Proverbs 4:7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom:”
As a follow-up from Sunday’s message, “Together we seek wisdom,” here are 5 ways we can seek wisdom together. (If you missed Sunday's message, go back and listen before diving in here!)
1. Ask God for wisdom in the midst of suffering.
James 1:2, 5 (ESV) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Our youngest daughter, Ellie, is suffering from skin issues stemming from food allergies. It is painful for us to see her suffering in such a way, but at the same time we are asking God for wisdom in how to deal with it. This has led me and my wife, Jaye, down a long road of learning about nutrition and diet. The result is that Ellie will eventually be healthier AND so will our whole family as we learn to eat better quality foods together as a family. This wouldn’t have happened without the motivating force of suffering in the lives of one of our family members and the wisdom God gave us through it.
2. Study God’s Word
2 Timothy 3:16–17 (ESV) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Do you have a Time, Place, and Plan for your devotion time with God? If you are not filling your mind with the knowledge of God, then you can’t expect to exercise the wisdom of God. If there is no knowledge of God from His Word, that means you are left with your default sinful nature that relies on the flesh for wisdom. This always ends up in chaos and every kind of evil practice.
3. Walk in Gospel community
Proverbs 11:14 (ESV) Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
There is such a strong tendency to live solely as individuals in our modern, Western culture and avoid true gospel community. God designed His church to live in community and when we do, the benefits for discovering wisdom from one another multiply immensely.
Not only that, but we move from knowledge (facts about God and His Word) to wisdom (relating God’s Word to everyday life) best when we are in gospel community. Bible studies are good, but we can’t stop there; ultimately we have to exercise wisdom by being “doers of the Word, and not hearers only,” (James 1:22). In other words, living life in gospel community with others gives us a great opportunity to be on mission together as we seek the wisdom of God about how to make disciples who make disciples.
This is the very reason we will be transitioning our Groups to Missional Communities. We don’t want to follow a church fad, a new church program, or pile more obligations onto our church Partners (all tendencies resulting from exercising man’s wisdom). We want to seek God’s wisdom together in community to follow Jesus' commands to be a witness and to make disciples. Wisdom would say to look at Jesus’ life and imitate how he was on mission and made disciples. He did it in community, with intentionality, and Holy Spirit empowerment. That’s wisdom and that’s our hope for Missional Communities.
4. Learn the gospel so you can apply it to your life with wisdom.
1 Corinthians 15:1–2 (ESV) Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
The gospel - the good news of who Jesus is and what he did - is not just the good news of how to be saved, but it is also the good news of how to “stand” and continue “being saved” as Paul told the Corinthians (see above Scripture). If we don’t know the information of the gospel, we can’t relate it into wisdom. At the same time, if we merely know the information, but don’t see the need to connect it to everyday life, we won’t relate it to wisdom either.
Do you know the gospel? Can you relate it to your life? It is almost impossible to do this outside of community. Ask the Lord to help you understand a gospel-centric life.
5. Pray individually and pray in community.
Mark 11:24 (ESV) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Again, do you have any sort of plan to pray on a daily basis? One of the most profitable things I discovered years ago was keeping a prayer journal. When writing down your prayers, you can better concentrate on prayer rather than drift off into thinking about all the stuff you have to do that day. Not only that, you can go back in your journal and see the hand of God moving in your life as he has answered so many of your prayers. As Paul Miller says, “I manage my life through prayer.” We should too because it’s the essence of God dependency. Also remember this: God reads your prayer journal every day - now that’s encouraging!
It is so encouraging to pray WITH people. Especially when the Lord comes through in a big way for someone with whom you have been praying. It is a “faith builder” and leads you and those you’ve been praying with into worshipful gratitude! Talk about relating to God in a special way: pray together and watch Him move.
When we seek, and find wisdom, the result is happiness.
Proverbs 3:13 “Happy is the man who finds wisdom”
Tim Bice is the lead elder and teaching pastor at Greenbriar Church.