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Learning wisdom

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Siloam, May 23, 2015.

  1. Our Lord teaches us many things by experience. Many of us have been taught patience by experiencing long periods of feeling a need before we perceive His providence. The waiting itself is often how He provides us with patience. That patience, once perfected with use is then a powerful resource for greater adversities later. It can be thought of as an on-the-job training program.

    I believe that other virtues (the raw-materials of character) are also perfected by use.

    Right now I am considering another virtue: wisdom. I would define wisdom as the ability to apply knowledge to guide one’s life. Wisdom is not the knowledge itself, but the ability to put that knowledge into practical service. I invite alternate definitions. Wisdom does require knowledge to grow, just as a muscle requires something to move to become stronger, but knowledge and wisdom are two separate things.

    The Bible is a book of wisdom (among a great many other things), but a fool can read, even study wisdom without incorporating it into his being. I believe that many Biblical scholars can provide detailed discourse on many theological issues, citing chapter and verse and not have the wisdom to see how it can be put into practice in his personal life. When someone that has the capacity to be wise has the both the faith and knowledge to put them into practice, wonderful things happen and those around him are much edified.

    So, how does God teach us wisdom? What methods does He use to help us move from studying the wisdom of scripture to being wise in our own actions? To be sure, spiritual wisdom can only occur when empowered by the Holy Spirit, but one is not commonly saved on one day and spiritually wise the second. And, with some reservations, I would say that there are many who had the capacity for wisdom, and had a facility with applying knowledge prior to becoming a Christian, and when they come to a personal relationship with the Master, quickly learned to use that gift in His service.
  2. I can say that I have learned wisdom by thinking. God has taught me so many things through myself. I like to think more than I like to speak, and when I think about God, He usually gives me a revelation that I was not expecting. That is how God usually gives me wisdom.
  3. What I had in mind when I started this thread:

    My thoughts are

    Just as you must exercise muscles to make them stronger, and patience is developed by having to wait for things you desire, wisdom is developed by encountering questions and problems that require accurate application of knowledge.

    The learning of patience is often a lengthy process, like running a marathon. The learning of wisdom is more like lifting heavy objects (weight-lifting). Start with small ones, and build to more difficult ones.

    I have noticed that some of the most wise (and here I am only using my judgment, and that of others regarding the same persons), have had to make significant decisions that brought together seemingly unrelated facts and coupled that with an ability to understand how to best resolve things.

    Being wise is aided by having a good grasp on the truth (both big ‘TTRUTH and everyday true facts), coupled with the discernment to understand the subtle layers behind the surface truth. Wisdom is then the ability to creatively come to a greater understanding of how the truth is to be applied.

    The Lord teaches us truth by giving us small things to learn and apply, which when mastered gives us the ability to go on to larger, more difficult issues.

    It is often said that when you pray for patience, you should be ready to experience unresolved concerns. I am coming to the understanding that if you would have wisdom, you must be ready to confront more and more complex problems.

    Pray for the guidance of the Lord.
    Juk likes this.
  4. One time, when I was younger, I asked for the wisdom of Solomon, after I had read Proverbs and loved it (it's sheer wisdom!). I think that God has blessed me with a lot of wisdom so far, but it's hard for me to apply it because even though it is in my soul (mind), I don't think my body has catched up just yet. My flesh man. But it is definitely in there. Sometimes, I think that it is the Holy Spirit because of how I get revelations about things I might have had issues understanding unexpectedly. I think that it would be a much greater honor for it to be the Holy Spirit than for it to be from myself. Either way, it was given to me by God.
    Mykuhl likes this.
  5. Awesome!

    Based on how you describe the revelations, it sounds like it is the Holy Spirit because that is the way He usually gives me revelations. It comes like a bolt of lightning...all of a sudden I understand.
    Juk likes this.
  6. Yeah, I could just be discussing the subject in my mind, and out of nowhere the answer comes to me, though in my own voice.
  7. Yah, it sometimes comes to me like that too, but more often it is like a download or something....it is hard to explain. It's like I just understand and when I try to put it into words if often doesn't come out the way I understand it...not as clear and effective.
    Juk likes this.
  8. Me too.
    Mykuhl likes this.
  9. Many years ago, I noticed something about Paul's letters. He often told the the various groups what he had been praying for them, and this is summed up comprehensively in Ephesians. Although the order and detail might vary, you will see the same prayer points at the beginning of several of Paul's letters. I realised that if Paul was expressing such need for the various churches, then it should be critically important for me. That transformed my prayer life.

    I strongly advise reading this slowly word by word, line by line, in various translations, till you grasp every bit of what Paul meant by it.
    Eph1v15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
    17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
    18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
    19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength which
    20he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

    Firstly I transformed this into the first person so to make it applicable to me, then I wrote it down on a piece of card and stuck it in my top pocket. I hate repetitive prayers, but As Paul says, I never cease asking God for the Spirit of wisdom every day.

    "Lord please give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowing of you. That the eyes of my understanding might be opened that I might know the hope of your calling.............etc."
    It was only a few days before I knew it by heart, and I have never ceased asking and receiving wisdom from God since that date. There are certain things we need from the Lord every day!

    Related to the above, one of the most amazing promises can be found in James.
    James1v5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
    6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
    7That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
    8Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

    Do you see that, when we ask God for wisdom, he guarantees to give it. All it requires of us is to believe him and take firm hold of it. Doubt will always block us from receiving anything from God.

    We should also realise there is a huge difference between wisdom and information or facts. When scripture talks about wisdom, it is talking about the very presence of the spirit of Wisdom, ie. the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Wisdom is alive, facts are dead.
    Luke11v13"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

    To comprehend the difference between wisdom and facts, look at Solomon. When I read this story as a new christian, I thought that Solomon was callous and cruel. It took me a long time to understand the "why" of his action here.
    When confronted by two women arguing over a child, each claiming to be the mother, Solomon called for one of his guards to cut the baby in half. Immediately the real mother shrieked, "no give her the child" .........

    24The king said, "Get me a sword." So they brought a sword before the king.25The king said, "Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other."26Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, "Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him." But the other said, "He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!"…

    Solomon may well have already known which was the true mother, but if he had just commanded that judgement, the false mother could have continued to claim motherhood and jealously poisoned the life around the child's real mother. Neither would the court watchers know whether Solomon was actually right or wrong. The gift of wisdom is about ensuring the truth is also witnessed by all who watched on.
    Solomon, renowned for his wisdom, was empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus operated in exactly the same way thousands of years later. That's why he always answered the Pharisees in a way made them illustrate their own hypocrisy.

    Wisdom is a gift that God is always eager to give. To receive it, we first need to be humble, otherwise we will find ourselves once again falling back on our own carnal nature.
    Juk and Mykuhl say Amen and like this.
  10. I might not have the wisdom that I thought I had then... I will ask God for wisdom from now on! Great post by the way.
  11. Knowing some wisdom is not the same as being wise. The Lord may provide direction, and it will surely be wise, but it is He that is wise, not you just because you received it. Wisdom is an ability. We tend to think of it as good, and it surely is better to be wise than foolish, but wisdom is a way of arriving at a truth that has practical consequences, not that truth itself.

    All positive qualities are a gift of God. If you feel a special lack of any, asking God’s help is certainly the first step to obtain it. God will supply it according to His plan and His knowledge of your needs. You may not demand of God. You may pray for wisdom when the Lord knows that you need humility. In that case, wisdom is likely to increase the problem, making it unwise to make you wise.

    However, all attributes become stronger with use, and weaker with disuse. What we should be striving for is the strengthening of our virtues (faith driven strengths) and the weakening of our liabilities (sin nature).

    The Lord uses this principle in teaching us (and training us) to live for Him.

    In most virtues, He does not start with the greatest challenge. He allows us to build up our spiritual strength.

    When we are faithful (and successful in His eyes) in small things, we are given greater tasks that challenge our abilities.

    An exception to this would be when our greatest liability is our unwillingness to trust Him. In that situation, the Lord may limit our abilities so that we must develop the trust we lack, leaning on Him instead of our gifts.

    Wisdom, as a virtue, is not a single instance of knowing what is right or true or edifying. A wise thought is a gift of God, but a wise thought does not make one wise. Wisdom is an ability to draw upon the guidance of the Lord to see the truths behind the surface, and then determine the proper application.
    Juk likes this.
  12. Like any ability, it is of no good if it is not used. Solomon was the wisest man in history and this wisdom was given to him by God. But we see that later in his life he didn't use that wisdom and turned away from God to a degree.
    Juk and Siloam say Amen and like this.
  13. I think Solomon is in hell right now.
  14. Pro 2:6.. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

    Joh 3:16.. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Interesting that scriptures tell us that the most important thing you can ever get in this life, that is more "precious" than gold, silver, and more precious than stones is "Wisdom". The Lord God has nothing within his possession that is more valuable than "Wisdom". Why is that?

    1Co 1:30..
    But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

    Jesus Christ is the Wisdom of God and he was made to be our Wisdom!!! No wonder Wisdom is the most precious thing we can ever have!!!

    These are the things Wisdom gives to those who have it........

    Pro 3:13..
    Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
    Pro 3:14.. For
    the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
    Pro 3:15..
    She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
    Pro 3:16.. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
    Pro 3:17.. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
    Pro 3:18.. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

    Pro 4:7.. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
    Pro 4:8.. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
    Pro 4:9.. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
    Juk likes this.
  15. Solomon died spiritually defeated, but God's covenant with David may mean that the Lord spared him. See 2 Sam 7:8-17, especially see verses 14 & 15 stating that he (Solomon) would be corrected but God's living kindness would not depart.

    2 Sam 7:14-15(NASB)
    I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My loving kindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.

    In any case, Hell is not something we should wish on anyone. It is the Lord's prerogative.
  16. I am not sure that we are not in complete agreement. We both recognize wisdom as coming from God. We both recognize that wisdom is the source of understanding and is more precious than anything material.

    What I am trying to discuss is the ability to think wisely. It may be that you are referring to the results of thinking wisely -- the pieces of wisdom, whether it is the believer doing the thinking, or the Lord is providing the thought fully formed.

    My only point was that as with other virtues, wisdom must be exercised. The ability commonly starts small and grows as the believer grows in the Lord. Although the Lord does give us individual pieces of wisdom, and those special instances of the Lords leading are precious, wise thoughts are the result of wisdom, not the attribute itself.

    Wisdom as an attribute of a believer's approach to life does not spring into our being fully developed. It needs to be exercised to be developed. The same is true of other Christian virtues like faith & love. They are all gifts, but we are required to nurture them and allow them to grow and control our lives.

    Does this seem to be in agreement with you?
  17. We know Jesus "grew" in wisdom as he physically grew up from a child into a man, just like we do in his life. There is a wisdom we learn to operate in this life that deals with man's human mind. Spiritual Wisdom is not the same as it does not grow because it is a person. Paul called Wisdom a "spirit", and he prayed to God to give his Church the spirit of Wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.....

    1Co_1:24.. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

    Eph_1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

    The Wisdom of God comes down from above, and when you receive it you will know it without a doubt, because it is God revealing himself to you.
    The Wisdom of God gives you these things.....

    Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
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