Growing in Wisdom
Building Champions Men’s Network
A question is posed in Job 28:12 that asks: “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Further saying it is a slightly different manner, verse 20 asks: “From where then does wisdom come?”
This is a question that men have considered for thousands of years even if they have not verbally expressed this longing in their hearts.
Read verses 21 – 28 as verse 23 declares, “God understands its way, and He knows its place. Verse 27, “God saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.” Verse 28 …And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.’”
These are statements that reveal where wisdom and understanding reside, but does not show how we as men of God can attain it.
The fact is, when we are born into the earth, every person has the same amount of knowledge available to them. Many people spend countless years and for some hundred’s of thousands of dollars to accumulate knowledge that they hope will eventually give them monetary dividends or notoriety in the society we live in.
God wants each of us to walk in “His” wisdom as all wisdom that is available is not from God according to James 3:
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
Before we begin, you must understand that there are some things that will try to keep you from walking in God’s wisdom. Without identifying these things, you are destined to live a life of mediocrity that will never attain the heights that God has ordained for you to live.
Hindrances to walking in God’s wisdom
The problem with these hindrances is that the society we live in paints a picture of them being socially acceptable whereas many people do not see them as wisdom and character assassins. Because they are acceptable many people seek out ways to indulge their flesh in them and never consider the future consequences of not dealing with them.
This is why many high profile professional people start out on the right path, but without seeing them for what they are, they eventually fall victim to the damning effects of these vices and many lose prominent positions in business, education, entertainment, politics, the medical field and even leadership positions in the church.
Some of the hindrances to walking in wisdom are:
A] Drugs, alcohol, and engaging in known sin, [these distort our sense of perception, insight, awareness and discernment]
B] Being lazy; selfish; not having concrete direction for your life and being proud or thinking of yourself more highly than you ought to think.
C] Spiritually you have not having a consistent private prayer life; fellowship with God through His Word; and relying on your own knowledge without seeking out counsel from other men that have God’s wisdom; not consistently applying the Word that you hear to your life. James 1:22, “but be doers of the Word, not hearers only deceiving yourselves.”
D] What are some other ways we can hinder walking in God’s wisdom? _____________________________________________________________
God expects growth and increase in your life
Luke 2:52: “Jesus grew in _wisdom_ and in stature_ and in favor with God and man.”
This allows us to see that Jesus grew in “broad and full understanding” as the Amplified Bible identifies the word wisdom.
Jesus grew intellectually, mentally, chronologically, physically and __relationally__.
Health, life, growth and change are key factors for living a successful life. Dr. La Fayette Scales states: “__Healthy_ things live; __living__ things grow and __growing__ things change.”
Just as Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and favor, this is to be our example for success in life.
Wisdom is the best thing
Something that is best is “the preeminent, greatest, foremost, dominant, top, finest, most excellent and something that is unsurpassed.”
Wisdom can be defined as: “__skill__ [ability, expertise, proficiency and talent]; __experience__ [capability, involvement, understanding and knowledge; and __shrewdness__ [sharpness, judgment, being perceptive and discerning, having insight and being smart].”
Wisdom, ordained and created by God, manifests itself in many ways in the created universe. Wrongly used, it can be deadly – physically and spiritually.
In Proverbs 8, wisdom is personified [incarnate, alive or given a status of being a person. Speaking in the “first person singular” [In English, the first-person singular pronoun is "I," and the plural is "we."] wisdom declares:
12 “I, __wisdom__, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion. 13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. 14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength.
15 By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. 16 By me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth. 17 I love those who love me, and those who __seek _ me diligently will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me, enduring riches and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver. 20 I traverse the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice, 21 that I may cause those who love me to inherit __wealth_, that I may fill their treasuries.
22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. 23 I have been established from everlasting, from the __beginning__, before there was ever an earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primal dust of the world. 27 When He prepared the __heavens__, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 When He established the clouds above, when He strengthened the fountains of the deep, 29 when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth, 30 then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, 31 rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men.
32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction and be __wise__, and do not disdain it. 34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds __life__, and obtains __favor_ from the Lord;
36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who __hate__ me __love__ death.”
In the New Testament, this wisdom Personified is identified as being Jesus Christ and can be found in Jesus Christ as various scriptures support this. This is not saying that Christ as the Lord God, the Third Person of the Trinity is reduced to a person named wisdom, but God personified wisdom and elevated it to the place where it can only be found in Jesus Christ.
2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 __in whom__ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
First Corinthians 1
22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the __power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
First Corinthians 1
30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who __became__ for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
It’s this wisdom that is found in Christ and is identified as Christ that the Scriptures say is supposed to have the preeminence or the very first place in our lives. This is why wisdom is the “best” thing.
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For __by Him__ all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
This New Testament Scripture bears out what is written in Proverbs chapter eight which we read earlier.
Therefore wisdom is the chief, first and best thing. Proverbs 4:7 makes this even clearer stating:
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.”
The New Living Translation says:
“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.”
If we are going to be the Champions that we are meeting each month to become, we are going to have to demonstrate wisdom and understanding in the lives we live and decisions we make.
Dr. LaFayette Scales says:
Knowledge is acquiring the truth of God’s Word;
Wisdom is applying the truth of God’s Word
Understanding comprehends the truth – to the degree that you can repeat the result at will.
This lets us see that when understanding comes to us, as a champion you will be consistent in your performance and results.
There are two mindsets concerning __learning__:
The Greek mindset says, “You have learned if you can __repeat__ memorized facts.
The Jewish mindset says, “You have learned if you __apply__ the knowledge in life.
Champions ask for wisdom for __life__, __family__, finance, business, __church__, and their future.
James 1:5 says:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
The New Living Translation says:
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will __give it__ to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
As Jesus Grew in Wisdom, we are to follow His example and apply our lives to doing the same.
Growing in Wisdom
As we have already established, if we are going to grow in wisdom, it is going to require change. Quoting Dr LaFayette Scales again, he states “Healthy things live, living things grow and growing things change.”
It is therefore our privilege and honor to be living and growing therefore, we are to embrace change as a consequence of living in the earth.
Without change [both positive and negative] we will find that there’s no way to reach our potential. Growth – spiritually and naturally – should be expected in life as well as increase.
This growth and increase produces patience and character in each of us as the process we find ourselves in will not be short-changed and neither will it be hastened by our anxiety as there are some lessons in life that we will only learn through the process of time.
Remember Godly character is always God’s end result in each of our lives and this is displayed in how we live before Him and before each other as we treat others with the respect and dignity they deserve.
While we go through this process, it’s vital for us to do so while exhibiting wisdom in our life. Just as Jesus grew in wisdom or as we saw, “increased in broad and full understanding” we should also endeavor to do the same.
Proverbs 23:23 states:
Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
The New Living Translation
Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.
The Amplified Bible
Buy the truth and sell it not; not only that, but also get discernment and judgment, instruction and understanding.
The Message Bible
Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money; buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.
Something you buy is actually an investment of your resources. Whether or not you realize it, your greatest resource is the time God has given us.
Utilizing your time wisely and investing your life in the things of God and Kingdom of God is the greatest investment in wisdom you can make. Placing a priority on the things of God will always pay the greatest dividends.
What are some ways you make an investment in the Kingdom of God?
One of the greatest investments a Champion can make is in truth and knowledge.
There has to be a distinction made between what is Truth and what is fact. Just as the Bible is God’s Truth, it is also filled with facts that were subjected to the period of time in which the people lived.
Some of these were in the sacrifices and offerings of the Old Covenant whereas in order for the sins of the people to be forgiven, they had to offer God these animal sacrifices in order to have the sins atoned for.
However the Truth is found in the fact that Jesus came and fulfilled the Law of God and as Hebrews says, God no longer requires the sacrifices of the blood of bulls, goats or other animals.
Both of these are in the Scriptures; one being fact and the other being Truth. In our lives, we must follow Truth in order to walk in the wisdom of God.
This Truth must usurp the authority that we have allowed to be set up over our lives, being the wisdom of this world from the various sources that we learned them. This wisdom came from our teachers through the educational system; through our jobs; through our families and the knowledge and wisdom our parents handed down.
Jesus established the Source of all truth when He was praying to the Father on our behalf in John chapter 17 stating:
16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
What we must do is learn what Truth is and exalt the truth through the wisdom we learn in the Scriptures.
Proverbs 4 says
7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
8 Exalt her [wisdom], and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
Our responsibility is to exalt wisdom above all things and this wisdom is contained in the pages of God’s Word.
God’s Word being Truth, you will find that it is consistent with the will, character, nature and glory of God. Truth is a compilation of facts of which “once stated they never have to be changed, altered or revised.”
The fact is, “We are changed by the unchanging Word of God.” This is the power of the Word of God. With Jesus being the Word of God – Incarnated or Personified - we find that the Greater One living inside us is desirous of demonstrating His Truth to those around us - through us. Causing change in our environment, we find that His desire expressed in His model prayer can be realized which is, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, ON EARTH as it is in heaven.”
Still one of the most profound statements in Scripture is what Jesus said in John 14:6 when in response to Thomas’ question of knowing the way to Christ, He declared “I am the Way, the Truth [I will never change, be altered or revised] and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Therefore, Truth is valuable and when this Truth is gained in regards to Jesus Christ, THE TRUTH, it is actually “invaluable” as there are no earthly riches that can purchase it on our behalf.
God’s Truth is also liberating as it is the only thing on earth that has the ability to free us from enslavement.
Jesus associates the freedom we are guaranteed with continuing or abiding in His Word. John chapter 8 states:
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
The Message Bible says:
“If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.”
This walk we embarked upon is not something we do for a period of time or until we find ourselves able to handle our lives and situation. We made a decision to live out every day what God ordained through His Word and in doing so have no recourse but to allow God to bring us through the challenging times as well as rejoice WITH God during the good times.
Many Christians have been enslaved and freed because they realized that Christ liberated them with His victory on Calvary.
However, there are many more that refuse to accept and appropriate what Christ secured for them through ignorance or disobedience. The fact is liberty is available for all and often must be fought to secure.
When the Bible speaks of freedom or liberty, a prior bondage or incarceration is always implied.
Liberty means “the happy state of having been released from servitude for a life of enjoyment and satisfaction that was not possible before.”
This is what we strive for and is accomplished when God’s Truth is our priority.
This liberty or freedom we enjoy is not given to us so we can be free to do what we want, but to live and do what the Master wants without the hindrances and bondages associated with sin and the limitations that accompany it.
Paul the apostle said, “Shall we use our liberty for acts of sin? God forbid!” Therefore we are admonished in Romans 6:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
As verse 4 states in Romans 6, we have been freed so we can walk in newness of life or life in a manner that is not attainable unless we are living according to God’s standards.
This Truth we seek is also a reference to the Holy Spirit of God. Something spiritual is intangible however just as real as something that can be seen and embraced in the natural. This is true when we reference the Spirit of Truth.
There’s an old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” This is not the case when it comes to spiritual laws and principles because deep within the hearts of the people of God is the conviction that God is still there and what He promised us is to be our portion in life. Our spirits are yearning for the manifestation of God’s promises.
John 15 says:
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
Therefore the Truth of God is His Spirit and being God’s nature or Who He is, He is only capable of relaying Truth to Christ’s followers.
Therefore whatever the Spirit of Truth reveals to us will always be consistent [steady, constant; reliable and dependable] with the Word of God which is Truth.
That which is steady is: “Fixed, stable and not easily moved.” Just as God’s Word is steady, we should not be easily moved when tempted to forsake the Truth of God’s Word.
That which is constant is: “Not changing, remaining the same and not unreliable with change in other things.”
That which is reliable is: Accurate; Able to be trusted to do what is expected or what is promised.”
That which is dependable is: able to be trusted and depended upon.
The more you base your life on Truth the better will be your path, the greater will be your way and the brighter your life will be. Dr Edwin Louis Cole
We must build our lives on Truth.
We must invest in the Kingdom with our time, talent and treasure while investing in our lives acquiring knowledge that supplements the Truth of God by investing in books; cd’s; DVD’s; the NLC Leadership Summit and other resources that will inspire Truth in us.
Proper knowledge acquires Truth; Properly understanding interprets Truth and Wisdom properly applies Truth.