“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
All that God deemed essential knowledge for His children is found in His Word—the Bible. Beyond that, all truth is God’s. God has, however, revealed His truth to all humans in the things created (Romans 1:20) called general revelation, and in His written Word called special revelation (1 Corinthians 2:6–10).
There is a difference between “earthly wisdom” and the “wisdom that comes from above” (James 3:14–18). To tap into God’s wisdom, we must, first of all, desire it and ask God for it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). The next verse specifies that we must “ask in faith, nothing wavering” (verse 6).
We acknowledge that true wisdom comes from God and that Jesus Christ is the embodiment of that wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). To trust in Christ and yield to His Holy Spirit is to walk in wisdom; as Christians, “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Love of God, the greatest commandment, is also required. “As it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9–10; cf. Isaiah 64:4).
To have knowledge is to have understanding or information about something. To have wisdom is to have the ability to apply knowledge to everyday life. It is in the reading and understanding of God’s Word that we obtain knowledge, and meditating upon that knowledge brings wisdom. The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119, which is all about gaining understanding and wisdom from God’s Word. Just a few verses are “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long” (verse 97). “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (verse 105). “I will meditate on your precepts, and have respect to your ways. I will delight myself in your statutes: I will not forget your word” (verses 15–16). The word meditate is used five times in Psalm 119 and in various forms another fifteen times in the book of Psalms. Meditation is required to fully consider how to apply God’s Word in everyday life.
The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom. In that book, Wisdom calls for a hearing: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings” (Proverbs 1:22–23). The promise of Wisdom is that those who desire God’s truth can have it, but it requires giving up the world’s foolish mockery of the truth. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).
To have the “fear of the LORD” is to have an awed respect of who God is and a reverential trust in His Word and His character, and to live accordingly. When one is walking in the fear of the Lord, he or she is relying on God’s wisdom in the matters of everyday life and making whatever changes need to be made in light of God’s Word.
Those who have God’s wisdom will show it in how they live: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13).
In summary, to tap into God’s wisdom, we must diligently study God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15), meditate on the Word, pray for wisdom, seek it with all our hearts, and walk in the Spirit. God desires to give His wisdom to His children. Are we willing to be led by that wisdom?