HOW TO WALK IN GODLY WISDOM

Previously we had discussed what wisdom is and we can assuredly say that the process of wisdom involves procuring knowledge, discerning the information received and then acting on what we have understood. Let us succinctly look at how we can walk and operate in godly wisdom!

  • KNOWLEDGE AND REVERENCE FOR GOD

Knowledge is a step towards wisdom and the right knowledge is a step towards godly wisdom. This means that in getting knowledge, we must allow it to always pass through the filter of God’s word and this way we are being built correctly. The Bible says in Proverbs 1:7

“To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the LORD. Stupid people have no respect for wisdom and refuse to learn.” 

Knowing God is the first thing to consider when gathering knowledge, this will help us discern certain things. For example, when you understand that God is love, it shapes your response to certain challenges that happen in your life. What you know about God will greatly determine how you interpret life. When we acknowledge God and His precepts, we will see and respond to life situations differently.

Some people think it is childish and senseless to acknowledge God because it doesn’t add up so much to the sense! They seem to think it is wise to stand on neutral ground and never offend anyone with our belief in God, they seem to think it sounds like a fairy tale even when they feel an emptiness and confused about life. The Bible calls them “stupid” not as to sound offensive but because their disregard for God is simply a disregard for Godly wisdom and as long as they don’t open up their heart to learn about God, they will continue wallowing in ignorance thinking they are wise. The Bible says in Psalm 14:1

Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!”

One of the things that lack of reverence for God does to a man is that it also affects how they relate to others. They don’t see anything wrong in unhealthy competition, they see nothing wrong in vengeance, they see forgiveness and humility as weakness and in this way, they are given to corruption and evil actions without remorse because they believe they are not accountable to anyone. The knowledge of God is what enters into a man and begin to drive the man into God’s original purpose for him and when a man begins to apply God’s word, he starts to showcase the new man he has become on the inside. This can’t be possible for someone who doesn’t revere God! In other words, the Bible says elsewhere in Proverbs 9:10

“To be wise you must first have reverence for the LORD. If you know the Holy One, you have understanding.”

Remember, we initially saw that the knowledge of God should come first before any other kind of knowledge and here we see a more profound statement that indicates reverence for God as the principal source of godly wisdom. Reverence for God is a product of the knowledge of God! Read that verse carefully and you will discover that when we know God, we revere Him and when we know God, we receive understanding! I told us initially that the knowledge of God helps us to interpret life correctly and in our previous article, we saw that understanding simply means discernment or correct interpretation of knowledge. The knowledge of God helps us to interpret every other information and here the Bible records that reverence for God which is the beginning of wisdom is a result of the knowledge of God.

This is the longest part of this article because it is key to unlocking every other thing! Jesus said something very important in John 8:32

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

It is not everything you know that becomes a power of freedom for you, it is the truth you know that guarantees your freedom! Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), He is the knowledge we are seeking about God and to know Him is to know God. Now, the knowledge of Jesus is all there is to know about God but then this knowledge also gives us the understanding we need about life in its entirety. The moment we know and revere Him, we are open to the other aspects of the mastery of wisdom. Wisdom isn’t a skill, it is a virtue that God has put in every one of us but this wisdom needs the right knowledge and understanding to be correctly activated. It is the knowledge that determines whether we are functioning by the flawed wisdom of men or by Godly wisdom.

We will be looking at the other accompanying ways we can truly walk in godly wisdom. Our anchor text is James 3:17-18

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

Now let’s take it one after another

  • RIGHTEOUS LIVING

The Greek word used for wisdom in James 3:17 is “Sophia”, this happens to be my favourite female name! This wisdom is identified by its purity! Above all other things, it is first of all pure and that is to say; it is identified by righteous living. To live right is not something you wait for God to force you into, it is something you decide by yourself because you have been empowered from the inside out to live right. We saw earlier that human wisdom is full of greed, self, lust and so on but Godly wisdom is directly the opposite.

 The Bible says in Philippians 2:12-13

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act to fulfil his good purpose.”

The beautiful thing about living right is that God is working in us to produce good fruits and therefore we have no other excuse. When we resist temptations, resist taking of a bribe, resist sexual immorality, help the vulnerable, protect the weak, give to the poor and do various other good things God wants us to do, we are walking in godly wisdom. It only takes reverence (some translations says “fear and trembling”) for God to truly work out the fruits of righteousness already in us.

  • PEACE-LOVING | Gentle, Reasonable & Submissive

God is a lover of peace, the Old Testament may not have captured His peaceful nature so well but when we look at Jesus and how He got along so well with just everyone, we can learn of God’s peace. Jesus accepted everyone, He hated the religious system of that time solely because it was preventing people from coming on to Him! Jesus settled issues, never condemned anyone and even talked the fanatics out of stoning a woman who was caught in adultery. To walk in peace is also to walk in Godly wisdom. It can’t be said to be wisdom when it loves war and death, it can’t be said to be wisdom when it is full of hate. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:14

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord.”

I told us earlier that we are the ones who decide to live right intentionally as God wouldn’t force it on us. In the same manner, the Bible asks us to make every manner of effort to live in peace with everyone. We may be called cowards, we may be regarded as weak but we can still make every effort to stay at peace with all men, whether Muslims, pagans, atheist or people who don’t subscribe to our definition of marriage. As bad as anyone is, the Bible says we should be peace-loving. To be peace-loving means to know how to get along so well with everyone. When we stop being judgmental and start getting along with people, we are walking in Godly wisdom.

Peace is characterized by respecting others, approaching them with gentleness and being reasonable with them You don’t have to agree with anyone to respect them and you don’t have to force your opinion down anyone’s throat. For more insight into this, read my article “4 Tips To Maintaining Positive Impression In A Conversation.”

  • BE MERCIFUL

Throughout the Bible, there are several teachings on the subject of mercy and forgiveness. Godly wisdom demands that we exercise forgiveness at all times. Mercy isn’t just forgiveness, it means compassionate forgiveness. Certain people would forgive you but still have some mean feelings towards you but people who chose to walk in godly wisdom are merciful at all times. I wouldn’t want us to start citing several places in the Bible but let’s take a look at  Luke 6:36

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

God is your father and if you want to operate in His wisdom, you ought to imitate His character. God loved us so much and came in the person of Jesus to pay for our sins, He came even when we never opted to love Him! In the same manner, it is not in human wisdom to show compassion but it is in God’s wisdom to show compassion! You can’t separate God’s wisdom from His mercy. His mercy is an element of His wisdom. The Bible says in Romans 12:2

“Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

There is no mercy in the world, the wisdom of this world only gives guides to vengeance but we can act like God by allowing Him to transform the way we think by learning God’s word! This is how to walk in Sophia! We already have God’s wisdom in us as believers but we can only bring it into reality by walking in the examples God has set for us.

  • DON’T DISCRIMINATE

Throughout the life of Jesus, we see something very spectacular! Jesus never discriminated between the despised Samaritans and Jews, Jesus never discriminated against people because of where they come from because He didn’t see anyone through the lens of the world. This is God’s wisdom! We don’t have to treat people based on where they were born or what they were born into. The Bible says in Acts 15:9

God doesn’t discriminate between Jewish and non-Jewish people. He has cleansed non-Jewish people through faith as he has cleansed us Jews.”

If we are God’s children, why not act like God? Why discriminate people because of their weakness? Why discriminate people because of gender? In Leviticus 19:34, we see God give them a law that expressed who He is. He said to them

You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”

This is God’s desire; that we see people as He sees them! Whether rich, whether poor, whether black or white, whether male or female, God wants us to treat people equally and rightly regardless of the experiences we have had with anyone in the past. When we walk in Godly wisdom among men, the Bible says we will reap a harvest of righteousness because we walk in peace. God’s wisdom is portrayed so much in peace and love. The Message translation puts it this way

“…You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honour.”

The harvest of righteousness is the result we get from being peaceful with others. Our actions go a long way to develop a community that lives right with God. It is not easy to get along with others, it is not easy to treat others with dignity and honour especially in the face of disagreements but we can always do this when we keep allowing God’s word to transform us and change our minds.

  • ASK FOR WISDOM

You can ask for wisdom if you feel you lack it! One way God answers such prayers is to reveal more and more of His word to you until it becomes part of your consciousness, this goes beyond your understanding. The Bible says in James 1:5-6

“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. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

What does the Bible mean when it says “if any of you lacks wisdom…?” The Message translation says “If you don’t know what you’re doing…” Remember I wrote earlier that wisdom is the practice of already discerned knowledge, it is the right application of knowledge when it is necessary and where it is necessary. Now the Bible is saying “when you are finding it hard to apply wisdom or when it seems you struggle to do the right thing, you should ask God for the ability.” Wisdom is a gift from God and you can receive it if you ask for it.

Knowing so much of the Bible isn’t an indication that you are wise, it is when you properly act on that knowledge that wisdom is expressed. So, it isn’t out of place to always ask for the manifestation of God’s strength through you in doing the word and doing the right things at the right time. Wisdom is not an assumption, it is not about thinking that we know everything. When we pray for God’s wisdom, we are simply discarding our understanding and leaning on God’s understanding. There are times you just don’t know what to do because your understanding isn’t enough. At times like this, you can pray to God for wisdom. Praying for wisdom simply means you are putting your trust in God and not leaning on your understanding. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.”

You can walk in godly wisdom today! It isn’t about sounding intelligent, it isn’t about saying great stuff, it is also about living like Jesus and showing the world the love of God in the way they have never seen it before. Walk in the wisdom of God today! Let “Sophia” become a literal part of your everyday expression!

God bless you!