WISDOM: YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT
— Olu Taiwo
A young ensign, after nearly completing his first overseas cruise, was given an opportunity to display his capabilities at getting the ship under way.
With a stream of commands, he had the decks buzzing with men and soon the ship was steaming out the channel en route to the States.
His efficiency established a new record for getting a destroyer under way, and he was not surprised when a seaman approached him with a message from the captain he was a bit surprised, though, to find it a radio and even more surprised to read: ‘My personal congratulations upon completing your under way preparation exercise according to the book and with amazing speed.’
‘In your haste, however, you have overlooked one of the unwritten rules—make sure the captain is aboard before getting under way.’
James Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited.
(Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p.487.
It could be said that many of us approach life, ministry, relationships, businesses etc with amazing speed. However, is it possible that we are neglecting the most important element of all?
It does not matter how fast you run if you are running in the wrong direction. Wisdom is the navigational tool that guides us to our God-given destiny.
Proverbs 24:3 “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established.”
Proverbs 4:5-7,8 read:
“Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
“Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor when thou dost embrace her.”
Notice the Bible does not say that wisdom is essential even though it is. Instead we are told that wisdom is the principal thing. This means do not leave home without it! Wisdom is supreme. Our lives will never rise above the level of our wisdom. The state of our lives today is a reflection of the application of wisdom or the lack thereof.
There are three levels of insights:
1. Knowledge: this is the acquisition of facts. Therefore, it is possible to have a Ph.D. degree and lack wisdom resulting in a defeated life. On the other hand, it is also possible to possess mere street smarts coupled with wisdom and get amazing results.
2. Understanding: this is the ability to ‘see’ how facts relate to one another. It goes beyond mere knowledge. On this level things make sense. You know the ‘why’ and have a ‘know-how’ of the operation of a thing. It is on this level that mastery begins. You cannot fully take possession of something you do not understand. Until you understand it, you do not own it.
3. Wisdom: this is the intelligent and skillful application of knowledge. This is the highest form of insight. However, your wisdom will always flow from your level of understanding.
So how do we obtain understanding and wisdom?
1. By Prayer: Colossians 1:9-10, Ephesians 1:16-18. James 1:5
The bible tells us that God is the source of wisdom. We have the privilege of asking Him for it.
2. By the Word of God.
“ The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.”
Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous and thou shalt have good success.”
The degree of success we have in life is dependent on the degree of insights we have from God’s Word. And the vehicle of meditation on God’s Word is crucial in this endeavor.
3.Through Human guides: Ephesians 4:8-11, Proverbs 4:20.
Proverbs 11:14 states in the Amplified bible
“where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
There are people all around us who have gotten to the place we are aspiring to be. They possess a wealth of insights that we can benefit from. We will be wise to be humble enough to realize the importance of their counsel.
4. Through the Holy Spirit: 1st Corinthians 2: 1-10, Ephesians 1:17, John 16:12-13.
The Holy Spirit is our ultimate help, His role cannot be overemphasized.
However, without the previous three others we’ve mentioned there is little help He can render. We must be pro-active for the Holy Spirit to help us.
By the end of the year, where we are will be predicated upon the level of wisdom we applied in the previous months. It is our responsibility to seek wisdom like never before. Nobody else can do it for us!