Acquiring Wisdom

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While the world defines wisdom as the right use of knowledge and information, godly wisdom means we have the capacity to see things from God’s viewpoint and respond according to scriptural principles. Dr. Stanley shares the several ways in which we can increase in godly wisdom.



start your day off right with the free in touch devotional subscribe today In touch with Dr. Charles Stanley celebrating 45 years of God’s faithfulness and sharing the gospel worldwide. Next on in touch acquiring wisdom. Well we have come from the agricultural age to industrial age and now information age, we’ve got more information than we know how to deal with. Some of it’s good, some of it’s not so good, but there’s plenty of it. In fact, if you want to know anything about anybody, all you have to do is sit on the computer, you can tell where they live what the house looks like. In fact, you can tell more things about more people than more people want you to know about themselves. And so there’s no secrecy and no privacy, there’s a crazy mixed up age in which we live lots and lots of information, but there’s one thing missing and that is while there’s plenty of information and all kinds of knowledge, there’s a great absence of wisdom because you see we don’t have the wisdom to be able to handle that kind of knowledge, it seems look where we are as a nation, Look where we are as individuals, many people can boast of their knowledge and education and degrees, but a very unwise in the way they live out their life. Would you consider yourself a wise person or would you say well, I’m wise about some things, not very wise about others. Wisdom is very important and what I want you to see in this message is this not only how important it is, but how to acquire wisdom? Because there are many verses in the scripture that encourage us to be wise, Not a lot of scriptures that encourage us to have a lot of information about things. And a person can be very educated and make a disaster of their life very famous. Make a disaster of their life. Great position and authority and power and make an absolute disaster of their life. Would you consider yourself a wise person? Well, in the book of proverbs, God tells us exactly how to acquire wisdom. So I want you to turn if you will to the second chapter and let’s look at that for a moment and you want us to read these 1st 1st 7 verses of this second chapter of proverbs, he says, my son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you. Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding. For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding. If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. But the Lord gives wisdom from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright. He is a shield of those who walk in integrity now. So what is wisdom? Well, the world would say, It’s the right use of knowledge and information. But the issue that you and I want to answer is this what is Godly wisdom, Godly wisdom is the capacity to see things from God’s viewpoint and look and respond according to the principles of scripture. Godly wisdom is to be able to see things to view things from God’s viewpoint, the way he sees them and then to respond to them on the basis of scriptural principles, a lot of difference in that in the world’s wisdom. So when we think about that, we think about the whole idea that is how does a person become wise? It is a process, It is both a process and the result. It is a process because it takes time to become wise, it is a result because we learn and become wise by the results we see in decisions that we make and decisions that other people make. If I should ask you today, would you be considered a wise person, what would you say? Well, you could look around and say, well I’ve made this good decision, That good decision, but have you made the most important decision in your life where you will spend eternity? Who is going to be the God of your life? How are you going to invest your life? What are you gonna do with it? In other words, there’s some questions that demand far greater knowledge and understanding that man’s human wisdom. So when we think about understanding God’s ways and seeing things from his point of view. How do we acquire wisdom? So what I’d like to do is to give you a number of steps and if you will follow these steps you will become a wiser person. And so let’s start with the first one that is we acquire wisdom by seeking it. That’s step number one. If you don’t want to be wise, you don’t have to be wise, you don’t have to seek wisdom. So when it comes to seeking wisdom, does that mean that I just sort of think about it once in a while. I’ll read the scripture once in a while but dill or diligently diligently seek it? That is God. Give me wisdom. Show me how to be a wise person. If I understand the value of wisdom, I’ll seek it. If I don’t understand the value of it, I will not seek it. It is the great defense that is a person who is wise will avoid many pitfalls in their life because they understand what that word means. It’s getting God’s viewpoint about the circumstances of life and then responding according to principles that God’s given to us in his word. So think about this and be honest about it. When is the last time you ever thought about seeking wisdom? Is that nebulous to you? Or do you see it as something very, very definite, very solid, very clear and very divine wisdom. Godly wisdom is your greatest possession. You can have all the gold and all the jewels and all the things that scripture mentions without wisdom, you’re gonna make terrible mistakes and you can make the ultimate mistake by being so unwise as to reject jesus christ the son of God who went to the cross and laid down his life, paying your sin debt in mind in full opening heaven for us for all eternity. You die without christ is the most unwise thing you could possibly do. But you say well I’m I’m I’m gonna make it. No you’re not. I’ll tell you why without jesus christ, the word of God says you will not. That’s the word of God. That’s not human reasoning. That’s the word of God. You have to decide whether you’re gonna take his word for it or believe somebody else. You must you must pursue wisdom. Think about it what a part it plays in your life. It determines your success or disaster and whatever you do. But that’s the second one. That’s this. We acquire wisdom by meditating on God’s word. You say what you mean to tell me that if I read the word of God, I’m gonna be wise. Well let’s think about what happens when you read the word of God. When you focus on God’s word and you read it, your eyes see it, your ears, hear it, your mind for example, perceives it and what happens it becomes a part of you. What is the word of God. It’s the mind of God written on paper. It’s it’s the mind of God, it’s the ways of God. It’s the purpose and plans of God. It’s all here and so therefore, if I began to meditate upon God’s word, something’s gonna happen, it’s gonna have its effect in my life. Look, if you will in chapter four and beginning in verse 10, he says, here, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom. I have led you an upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded and if you run, you will not stumble, take hold of instruction that is and is master enthusiastically pursue it. Take hold of instruction. Do not let go guard her, for she is your life. How many times have you heard me say? You should begin every day with asking God to give you direction for your life by reading the word of God. One of the wisest things you can do before you ever get out of bed every morning is asked God to give you wisdom. We all need wisdom that is we all need God’s viewpoint about our actions and about our plans and how we live our life because we don’t know what’s going to happen. And therefore if we’re operating on the basis of wisdom, God will give us direction and clear guidance for our life. He says, he will, he was willing to give us wisdom. And so when I when I think about that, I think about of all the sources of it. Listen to what the scripture says in the fifth chapter of proverbs verse one, My Son give attention to my wisdom and climb your ear to my understanding that is give your give your attention to the word of God. Now notice what the definition is we said. Godly wisdom is what it’s getting God’s viewpoint. Let me ask you a question, What is it in your life about what you do not need his viewpoint? Nothing. We need his viewpoint about everything. And then listen, not only getting his viewpoint, but then responding to God’s viewpoint. So where do I get his viewpoint in the word of God, then there’s a third way we acquire wisdom by obeying the principles of scripture. It isn’t it isn’t enough just to have knowledge and understanding, you can have you can have biblical knowledge, but if you do not act upon that in a while, if you do not act upon that from God’s perspective, then that then you’re not going to be wise. It’s from the word of God, obeying these principles. Notice what he said he said, He gives wisdom to the upright living by the principles and turn if you will to the eighth chapter for a moment, and look if you will in this eighth chapter. And uh the 33rd verse, he says he’d instruction and be wise, look at that, he’d instruction that is paid close attention to instruction and be wise. Do not neglected. Blessed is the man who listens to me watching daily at my gates. That is as you. And I listened to the Lord speak to our heart in his word, obeying his principles, heeding his instruction any time you and I need divine direction about any question about life. It is all right here. Wise men and women are in the word listening to God obeying God’s word and watching the awesome consequences. Then of course we acquire wisdom by praying for it. And of all the many verses in the book of proverbs, the emphasis is not on praying, but I want you to turn to James for a moment and look in this first chapter because here’s the clearest verse you can find about wisdom, he says in verse five of James one. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all generously. He’s not a chichi he gives it generously and without reproach, not gonna come back at you and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith. And that whole passage is about that. So we gain wisdom by asking that for most people they practice this. Well, I’m going to ask God to give me wisdom just asking for it does not get it. Watch this. It is asking obeying and watching the consequences, observing the consequences. And if I could just say one word I said over and over and over again, wisdom comes not only through gaining knowledge but observing what happens when you respond in obedience. And when you respond in disobedience and all of us who believe us know that that principle is absolutely essential, but not just essentially, it’s a divine law of God. Wisdom is a gift from God and we should pursue it, seek after it. Ask for it. Get in the word of God asking God to show us from his word how he would like us to operate the basis of his goodness and love and mercy told us. Then of course we acquire wisdom by observing how God works in the world. And if you will go to uh proverbs 66, many people know this verse. At least they know about it because he says in the sixth chapter of proverbs in the sixth verse, go to the Antos slugger old lazy person observe her ways and be wise. Which having no chief officer or ruler prepare her food in the summer, gather her provisions in the harvest. How long will you lie down? Oh, Slugger! When would you arise from your sleep? A little sleep? A little slumber. A little folding of the hands to rest your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man. Here’s what he’s saying, Look around, how does God operate in the world and it doesn’t make any difference. How much knowledge we have, the issue is how does God operate? And he’s giving the ant for example. Well, look around you, people who are lazy for example, then they wonder here’s what they do. They want to blame somebody. People who are lazy usually want to blame somebody and things aren’t going their way, it’s his fault, her fault, their fault, but never my fault, wisdom, seeing things from God’s viewpoint now listen, he says he’s willing to give it, he’s going to store it up for us, whatever it is, we can have wisdom if we want it, but we don’t get wisdom simply by asking. And we don’t get wisdom by carelessly reading the word of God, but about reading it and asking God to help us to observe the results of this action, that action and the other. And so we talk about how God works in the world. Well, for example, look at your friends, look at the people you work with has God working in their life. You see somehow the devil has deceived so many people into believing they are an exception to the laws of God. I’ll tell you why, because at the moment everything’s going their way. They’re healthier. They’re this, they’re that they have all these things. And so they think, you know what, that’s what you believe. That’s not what that’s not what I believe here’s what I want you to see. And I want to say that again and again and again, you cannot violate the principles, the laws, the word of God and escape the consequences which are devastating in a person’s life. You cannot. Then, of course, we become wise by heeding godly counsel. Let me make something very clear. If you go into a counselor, be very, very wise about who this counselor is, not simply by what you heard. I want to give you a few verses of scripture. Here, look at the 12th chapter of proverbs, and let’s look at the 15th verse. Notice what he says here, 12 15. Listen to this. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he listen carefully. Is he who listens to counsel Godly counsel people who want to know the ways of God and the work of God, how he operates? Look in the 13th chapter and the 20th first, he who walks with wise men, will be wise. But the Companion of Fools will suffer harm. Look, if you will, in the 10th first, Through insolence comes nothing but strife. But why listen, wisdom is with those who receive counsel? 15th Chapter. Look at this for a moment. 15 Chapter and the 31st 1st, listen to what he says. He whose air listens to the life giving reproof will dwell among the wise he who neglects discipline, despises himself. But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. And so when you think about council, let me ask you a question. If somebody, if somebody said to you, well, here’s what I think. What would determine whether you did what they said or not simply because they said it or because they’re wise in their decision making process. And many people are very willing and very quickly willing to give you advice and counsel. But one of the first things you should do is look at their lifestyle, find out what’s the basis of their counsel. Is it because of something they learned in university? Or is it because they understand the word of God? They understand the principles by which God intends every single one of us to live our life. The last one is simply this. We acquire wisdom by associating with the wise read that passage a few moments ago in the 13th chapter. If a person really and truly wants to be wise, look at the 13th chapter and uh the 20th verse, he who walks with the wise man will be wise. But the companion of fools will suffer harm. Do you believe that? Did it? Listen? Everybody has friends and listen. Uh and some people are tremendous friends, very sensitive to their friendships and so forth. So the scripture says, if I want to be wise, I’ll run with the wise people. If I want to be foolish, I’d run with them. This is really very simple. It’s all in the word of God. All I’ve done is just read you some verses of scripture. So think about this wisdom which is seeing things from God’s viewpoint and obeying the principles of scripture, which is principles that God has placed in the word, that’s what wisdom is all about. And the questions you have to ask is do I want to be a wise person? Because these are just seven steps, all of which will make you a wise person if you take it seriously. But it all begins with your relationship to God. Through his son, jesus, christ you say, you mean to tell me that a person who is not a christian is not wise. Absolutely. I’m saying I’ll tell you why because if you intend to go to heaven, you’re gonna have to confront jesus. He said, I am the way the truth and the life no man comes to the father, but by me, that’s the son of God who went to the cross voluntarily laid down his life, shed his blood in order to save me and to save you. It would be foolish for me to doubt him because I have no evidence for doubting him the whole word of God from genesis on the web that the crucifixion is leading to it and they’re all that’s thereafter is the fulfillment of the promises of God. To say that a person is wise who’s not a christian. No, they’re not wise, There are ultimate devastating eternal consequences to living your life without the Lord do it now because time is running out, well Tom is running out and if you think about it, that’s one of the reasons you ought to be wise enough to get your life straightened out, turning it over to jesus christ, let him forgive you, cleanse you, start you all over again. If you are wise you will and I think about it in this light. If I want to be wise, I have to make a decision. For example, if you’re gonna be saved from your sins, you have to make a decision today. I will trust the Lord jesus christ as my personal savior and from this moment on I want to live for him. If I want to be a wise man, I want to make a decision today I’m gonna follow the teachings of the Word of God because I know they’re true and I know God will enable me, I know he will strengthen me, I know he will defend me. I know he will help me. In every circumstance. I’m gonna be wise, follow his guidance, his direction, his counsel, Let me put it this way with all the love in my heart. It is foolish and fatal to reject the Lord jesus christ and the word of God and the proof of that is look around you and see what’s happening to people who do

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ABOUT DR.CHARLESSTANLEY Dr. Charles F. Stanley joined the staff of First Baptist Church of Atlanta in 1969 and became senior pastor in 1971. In 1982, Stanley...

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