“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” - James 3:17
One morning, a few months ago, I was talking to God about an important decision my husband and I needed to make. There didn’t seem to be a clear path, even as we weighed our options and continued to pray about it. I was getting frustrated and feeling suffocated by the pressure to make the “right” choice.
I was reading in the book of James, when a verse I’ve read and heard probably hundreds of time caught my attention. I’d recently purchased a new translation, and hearing a familiar truth put into different words really made it come alive in my heart again:
If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking. (James 1:5, The Voice)
I felt the Holy Spirit quietly nudge me: Adela, you’ve been asking the wrong question.
Of course, we can ask God anything, but I understood that He meant there was something deeper He wanted to show me and something more important He wanted me to ask for—wisdom.
It was an “a-ha!” moment for me. How many times in Scripture are we urged to get wisdom? Especially throughout the book of Proverbs, we are told that it is worth more than any wealth or jewels, that we should desire it even if it costs everything we have. It even says that it was through wisdom that God created the earth! (See Prov. 3:19.)
Furthermore, think of how God’s heart was moved when He offered Solomon absolutely anything, and Solomon asked for wisdom. God lavishly blessed him because of that one request.
Clearly, wisdom matters, but I wonder if we tend to forget just how much it matters.
One of the notes in my Bible for the book of James says, “Wisdom, as James understands it, is the ability to live life well and make good decisions.” As I was pondering this, I felt like the Holy Spirit brought further understanding to me. There are times in life when things are not absolutely clear. There are even times when there is not necessarily a wrong or right choice. And of course, there are other times when we are faced with extremely difficult choices. But if we are walking in wisdom, we will have the ability to make good decisions. We will have the ability to choose well on a daily basis.
An Added Dimension
The gift of wisdom, or word of wisdom, is listed with other manifestations of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. These describe some of the different ways God works through people for the common good of building each other up.
In this specific context, the gift of wisdom is understood to mean the ability “to speak to the life of an individual or to a specific situation with great understanding and a righteous perspective.”1 This is the kind of insight that does not merely come from age or life experience, but it is a supernatural knowing that only comes from the Holy Spirit.
Has there ever been a better time for this gift to be awakened in the body of Christ? There are so many desperate issues facing our world, but there are solutions in the mind of Christ. Jesus, the embodiment of wisdom, wants to release the answers and strategies through His people.
There’s even better news! If you do not feel like you have this gift, all you have to do is ask, and as we already saw from the book of James, God will lavishly give you all the wisdom you need and never scold you for asking for more. While some people may seem to walk in this gift more naturally than others, it is available to every believer who will pursue it and treasure it.
Some Insight from Cindy
In our weekly staff meetings, Cindy often shares a word of encouragement and insights from what the Lord’s been saying to her. Here are some words from her on this very subject. I hope they encourage you.
As I begin to pray for wisdom, it's almost like I begin to see my way form before me. It's like, if God puts a concept for a book in my heart, I may not know where to go with getting it published or where to go with writing the whole thing. There are pieces that I need. I may not know sources I need or who to interview. But as I seek God’s wisdom on it—which is really the supernatural word of wisdom—all of a sudden that book will come into my hand, that interview will open up.
You see, when we pray for wisdom, wisdom manifests. People don't understand there's a manifestation of wisdom, and it's as supernatural as any gift of the Holy Spirit. Wisdom gives us knowledge that we need, and then we get understanding. But wisdom is the door opener, it is the way maker, it is the direction that you need, and then you get knowledge behind that wisdom for how to make it happen.
So I pray for you today. Lord, we ask for wisdom. And we ask for supernatural wisdom that will give us those keys to open the door that will be the way maker for our future, for our provision, for our success, for us to know what to do.
And the Lord says, "You will not attain this by spiritual laziness; you have to seek My face, and when you seek Me, you will find what you need," says the Lord. Amen.