In today’s world, man has become wise in surviving and even thriving by trusting societal expectations and pursuing earthly desires, which are based upon superficiality, materialism, and self-interest. People have learned to trust in themselves, and not in God.
What Is Spiritual Wisdom?
However, by His grace, God offers His children revelation and understanding of His ways that far exceed the values and priorities of this earthly realm.
By abiding in God’s Word, trusting Him, and infusing ourselves with the strength He provides, we can enjoy fulfilling, joyful lives, free from the pressures and expectations of a broken world — all to His glory.
What Does the Bible Say about Spiritual Wisdom?
There are numerous references to spiritual wisdom in the Bible. However, some of the clearest definitions of spiritual wisdom can be found in Paul’s epistles.
In a letter to the Christians at Colossae, Paul defines what spiritual wisdom means to a follower of Christ:
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:9-12).
Paul additionally prayed that the church in Ephesus would receive spiritual understanding and grow in the knowledge of God: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17).
As the New Testament was written in Greek, the “knowledge” epignōsis that Paul refers to can be translated as “precise and correct knowledge” or “the knowledge of things ethical and divine.”
Paul desired that the Ephesians know God for He was, without corruptive influences that could taint this knowledge.
James also defines spiritual wisdom in his book: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13).
The importance of living by spiritual wisdom can also be found in Psalms: “Teach me your way, Lord, That l may rely on Your faithfulness: Give me an undivided heart, That l may fear Your name” (Psalm 86:11).
Biblical Characters Who Displayed Great Spiritual Wisdom
Solomon is well known amongst all the heroes of the Bible for his wisdom. In Proverbs 4:7, he stresses the importance of seeking spiritual wisdom: “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”
How did Solomon become so wise? He asked God for spiritual wisdom!
Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So, give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours? (1 Kings 3:7-9).
Solomon was aware of the immense responsibility he was undertaking as King of Israel, especially as his predecessor was his father, David. Solomon knew that he could only govern his new realm successfully if he abided by God’s commands and made decisions according to God’s will, not his own.
Not only did God grant Solomon his request, but He also lavished him with wealth, respect, and a long, successful reign as king of a united Israel. God granted Solomon these additional gifts, as he did not ask for them.
Yes, God gave more than what Solomon had asked for because his heart was set on pleasing God and abiding by his ways, not on gaining material wealth and personal glory!
Solomon was considered the greatest of all of Israel’s kings: He expanded Israel’s borders immensely, he wrote the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon, and he built the Temple.
Of course, Solomon’s wisdom was renowned and even drew royalty such as the Queen of Sheba to his throne to hear his wise words.
In 1 Kings 10:23, it states, “King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.”
One of the most well-known examples of Solomon’s acts of wisdom can be found in 1 Kings 3:16-28, where two women came before the King to claim possession over the same baby.
A Lack of Spiritual Wisdom Turns Man into Fools
Though Solomon is considered to be the wisest of all the biblical heroes, in his later years, he turned away from the gift of spiritual wisdom that God had given him and instead chose to trust in the wisdom of the world.
Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter for political gain, he levied heavy taxes and used indentured labor to accomplish his means, and he acquired 700 additional wives and 300 concubines who worshipped idols, which led him to worship other gods and build high places for them.
As a result, Solomon died a fool and God told him that He would divide Israel in two during his son’s reign (1 Kings 11:11-13).
Solomon’s life is a perfect example of how using spiritual wisdom can result in a God-centered life, rich in fulfillment and the abundance of God’s blessings and mercies, and how rejecting the gift of spiritual wisdom can turn a man into a fool and ruin his life and that of his progeny.
Can We Ask God for More Spiritual Wisdom?
When we enter into a relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to reside in us, and with it, the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
However, these Fruits are in seed form: Just like a plant needs light and nutrients to grow and bloom, so too, do we need to fertilize these spiritual attributes to grow and mature as a Christian.
Asking God for more spiritual wisdom to aid us in our faith walk and mature in the Fruits of the Spirit is something that He is overjoyed to give us.
James writes in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Additionally, in Acts 10:34, it states that God does not show favoritism. Therefore, if Solomon can ask God for more spiritual wisdom, then so can we!
How Can I Gain More Spiritual Wisdom?
In order to gain more spiritual wisdom, we have to first desire it, which essentially means desiring a close relationship with God. The more we know God and His ways, the more victory we will have in our daily lives, and the more we will live a life that is pleasing to Him.
How do we become closer to God? By spending time with Him alone in prayer, reflection, and supplication. This includes studying the Bible and doing our best to implement its lessons and encouragement into our daily lives.
There are numerous online Bible studies that are available to help you understand the Word more thoroughly, as well as books you can buy.
Spiritual Wisdom for Christians Today
In 2020, COVID-19, racial injustice, and political corruption exposed the fragility of this world, revealed the inability of man to show kindness to his brother, and evoked a futile hope for the future.
In such unprecedented times, it is more important than ever for us as believers to not only receive the spiritual wisdom that God so freely gives us and use it to lead fulfilling faith-filled lives, but to also help bring this broken world out of the darkness of hate, self-interest, and despair by showing mankind the light of God’s love, mercy, and grace.
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Madeline Kalu is a Christian writer and the co-founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog. She was born in England but currently lives in Germany with her husband, Solomon. As a response to the fear, anxiety, and despair generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacob’s Ladder Blog has written a free EBook titled “More than Conquerors through Christ” to encourage, strengthen, and give hope in the midst of this pandemic. You can download the EBook or read it online at www.jacobsladderblog.com.