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Written by Bill Bradford
The most important things in life are given to us by a great and generous God who has all at His disposal and plenty to go around. But sadly, so many go through life never knowing about one of the greatest freely given gifts -- and one we are told to ask for: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him (James 1:5).
In Proverbs chapter 3, wisdom is compared with the greatest riches one can have. The proceeds from wisdom are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. In fact, the very things people want most in life are missed because they don't seek for wisdom. This same passage of Scripture tells us that length of days, happiness, peace, ways of pleasantness, honour, and riches are all the fruits of seeking wisdom over any earthly riches you may seek (Proverbs 3:13-18).
Wisdom, most of the time coupled with understanding, is knowing how to live according to a way that God set from the beginning. It is His way and, if we lived and operated within His way, there would be these wonderful benefits.
But there is another wisdom that is called "earthly, sensual, and demonic" (James 3:13-18). God is not the author of this kind of wisdom. This kind of wisdom was devised by the current evil ruler of this world, to teach how to get everything people want within his system of values. So we see some prospering and doing well in this world. They understand the value economy of the way by which this world operates. They have learned the rules. We could name a few whom you would know immediately because of their fame but, we have to ask the question: "Are they happy?" Do they have peace? Are they surrounded by their loyal family and friends? What do they have to do to get friends? Is there a contentment that you don't have to grasp for through acceptance and significance? The wrong kind of wisdom may produce silver and gold and importance, but won't produce true happiness. It's a different system.
God's wisdom is counter-intuitive to the average person living in this world, and requires that the powerful expression of emotions do not block out the genuine seeker of wisdom from accessing it. It is more instinctive to blame others for our lack of happiness and grasp for things that won't produce happiness. An undisciplined mind and uncontrolled emotions are the enemies of Godly Wisdom.
We are told that God possessed wisdom before anything was ever created and before He embarked on His great work to have children for Himself. He knew the way to go about it. When God sent Christ, it was a matter of wisdom on His part to accomplish His great purpose -- "Christ, the wisdom of God," as Paul says (I Cor 1:24). He knew His way would work before He even started. So in that sense, wisdom is knowing the end of a matter -- how it will all work out, how it will achieve the results you want to have, because you have followed the right principles that determine outcomes.
We don't naturally have that kind of wisdom. The wisdom of this world has blinded us to the wisdom that is in God and in Christ. Their ways are quite marvellous. We should ask for, indeed, seek for that kind of wisdom from the only source available.
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