It is primarily because of pride and self-centeredness that we find ourselves relying on our own wisdom rather than God’s direction for our lives. Our text warns us about this, and instructs us to “fear the Lord and turn our backs on evil.”
Question – “How can we get God’s wisdom for our lives?” One way to obtain God’s wisdom is by reading His Word. The Bible is filled with such startling wisdom, that it is obvious it came from a supernatural being. Many governments in our world have based their legal systems on biblical principles. Why have they done this? Because they recognized the wisdom found in God’s Word. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.”
We also obtain God’s wisdom by listening to and receiving counsel from mature Christian individuals. Proverbs 19:20 reads, “Get all the advice and instruction you can, and be wise the rest of your life.”
Also, we obtain God’s wisdom by listening to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to us in our inner beings. The Bible is filled with examples of individuals who received wisdom and direction from the Lord long before the Scriptures were ever written. Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph received counsel from the Lord, as did Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Nehemiah, and many others. In the New Testament we find the Holy Spirit directing Phillip away from the revival in Samaria to witness to a man from Ethiopia (Acts 8:25-40). We also find the Holy Spirit telling the leaders of the Church in Antioch to send out Paul and Barnabas as missionaries (Acts 13:1-2). I am certain that the Devil is always seeking to communicate with us, speaking lies designed to lead us astray and cause us to live in fear. At the same time, I am certain that the Lord is also speaking to us, seeking to strengthen our faith and give us direction, and we must seek to be attuned to God’s voice rather than the Devil’s voice so that we can have and follow God’s wisdom in our lives.
Finally, we obtain God’s wisdom by asking for it. James 1:5 reads, “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.”
Second Question – “What are the benefits of receiving and living by God’s wisdom?” Our text tells us that renewed health and vitality are two of the benefits. Later on in Proverbs 3 the author writes: “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. . . . Long life is in her right hand; and in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed” (Proverbs 3:13-18).
Our text reads, “Fear the Lord and turn your back on evil.” How does “fearing the Lord” and “turning one’s back on evil” relate to wisdom? The Bible reads, “Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men” (Proverbs 2:12), and “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). Therefore we understand why the Lord says, “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget My words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.” (Proverbs 4:5-6).
As you pray today: 1) Ask the Lord to show you whether you’ve been living by your wisdom or His wisdom; 2) Ask the Lord to show you how to receive and live by His wisdom on a daily basis; and 3) Ask the Lord to give you wisdom right now before you pray about certain situations in your life.