If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God… James 1:5
Perhaps no one listening to me is perfectly satisfied with his own intelligence—except maybe the very young. And yet the apostle John writes, “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” One of the possessions given to every believer, and which I am afraid very few of us appreciate and make use of, is the Wisdom of God. God has given to us divine wisdom. Let’s have a little Bible reading about it.
Colossians, the second chapter, informs us that the Lord Jesus Christ is the source and receptacle of all wisdom. It states in verse three, “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The epistle to the Colossians was written, partly at least, to offset an evil teaching of the first and second centuries, a philosophy very strong in early days of the church, called “Gnosticism.” That’s the very opposite of the agnostic belief. An agnostic says, “I don’t know anything.” The Gnostic says, “I know everything, and you Christians will have to come to me and get some of this high-powered knowledge I have.” So the Spirit of God led Paul to write this book of Colossians to tell the believers that we have super-knowledge. He uses the strongest word for knowledge—we have super-knowledge in the Lord Jesus because in Him “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Now that doesn’t mean that every believer is drawing from that source, because he prays in the ninth verse of chapter one: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it [that is, heard about them being Christians], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Then he goes on to say that we might come into the full knowledge of God. So God wants us to be using and appreciating and valuing, more than we do, His divine wisdom which He has given to us in the Lord Jesus.
Now in the third chapter of Titus, verse three, we read that we “were sometimes foolish, disobedient,” etc. At one time every one of us was foolish. We didn’t think so. No, we were quite well-pleased with ourselves. We considered ourselves to be very well equipped, intellectually. But Romans 12:16 warns us not to be “wise in your own conceits.” The only kind of wisdom we had is what’s called “worldly wisdom.” In First Corinthians, the first chapter, we read in verse 21, “The world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching [that is, what seemed to the world a very foolish subject] to save them that believe.” And in the third chapter of First Corinthians we read that we had only a worldly kind of wisdom which failed completely to bring us into a relationship with God.
Now what can we do if we’re to have the wisdom of God? Well, first of all we must admit our own ignorance. Well, maybe your I.Q. is extra high. Perhaps you have gone to school more than the average. But if you’re going to be taught of God you are going to have to come to Him humbly, and be willing to be taught. An admission of our own ignorance, I think, is the first requisite to acquiring the wisdom of God.
We’re told back in the book of Proverbs repeatedly that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Now actually the Lord Jesus Himself is said to be wisdom. The eighth chapter of Proverbs speaks of wisdom as personification of Christ. In First Corinthians 1:30 we are informed that the Lord Jesus is made unto us “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
So everything God has for us in the way of divine wisdom is in His Son. Because He is God, He has what we call omniscience—that is, all knowledge. God knows everything. God knows the end from the beginning. It’s true that the Lord Jesus limited Himself to the knowledge which His Father saw fit to give Him while He was here upon this earth. Nevertheless, He was truly God. Our Lord Jesus, exalted to the right hand of God, is the source of all real wisdom.
Now this wisdom is really offered to us. We read, in the eleventh chapter of Romans, verse 33, that all the riches of wisdom are offered to us. Now this wisdom which comes from above is ours for the asking. According to James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not…” Do you know why we don’t get more wisdom from God? Do you know why we go blundering through life, making so many mistakes? It is because we’re so conceited that we think we can manage it ourselves. Incidentally, that’s the reason we have no real peace about our lives. I suppose everybody knows that wonderful verse about “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” You know, that’s the last part of a sentence. The first part says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God.” If you’re going to have real peace about your life, you’re going to have to be humble and dependent upon God.
Now, we read in Colossians 1 that He would like to have us filled with His knowledge. Notice that there is progressive knowledge here in Colossians 1 —
To begin with, we read, “… the word of the truth of the gospel … is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.” Now that’s the first thing we learn. That’s the first knowledge—wisdom which we get from God: to know the “grace of God in truth.” Let me ask you, do you know the grace of God in truth? I mean by that, do you know what it is to have your sins put away by grace, by the precious blood of Christ? Do you know what it is to be right with God, by grace? That is, nothing which you deserve, but which God offered to you in the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, if you haven’t started there, you haven’t started!
But if you have started, that’s only a beginning, because in verse nine we learn that we ought to “…be filled with the knowledge of His will…” Now I believe that means more than simply His will in my individual life, but His purposes, His plan! Do you know what God is doing? Are you familiar with God’s program? Do you know what God is doing in the present day? Are you intelligent as to God’s ways and doings?
Then, in the tenth verse, He says we should be going on to increase “in the knowledge of God.” Actually there’s nothing higher than knowing God.
In the second chapter of First John you have these three stages of knowledge. There he speaks of children, young men, and fathers. And he says, in effect, “Children, you know your sins are forgiven. You know God as your Father.” You might call that elementary knowledge. Then, to the young men, “You know the Word of God. You’re strong. You’re overcoming the wicked one.” That’s growth. And to the fathers, “You know Him who is from the beginning.” And there is no knowledge beyond that! Knowing God. Knowing Him as a trustworthy God and Father.
Now, some of you are wanting knowledge, perhaps; wanting wisdom, or direct guidance in your lives. Here’s a nice little promise. Psalm 25:9: “The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.” If you are really willing to be taught, God will teach you. God will show you. God will guide you. I think we need to spend a little time in God’s presence first of all and make sure we want His will! Our hearts are so deceitful that sometimes we think we want to be taught of God, we want His wisdom, yet we don’t want it at all.
The first way, the first thing to do to get wisdom from God is to turn to His Word. The Spirit of God never guides us contrary to the Word of God. Turn to the Word of God.
Then, act on what you know. Then, consider the providential dealings of God in your life—the circumstances. These would be dangerous apart from the Word of God and the conviction of the Spirit of God within-, but as you turn to Him, really seeking His wisdom, you’ll find that God has resources which you never dreamed were yours—because you have Christ!
Our Father, we ask You to help all of us to know Thee better, to know Thy Word better, to draw upon Thee, the resources of wisdom given to us through our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose Name we give Thee our thanks. Amen.