The Pursuit of Wisdom
During my sabbatical I had 5 pillars that I lived by to help shape my days and decisions. What were the 5 pillars? That’s for another post one day! Yet, one of them was to pursue wisdom.
Our life is full of decisions every single day. The decisions range from small to large, from seemingly inconsequential to life altering. What breakfast am I going to eat this morning to what college am I going to attend? What am I going to wear to who am I going to marry? What breakfast taco am I going to order (I’m an Austinite…the struggle is real) to how many kids are we going to have?
Statistics vary but it’s estimated that adults make roughly 35,000 decisions a day! Hold on, I’m not sure you registered what I just wrote. Adults make THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND decisions a day.
Adults make 35,000 decisions a day!
I don’t know about you, but with all these decisions I’m in desperate need for some wisdom in my life. It was the Apostle Paul that wrote, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
Not only are we making decisions, but we’re in a spiritual war that is raging around us. Sin is tempting us to make bad decisions, it’s crouching at our door ready to attack and Satan is prowling like a lion waiting to devour you.
We need some wisdom in our life. Wisdom to fight, walk in righteousness and make every day decisions.
7 Ways to Seek Wisdom
The question is not do we need wisdom, but how do we get wisdom?
Proverbs, the book of wisdom, says we must seek after it. We must look for it as silver and search for it as for hidden treasure.
So here are 7 ways to look, seek and search for wisdom in your life.
1. Fear the Lord – it’s the beginning of wisdom. We must start here. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). What does it mean to fear the Lord? It means to have a holy reverence, or respect for Him. It’s similar to the healthy fear you have of animals that are behind cages at the zoo. There is a reason there are cages at the lion exhibit. Lewis described this in The Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe when he wrote, “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” God is good, but he’s the king who deserves our reverence.
The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom – Proverbs 9:10
2. Read & Obey the Bible – Jesus says that the wise man who builds his house on the rock hears his words and obeys them (Matt. 7:24). We would do well to read, hear & obey the words of God in the scriptures. It’s in the scriptures where we find the path of wisdom God desires for us to walk and the principles we use to make decisions.
3. Prayer & Listening – it’s through prayer and listening that we intimately connect with God. In prayer we can gain clarity of thought and gain insight into decisions we need to make. Maybe it comes through a peace or calm. Maybe we feel a gentle nudging. I don’t know…maybe you’ll get thrown into a trance and learn some stuff about pigs (Acts 10). *Disclaimer: It usually doesn’t work that way, but it’s happened before so I won’t say that it won’t!*
4. Know Your Design – this is vitally important to making wise decisions. If you aren’t great at math, maybe you shouldn’t become a math teacher. If you don’t like blood then maybe being a surgeon isn’t in the cards. When we genuinely know ourselves – our strengths, weaknesses, and preferences – it allows us to make better decisions. You are God’s poem (Eph. 2:10) that he fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139) to do a certain task that he prepared for you (Eph. 2:10). Embrace your design and walk proudly into the destiny God has for you.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them – Ephesians 2:10
5. Wise Counsel – Scripture speaks to the importance of wise counsel. “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (Prov. 11:14). Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Prov. 15:22). “Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.” (Prov. 20:18). Have some people in your life that you trust and respect to give you wise counsel.
6. Opportunity – what opportunities are in front of you? Yes, sometimes you have to go create a new opportunity and bust the door down, but more often than not God is going to be working through the options he gives you. Often, when I’m counseling students who are trying to decide which college to go to, I tell them they should go to one of the one’s they got accepted into!
7. Do What You Want. – There is a paraphrase from Augustine that states, “Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.” What he was seemingly trying to communicate is that if you are loving the Lord with all heart, soul and mind you will more often than not be taking steps in the right direction.
Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.” – Augustine
Let us seek wisdom. She is calling out in the streets and if we listen she will pour out her spirit and make her words known to us (Prov. 1:23).