God has made it possible for us to grow into who He designed us to become. As Peter noted in 2 Peter 1:3, God's divine power (which is imparted to us through our knowledge of Jesus) has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness. But the promise is a process, a journey. And it begins by praying for guidance, in this case, asking God for wisdom.
- “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.”—James 1:5
Wisdom, as defined in the Oxford dictionary, is the quality of having knowledge, experience, and good judgment. Someone walking in godly wisdom, however, understands life’s connections. It isn’t just about having information. It is understanding how that information connects to life. So, when asking God for wisdom, you are asking God to start making connections for you in your thoughts and experiences and connecting those to His plans and purposes.
As James wrote in James 1:5, God is willing to give wisdom liberally to anyone who asks. By asking God for wisdom, you're requesting Him to empower you with spiritual insight. This will set you on a path leading you to your God-given purpose.
Principle 1. Prudence
In asking God for wisdom, you must prepare to make changes in your life. It might call for changing your path and taking a different one, for your path determines the place you end up. For instance, Simon Peter and his brother, Andrew, may have been born to be fishermen. But it wasn't until Jesus called them (Matthew 4:18-19) that He recruited them into their God-ordained kind of fishing–fishing for men.
In the same way, Jesus called Simon and Andrew out of their path into the path God had planned for them. He has also availed His Word and Holy Spirit to direct you to your right path. You only need to be obedient to His Word and attentive when the Spirit directs. As prophesied in Isaiah 30:21, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.”
Knowing What is Wrong and Right
Essentially, the Word of God teaches us what is wrong and right. With the knowledge of God's Word guiding us, and the Holy Spirit keeping us firmly on track, we have what it takes to lead lives that align with God's plans and purposes.
But sometimes, the temptation to pursue momentary pleasures can be very alluring. It could be a financial decision that would bring instant gratification, but in the back of your mind, you know it might plunge you into a financial crisis later (e.g., buying a car you can barely afford on credit). For other people, it might be pursuing a relationship that's contrary to what God wants for you just because it feels good right now.
As Proverbs 27:12 cautions, “The prudent man foresees evil and hides himself.” Walking in wisdom requires prudent choices and decisions as they help you remain firmly on the right path.
In asking God for wisdom, you need to understand the power of repentance. Repenting involves changing your thought system and reevaluating your life. In other words, you must propose to ditch your current ways and choose a different path because your path determines where you end up.
Principle 2. Problem
One common hindrance to finding wisdom is that we're often convinced we're on the right path, even when we're living in rebellion. Maybe you're aware of others who have taken the same path and ended up paying dearly. But somehow, you feel like you're the exception to the rule. Thus, you persist on the wrong path, convinced you'll make it through.
Sadly, what this does is block wisdom. As mentioned earlier, asking God for wisdom requires you to repent, i.e., acknowledge you're on the wrong path and make a deliberate decision to change how you live.
However, despite how deep you're into the wrong path, there's always a chance to make a turnaround and start living right. God extends forgiveness and realignment to anyone desiring to walk on the path of wisdom.
Even if you feel like you're too deep and beyond repair, His grace is enough. He can direct your path and redeem whatever seems to be lost. Sometimes the conviction, guilt, and shame might be overwhelming. However, Romans 5:8 reminds us that God's forgiveness is not influenced by our deeds but His love for us. He sent His Son to die for us while we were still sinners.
Essentially, asking for God's wisdom requires you to pay attention to the warning signs, repent for being adamantly disobedient, start taking a new direction, and be faithful in following that direction.
Principle 3. Promise
While deliberating about all this, it's important to keep in mind God's promise. Sometimes people think they have strayed so far and beyond God's mercies. Maybe you feel like if God cared about you, He could have stopped you from wrecking your life. Nonetheless, how far you've strayed or how much you've wrecked your life doesn't change God's love for you. Nor should you feel overburdened by guilt or the need to find your way back to Him.
God is ready to hold your hand, redirect, redeem, and reshape you. He's ready to guide you on the right path. He might never interfere with your freedom to make decisions for your life. However, as a caring Father, He will always ping your conscience to warn you whenever you veer off course.
Key Takeaway: Asking God for Wisdom
Your path determines your place. You can make a promise, and you can have a plan, but if you aren't faithful to your plan and ask God for wisdom, the place you end up in will only be a reflection of the path you are on.
- Prudence keeps you firmly on the right path
- Persisting in the wrong path blocks God's wisdom
- You're not beyond God's love and mercy