What’s the wisest thing you’ve ever done? This was a question I felt God was asking me. I love it when God asks me a question. He, of course, already knows the answer. Like any good teacher, He wants me to discover the answer and own it for myself.
Although I thought of other answers, I dismissed them and answered, “Nothing I’ve done has been wise, except making the decision to follow You with my entire spirit, soul and body.”
In the silence that followed I could just picture Father God sitting on His throne Heaven with His feet propped on the footstool of the earth1 smiling at me. It was then I knew. My word for 2016 is wisdom.
For the last three years towards the beginning of the New Year, God has given me a word, one which in some way sets the tone for the year. Each words builds on the word for the next year.
Wisdom is a come-up-higher word. It’s a word which says God is ready to impart new truth to me. I admit the word wisdom scared me, like I was expected to all of a sudden have wisdom. However, I want God’s wisdom, I want to learn new truths. I don’t have to be wise because I have the Holy Spirit and He is wise.
Favor Follows Wisdom
God’s question to me about the wisest thing I’ve done was followed by a statement. This statement has been playing on repeat over and over in my mind for over a week. “Favor follows wisdom.”
At first I had no inkling of what it meant. I only knew I wanted God’s favor and if I need to obtain wisdom in order to get it, then I must go on a quest for wisdom.
God’s Word, of course, has all the wisdom I need. “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”2
In these verses, He tells me there are stipulations for gaining wisdom. My faith has to be in God and in the answer God gives me. Many times when I ask for wisdom what I’m really asking is something like this. “God I’m going to do this so I need Your blessing.”
Why Ask For Wisdom?
So, why am I even asking if I’ve got my mind made up already? He says a person who does this doesn’t really have his or her faith in God alone.
If God gives me an answer I don’t like and don’t follow it, James says I shouldn’t expect to receive anything, especially wisdom, from the Lord.
God says if I really want wisdom, I will act in faith on what advice He gives me. What I’ve learned about this is if I don’t act and I ask again, He will give me the same answer and no other answers until I act on what He told me to begin with.
What Is Wisdom?
God says in His Word, “Wise words are like deep waters.”3 He tells me wisdom is more valuable that rubies.4 Wisdom is a tree of life and will make me happy.5 Wisdom is sweet to my soul.6
Wisdom is understanding not only who God is, but how He works in my life. It is not that I am wise. It is in trusting and seeking God for the right answers, I gather wisdom.
Although favor may follow wisdom, it first enters my life with humility.7 It enters my life when I humble myself before God because in that moment of abject poverty of soul, God comes near to me.8
I love getting a word for the year. I love to see how God uses it in my life and what He wants to teach me through it. It’s like receiving a promise from God. His promises are so much better than those loose resolutions I have made in the past.
Wisdom is my word for 2016. What’s yours? Please share in the comments.
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1Isaiah 66:1 NLT
2James 1:5-7 NLT
3Proverbs 18:4 NLT
4Proverbs 8:11 NLT
5Proverbs 3:18 NLT
6Proverbs 24:14 NLT
7Proverbs 11:2 NLT
8James 4:8 NLT