Brian C. Houston
Global Senior Pastor Hillsong Church
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV)
Wisdom is the number one thing we should pursue in life – the PRINCIPAL thing! Not human wisdom, which is a product of our own understanding and experience, but the wisdom that comes from God. If godly wisdom is the number one thing then it has everything to do with determining the course and success of our life. So how do we get this wisdom? And how can we know the difference between God’s wisdom and our own?
Believe it or not, the Bible has a lot to say about wisdom.
You may be wondering, what’s the difference between wisdom and knowledge? Simply explained, knowledge means you are in possession of the facts, while wisdom uses the facts to extrapolate the best outcome. But the wisest person alive is still limited and subject to errors in judgment. But God is all knowing, unbound by time and so can determine the end from the beginning. No one else but God possesses these qualities.
So, rather than wearing yourself out, relying on your own knowledge or the knowledge of others in the pursuit of success, make the getting of God’s wisdom your priority. Rather than trying to GET rich, GET WISDOM! The wisest and richest man in history said it this way:
Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.
Proverbs 23:4 (NLTse)
So, where does God’s wisdom begin? Where do you start? Solomon leaves no doubt:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV)
The ‘fear of the Lord’ is not a cowering fear of God, but an awe-filled reverence and respect for who He is. Essentially, if you fear God, you have decided that nothing in life is more important than knowing Him. Knowing God and pursuing His ways is foundational to finding godly wisdom. In the many crossroads of life, we are faced with many decisions. Which way do I go? Which is the better choice? Do you realise Wisdom has a real voice that is calling out to you?
Listen as Wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice!
On the hilltop along the road, she takes her stand at the crossroads.
Proverbs 8:1-2 (NLTse)
Proverbs characterises Wisdom as a righteous woman who is ready and waiting, calling out on every highway and byway for anyone who will listen to her.
Think about how godly wisdom, or the lack of it, has impacted your life so far. How has it affected your financial decisions? Your relationships? Your career and achievements? Especially if you are young and have big dreams, never underestimate the importance of seeking godly wisdom and good judgment in setting your course. Remember, it is the PRINCIPAL thing.
Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit.
If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
Proverbs 9:10-12 (NLTse)
Wisdom and good judgment will build your life, choice by choice, through highs and lows, and see your plans come to pass over time. For big decisions such as buying a new home, changing career, relocating to a different city or country, who to marry, whether to divorce, starting a business; for the smaller decisions such as doing what’s right when no one is looking – God will freely give His wisdom to you without reproach if you ask Him for it (see James 1:5).
Unfortunately, if we rely on our own wisdom and ignore or downplay the importance of God’s wisdom, we can sabotage our own plans. Proverbs warns,
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV)
There are many plans in a man’s heart,
nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.
Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV)
So then, we can either choose to cooperate with God’s plans by seeking His wisdom, or we can try and get things done on our own steam and eventually fall flat. Why waste your time? Get with God’s plan and choose godly wisdom!
Proverbs says when you choose wisdom, it will permeate every area of your life. If you could see what lies ahead and the fruit that wisdom will bring you, then wouldn’t you want every area of your life permeated with wisdom?
It’s through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens, and the years of your life ripen. Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life; mock life and life will mock you.
Proverbs 9:11-12 (MSG)
If you will listen to ‘Lady Wisdom’s’ words, your life will strengthen and flourish. That doesn’t mean you won’t have challenges or opposition, but it does mean you have the promise and path to achieve ongoing victory over them.
God wants to open doors to make a way for your life to thrive. However, if you don’t apply the principles of wisdom such as obedience to God and His Word, humility, and waiting for His timing, your path forward will meet impasses. Wisdom means trusting God and allowing good judgment to make a way for you.
The rewards of wisdom, especially in connection to blessing, are enduring wealth and riches, honour, long life and success. Wisdom will prosper you, bring you favour and increase because your life has a far greater purpose than yourself. The overflow and abundance wisdom brings, enables each of us to spread the Gospel further afield than our own sphere. It means we position ourselves to give and contribute to every good work of the Kingdom of God.
[God] who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us
in Christ Jesus before time began.
2 Timothy 1:9 (NKJV)
God has SAVED you for purpose, CALLED you for purpose, GRACED you for your PURPOSE! When you care about calling, you don’t have a problem with the idea of God blessing you because you understand that the blessing is also to enable you to fulfill His purposes in your life. That is why every believer in Christ needs to get a revelation of wisdom as the PRINCIPAL thing and believe to see God’s wisdom outworked in their life. The rewards of wisdom will empower you to be all you are destined to be and to live a life of Kingdom impact far beyond the limitations of your own.