It’s time to wrap up our wisdom series by learning how to get wisdom from God. It’s one thing to know what the Bible says about wisdom, it’s another to actually be wise ourselves. So today we’re asking God for wisdom and looking for some practical steps we can each take in order to live accordingly.
But first, if you missed any of the earlier posts in this series, here’s a quick recap:
- Week One – We defined wisdom and learned that all wisdom comes from God.
- Week Two – We did a word study on wisdom through the whole Old Testament.
- Week Three – We continued our word study, this time in the New Testament
- Week Four – We moved over to our sister site for a week to talk about the importance of wisdom in affair recovery, or really in any difficult life circumstance. We looked at James 1 to pull out 5 things we can do when we don’t know how to handle a situation and we’re seeking wisdom from God.
Alright, now let’s get into some practical application as we unpack some of the most important Scripture passages from the last few weeks to learn how to get wisdom from God.
Learning How to Get Wisdom from God
Let me clarify a little before we move on. Today we’re not really talking about how to get wisdom from God in specific situations. That is more what we talked about last week over on Broken Vows Restored Hearts. (If that’s what you’re looking for, click the link week four in the recap above.) Rather, today we’re talking about asking God for wisdom in the broader sense, sort of like Solomon did. We want to know how to get wisdom from God that will make us wise people with the kind of understanding that results in a God-honoring life.
Of course, this doesn’t mean there won’t still be times when we don’t know what to do in specific situations. In fact, I think when we’re generally wise people, we’ll understand that not knowing what to do in specific situations is going to be common. Part of what is actually going to make us wise is not thinking we will always have the answers. Rather, true wisdom is knowing we’ll need to go to God often for guidance in the specifics while applying the principles we’re about to learn in a broader sense.
So without further ado, here are five steps we can take when we desire to be wise:
Asking God for Wisdom STEP ONE : Fear God
Proverbs 9:10 – Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgement.
I think a good place to start building anything is with the foundation, and the Bible tells us again and again that the foundation of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. If we do not fear God, we won’t be wise. Plain and simple. Guys, I know I’ve already said it so many times in this series, but that’s because this is really super important. Without the fear of the Lord there is no wisdom.
What I love about this verse from Proverbs, though, is that it doesn’t stop at telling us that wisdom is built on the foundation of this super abstract concept – the fear of the Lord. Instead, it goes on to say that knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgement. Or, knowing how to make good choices starts with getting to know God for who He is. I think that’s where we need to start as we seek to fear God in the way He desires and deserves.
The good news there is that He has made Himself known and He greatly desires intimate relationship with us.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 (ESV) – Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.
There are several ways God reveals Himself to us. If we want to develop our understanding of Him and in turn grow in wisdom, here are four places to turn:
God reveals Himself in creation
Romans 1:20 – For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can see His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
The fear of the Lord has many aspects to it, one of them is awe. When we fear God as we should there will be a wonder in our hearts anytime we consider who He is or what He does. He will amaze us. I actually believe that awe is where the fear of the Lord begins and I also believe this is the aspect that is most helped by seeking God through His creation.
As Psalm 19 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God…” So step outside and take in a sunrise or a sunset. Go for a hike and bask in wonder at the details you find in the rocks, trees, flowers, even the dirt. Sit by a stream or the ocean or out in your backyard during a thunderstorm and listen to creation’s song of worship. Watch some animals as they scurry about, somehow doing exactly what they were created to do. Every fiber of creation points back to its Creator, and should bring us to our knees in humble awe, for He is great!
Jesus was and is the revelation of God
John 1:17-18 – For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the Unique One, who is Himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
Jesus was literally God revealing Himself to us. He made God known like never before and then died to make a way for us to get to him. He made relationship with God possible, and He did it because of His deep love for us. In order to fear God as we should, we must believe that Jesus was who He said He was – the promised Messiah and the only way to salvation.
Of course, in order to believe Jesus is who He said He was, we have to figure out who He said He was. All that information is available to us through Scripture, especially the Gospels and Revelation.
Learning about Jesus will cause us to understand our helplessness apart from Him and draw us to repentance. (Which is turning away from the sin that keeps us separated from Him and receiving the redemption offered by His grace) And after all, what is repentance if not healthy fear of the Lord?
The Holy Spirit makes God known
1 Corinthians 2: 10-12 – But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
The Holy Spirit is unique and wonderful and part of what makes our God so personal and knowable. There is no other religion that has anything like Him, because no god who is not real would reveal himself as the Holy Spirit reveals the one true God. The Bible tells us He shows us God’s deep secrets, and He does it freely for those who receive Him.
Want to know how to get wisdom from God? Spend some time in deep fellowship with His Spirit! Not only will He teach you to fear God, His presence in your heart will so fundamentally change who you are that you will find yourself aligning with God’s desires almost without thinking about it. What greater wisdom is there than that?
God is revealed through Scripture
2 Timothy 3:15-17 – You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.
The Bible is a precious gift that God has given us to help us understand who He is, who we are, and how to reconcile the two. There is no better way to grow in our fear of the Lord than to spend time in it daily. Because not only does it reveal God to us, but it reveals all the other things to us too: creation, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
We learn about all the things God uses to show us who He is through Scripture. It shows us the Creator who creation reveals. It tells us about Jesus and shows us how everything points back to Him. It teaches us about the Holy Spirit and in turn the Holy Spirit uses it to teach us. It even tells us about itself! It helps us understand that it is God’s own Word to us, that it is absolute Truth revealed, and that it is useful to impart wisdom to us from God.
SO, as we seek to grow in wisdom, let us begin with the fear of the Lord.
*If you want to learn more about this super important topic I’ve written a whole post about the Fear of the Lord. You can find it here: Walking in the fear of the Lord.
Asking God for Wisdom STEP TWO : Hate Evil
Proverbs 8:12-14 – I, Wisdom, live together with good judgement. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine.
In chapters 8 and 9 of Proverbs, wisdom is personified and speaks about who she is, she says that all who fear the Lord will hate evil, therefore she hates evil. In other words, as we’ve already stated, wisdom and the fear of the Lord go hand in hand, and in addition, they both hate what is evil. Particularly, pride, arrogance, corruption, and perverse speech.
So when we want to know how to get wisdom from God, step two is that we need to hate what is evil. That just means we’re going to be wholeheartedly committed to staying as far away from things that are displeasing to God as we can. We’ll be people of integrity, and integrity is no different in the light or in the dark. It runs towards what is right and away from what is wrong even when no one is going to ever notice or know.
When we’re asking God for wisdom, we have to be willing to turn away from the things of the world, which are so corrupt, and live principled lives. We have to talk differently (pure instead of perverse), work differently (honor instead of corruption), manage relationships differently (meekness instead of arrogance), and even view ourselves differently (humility instead of pride)!
We have to hate evil, and it has to be because we fear God!
Asking God for Wisdom STEP THREE : Ask God for Wisdom and Depend on Him to Give It
James 1:5-8 – If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
I mean, maybe this step should go without saying, but I don’t think so. It may be obvious, but that doesn’t make it any less important. If we want to know how to get wisdom from God, we have to be willing to ask for it. And we can’t think it’s going to come from any other source.
I mean, if you spent any time going through the verses we found in weeks two and three, you already know how thoroughly peppered the Scriptures are with declarations of the fact that wisdom belongs to God, wisdom comes from God, God IS wisdom, God gives wisdom, God knows where wisdom can be found… it goes on and on. There simply is no separating true wisdom from God and His ways, so if we think we’re going to find it anywhere else, we’re going to be left wanting.
These verses in James describe those who search for wisdom apart from God as unstable. It says they’re like waves of the sea that are blown and tossed about by the wind. And that is exactly how we end up looking and feeling when we start coupling the wisdom this world offers with God’s principles. Unstable.
So if we want to be wise, we have to be willing to shut the world out. We have to stop listening to what people who place no value on God or His ways say and just tune our ears to our Savior. Then, we simply have to faithfully start asking God for wisdom, believing He is the only one who can give it.
Asking God for Wisdom STEP FOUR : Be Humble
Proverbs 9:7-9 – Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.
Just like we cannot separate wisdom from the fear of the Lord, we also can’t separate it from humility. Wisdom and humility go hand in hand. If we want to know how to get wisdom from God, we have to humble ourselves first.
Now, there is a certain amount of humility that comes from the previous steps already. We cannot be prideful and fear God. It takes submission to turn away from evil. Asking God for wisdom requires a level of meekness. All of these things are aspects of humility. But there is another level of humility that comes with true wisdom, and that is the ability to be corrected.
If we’re really asking God for wisdom, then we have to understand that He is going to have to do a lot of correcting. We humans are not wise by nature, we are sinful by nature. Sin is evil and wisdom hates evil. So if we want to be wise, we have to be open to being set straight. Often.
The good news is, the Bible tells us that if we have the humility to accept correction we’ll get wiser and wiser and learn more and more. The Proverbs can be really helpful here, but really all of Scripture is the tool God will use to show us where we’re wrong and set us on the right path. Hebrews 4:12 tells us it is like a sword that God uses to expose our innermost thoughts and desires and cut them out of us in order to align us to Him.
Asking God for Wisdom STEP FIVE : Be Obedient
James 3:13 – If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.
What is the point of asking God for wisdom if we’re not going to be obedient when He gives it? And so, the final step in the process of asking God for wisdom is simply to obey Him. Let’s prove who we are as the children of God by living honorable lives that are fully surrendered to Him.
My own life experience has taught me that much of what God will ask of us when we seek His answers will be pretty tough to obey. Obedience will require a great deal of faith, because God’s ways so often fly in the face of what the world deems wise. Especially in our modern culture.
Today’s world is going to prescribe solutions to our problems that glorify and validate us. And that kind of wisdom feels really desirable! But the wisdom that comes from God will ask us to die to ourselves and it will glorify and validate Him instead. So what we have to decide is what we want more. Do we want to be our own god or do we want to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow God?
If we really want to know how to get wisdom from God, then the answer will be the later. We will choose humility and accept that our own hearts are deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) and we will work hard to obey what is revealed when we’re asking God for wisdom.
As we consider what we will choose, let us remember the promise God has made about a life that chooses to pursue Him and His wisdom:
Proverbs 9:10-12 – Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgement. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
Let us choose to become wise! God give us wisdom, Spirit make us faithful.