Written by: Bill Elliff
We would be foolish not to want wisdom. Wisdom is different than knowledge. It is the use of knowledge at the right time. A wise man knows what to say and do with the knowledge given and is the best counselor in times of need and decision.
But there is a definable path that many will never take. You can be the exception, but there must be a persistent application of the right means if you will be known in the future as a man of great wisdom.
Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you; if all of them are ready on your lips. That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today, even to you. (Proverbs 22:17-19)
INCLINE YOUR EAR
No man will ever become wise unless he pays the price of daily listening to the Lord through His Word. There is no shortcut here. If a man can go days or weeks without deeply turning his attention to heaven through the Word and the Spirit, it is a clear indication he thinks he’s wise enough. But he would be wrong. Each day God doesn’t have our attention is one less day of wisdom.
APPLY YOUR HEART
It is not enough to simply hear. The purpose of all study is a response. Will you obey? Will you adjust your life instantly and accordingly? A wise man lets God be in control and goes to God’s Word not merely to increase his knowledge, but to let Christ transform him by the “renewing of the mind” (Romans 12:2). He becomes an effectual doer of the Word (James 1:22-25). He does not quench the flow of God’s Spirit through his life and others by despising or treating lightly what God is saying (1 Thessalonians 5:18-19).
KEEP THEM WITHIN
The casual learner gets some benefit, but little. Wisdom goes further. A wise man studies, he memorizes, he meditates on the word of God “day and night” (Psalm 1:2). He prays it back to the Father until it is digested and literally becomes a part of his being. He finds God in the truth because God is wisdom. He is so hungry for God that he does what is necessary to experience Him and experience Him deeply and continually.
READY ON YOUR LIPS
God gives us wisdom to change our lives and then to lead others in transformation. A wise man doesn’t spout out platitudes unnecessarily, but he is constantly ready with a “word fit for the moment that gives grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Studies show there are varying levels of retention when we learn new truth. From hearing, to writing, to verbalizing, each stage increases wisdom’s grasp upon us. When we understand a truth enough to articulate it and are unashamed to do so in any situation God prompts, we have gained wisdom.
The endgame of all wisdom is so that your “trust may be in the Lord” (Proverbs 22:19a). The wisest man has learned to submit to the Father, relying upon Him for every decision and every breath. If we think we have gained wisdom and we are trusting God less in our daily experience, we have deceived ourselves. Wisdom leads to a humility and dependency that is recognizable and powerful.
God has much to gain by building wise leaders—people He can use to advance His kingdom. That is why He offers His wisdom so liberally. “I have made them known to you today, even to you,” He says (Proverbs 22:19). Wisdom is not hidden. It is present right now (“today”) and it is personal (“to you”). We have no excuse if we live our lives foolishly ignoring this priceless gift that equips us for godly leadership.
(copyright, Michael Catt)
2ProphetU is an online magazine/website, started by Warren Wiersbe and Michael Catt, to build up the church, seek revival, and encourage pastors.