Godly wisdom is the foundation of everything that you need and is the master-key to the abundant life (Proverbs 4:7)! Wisdom is knowing how to apply knowledge. Knowledge is gained through our senses that informs us by giving insight that we can act upon. Wisdom describes how we approach and live our lives. Knowledge and wisdom are important because it gives life and brings understanding (Proverbs 9:10, 11). Wisdom and understanding (revelation) work together. (Isaiah 11:2; 50:4; Ephesians 1:17, 18).
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines wisdom as the ability to discern inner qualities: insight; good sense: judgement; generally accepted belief; accumulated philosophical or scientific learning; a wise attitude, belief or course of action and the teachings of ancient wise men.
There is wisdom of man and the world, (sensual, demonic, carnal, street wisdom) (1 Corinthians 3:18-20; James 3:13-16) or of God, spiritual wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:19-29; James 3:17). Godly wisdom will always lead you to the right decision and to righteousness. Sin and unrighteousness will destroy your life.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3:17 (NKJV)
The wisdom of God shows us how to live life according to a correct knowledge of God (Romans 11:33; Job 28:12-27; Jeremiah 10:12). Jesus is the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:30; Romans 16:27); to see Jesus as He fully is (Ephesians 1:17-23). He is the visible image of the invisible God (John 14:9, 10). Jesus was anointed with the seven-fold Spirit of God: the Spirit of the LORD; the Spirit of wisdom and understanding; the Spirit of counsel and might; the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD (Isaiah 11:1-5). When we allow Christ’s life to manifest in our life, we are walking in wisdom (Colossians 2:2, 3; 3:16).
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom and in all your getting, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV)
Every book of the Bible is filled with God’s wisdom because He authored it by His Holy Spirit as it was penned through different writers (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21). The book of Proverbs in the Old Testament is a book of wisdom written by King Solomon after he asked God for wisdom and knowledge so that he could judge God’s people. God granted his request and also gave him riches, wealth and honor such as none of the kings had before or will ever have like him again (1 Chronicles 1:7-12). Let’s look at what the first few verses of this book tell us about its purpose:
The Proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: to know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding, to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion – a wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:1 – 7 (NKJV)
So, the book of Proverbs talks about learning, morals, gleaning wisdom, knowledge and discernment and gives instruction! We will be looking further in this book to find out more about what wisdom has to offer to us. It mentions fools numerous times; so a wise person would be the opposite! Wisdom is a key to ruling and reigning in life (Proverbs 8:15).
So how do we get Godly wisdom? We are to ask God for wisdom in faith and He will give it to us liberally (James 1:5-8). The Bible makes it clear that the beginning or starting point of knowledge is the fear (or reverence) of the LORD and wisdom brings the fear of the LORD when we listen to it (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). When we fear or revere God we are putting Him and His Word first, trusting and obeying Him; and acknowledging what He says about Himself and His authority which motivates us to act accordingly.
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Proverbs 8:13 (NKJV)
The fear of the LORD conquers all other fears and brings them into submission i.e. fear of man, fear of death, etc. (2 Timothy 1:7; Proverbs 29:25). God’s love replaces fear (1 John 4:9, 10, 18). There is nothing too hard for Him. (Jeremiah 32:17).
The fear of the LORD gives us wisdom and knowledge; it guards and watches over us and delivers us from evil and the perverse man; gives us strong confidence, refuge and we avoid the snares of death; in other words, it gives protection and life (Proverbs 2:9-12; 14:26, 27). When we read, study and meditate on His Word,we learn the fear of the LORD (Deuteronomy 17:14; 18-20;31:10-12). There are many benefits when the fear of the LORD is upon our lives.
Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! Psalm 31:19 (NKJV)
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children. Psalm 103:17 (NKJV)
The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, and those who hope in His mercy. Psalm 147:11 (NKJV).
Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the loving-kindness of the Lord. Psalm 107:43 (NKJV)
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. Proverbs 3:7, 8 (NKJV)
We can see from these verses that walking in wisdom and the fear of the Lord brings abundance.
When there is no fear of God before their eyes, man is foolish, corrupt, committing abominable deeds, deceitful, sheds blood, is miserable and has no peace. (Genesis 20:11; Psalm 14:1-5; Romans 8:10-18).
He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is perverse in his ways despises Him. Proverbs 14:2 (NKJV)
God says that even though His thoughts and ways are not ours because they are higher than ours, He wants us to know and understand Him and it has been given to us to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God (Isaiah 55:8, 9; Matthew 13:11). Obedience is the key to understanding.
So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk up rightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.
When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things. Proverbs 2:2 – 12 (NKJV)
According to the book of Proverbs, what are some of the benefits of following God’s wisdom? Wisdom will release abundance: it promotes you (4:8); it gives: favor (3:4; 8:35), riches and honor (8:18; 23:5); long life (3:2), strength (8:14), good health (3:8), safety (1:33; 3:23), peace (3:2, 17), sweet sleep (3:24), happiness (3:13, 18), counsel (8:14), etc. There are too many Scriptures concerning wisdom to mention here. However, if you read the book of Proverbs you will find many other Scriptures particularly in chapters 1-9.
Wisdom enables you to work smarter not harder. i.e. it sharpens your edge (Ecclesiastes 10:10). Wisdom can increase your sorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:8) because your heart is troubled by others foolishness when they aren’t walking in wisdom and are going in the wrong direction.
Seek wisdom early! We can grow and increase in it (Luke 2:52). When we walk in wisdom, we build strong houses i.e. families and churches (Proverbs 12:7; 14:1; 24:3, 4; Matthew 7:24-27). We are to build on a firm foundation which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:4, 5).
Both Moses in the Old Testament and the New Testament Apostles used wisdom to choose men of good character and wise to help them judge matters and serve the people (Exodus 18:14-26); Acts 6:1-6; 1 Corinthians 6:1-5).
The Spirit of the Lord can give the gift of the Word of Wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:7, 8) which is when the Holy Spirit gives you by divine revelation, an answer or solution for a particular problem within the plan, will and purpose of God for the future; it is supernatural, (not natural or general wisdom to handle the affairs of life; James 1:5) and can’t be learned; it works with the gift of the Word of knowledge when instructions are given (Exodus 31:1-11; 36:1; Acts 9:11-17).
We need the Holy Spirit to give to us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him and that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened (Ephesians 1:17, 18) as we meditate on His Word and go to prayer to seek what is behind negative circumstances that are happening in our lives.
Because we fight against spiritual enemies not flesh or blood; we need spiritual insight from the Holy Spirit and spiritual weapons to fight with (Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:4-6). The battle is God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15) but we need to ask Him for the wisdom to carry out the battle plans since they may change with each circumstance or battle (1 Chronicles 14:8-17; 2 Chronicles 20:16-24). It is always wisdom to seek the Lord for answers and instructions. He gives glorious results!
Godly wisdom is diligent, prudent, prepares for the future, helps you to manage power, position and influence and causes you to succeed (Proverbs 20:13; 16:21; 6: 6-8; Ecclesiastes 10:10).
Walking in wisdom leads to the abundant life. Ask the Lord daily for wisdom with all major decisions you need to make (John 15:5). It is prideful to think that you don’t need His guidance, wisdom and understanding. Humility is a key to obtaining wisdom (Proverbs 11:2)!
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD. Jeremiah 9:23, 24 (NKJV)