White’s day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. A native Mississippian, she writes historical romance with a Southern drawl and is the author of A Rebel Heart and A Reluctant Belle, as well as the Gulf Coast Chronicles series.
Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers’ Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. Learn more at www.bethwhite.net.
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