Have you ever wondered why the Bible says that wisdom is the most important thing you can get?
Before I started studying the book of Proverbs in-depth, I often wondered that. “Wisdom” is obviously a great thing, but I wondered why the Scriptures didn't say, for example, “Get intimacy with God; intimacy with God is the principal thing.” No; it says that wisdom is the principal thing you should get:
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7).
Well, after I got saved, I began praying for wisdom–but I still didn't understand it very well.
I didn't really understand the fullness of why wisdom was most important, but I believed it and trusted God to show me.
After all, 1 John 2:27 says that Holy Spirit will teach and mentor us, even if nobody else will:
“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him” (1 John 2:27).
The first thing I learned about wisdom is that wisdom is Holy Spirit applying Himself to your situation.
I wrote more about that here, in this post about the Spirit of Wisdom, and I'm not going to cover that in detail in this post. However, please do read that because it's important to understand that wisdom is the manifestation of God Himself.
After we understand that wisdom is the manifestation of God Himself, then it's easy to understand why wisdom is the principal thing.
And then, we can read Proverbs–the book of the Bible that concentrates most on wisdom–and we can get a whole lot more out of it.
That's what I'm doing right now; one of my assignments from the Lord this year is to read, study, and dissect the book of Proverbs 10 times. I'm on my second go-round this calendar year, and my third within this Hebrew year; and let me tell you, the book of Proverbs is ROCKING my world.
I used to think the book of Proverbs was confusing, somewhat boring, and not very edifying at all.
However, the more I study it with Holy Spirit's help, the more I begin to understand that Holy Spirit preached the Kingdom of God in Proverbs long before Jesus preached the Kingdom of God on earth in person.
Today, I wanted to begin sharing 17 results that you get in your life when you get wisdom.
These results could also be termed “fruit.” These 17 things are the fruit that manifest in your life when you ask the Lord for wisdom, for He always gives wisdom to those who ask. Remember James 1:5-8:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).
I recommend that you claim this promise in prayer daily. I do! I have also taught my child to do this, so at age 3 he prays every day for wisdom. 🙂 We ALL need to ask the Lord in faith for wisdom, never doubting. If we will, the wisdom He gives will transform our lives.
Without further ado, I want to share these 17 results of wisdom with you.
I'll share the first four today, and will share the rest of them in subsequent blog posts. Most of these are found in Proverbs 8:12-35, but some are also found elsewhere.
I don't claim that this is an all-inclusive list, but even just these 17 fruit of wisdom are pretty earth-shaking.
Here we go:
1. When you get wisdom, you also get prudence.
Proverbs 8:12 says, “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion.” Let's turn our attention to prudence. What is prudence?
1: the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
2: sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs
3: skill and good judgment in the use of resources
4: caution or circumspection as to danger or risk”
When I think about Proverbs 8:12, I get a little picture in my mind of Wisdom, like a little person, holding the hand of Prudence (imagine another little person). 🙂 And when we ask the Lord for wisdom, along Wisdom comes (wisdom being Holy Spirit Himself, manifesting Himself in your situation)–and He's still holding Prudence's hand, so you get prudence with wisdom. 🙂
Simply put: When you get the one (wisdom), you get the other (prudence) with it. They dwell together, so when you get one, you get the other.
What do you need prudence for? Why is it important?
Well, you can see the answer to that question when you read the dictionary definition of “prudence”:
- Prudence helps us to carry out the wisdom God gives us in the form of actual decisions. Prudence helps us make good decisions.
- Prudence helps us understand and manage risk.
- Prudence helps us steward our resources (like time and money) well.
- Prudence helps us avoid doing stupid things!
Are you convinced that you need prudence? I hope so! So if you'd like to ask the Lord for more prudence in your life, pray this simple prayer:
“Heavenly Father, in Jesus' name, thank You for promising me wisdom whenever I ask. Please give me wisdom abundantly today, and fill my heart and life with prudence at the same time! Thank You, Father God. In Jesus' name, amen.”
2-3. When you get wisdom, you also get knowledge and discretion.
Proverbs 8:12 says, “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and FIND OUT knowledge and discretion” (emphasis mine). When I think about this verse, again, I get a little picture in my mind:
- I imagine Wisdom, like a little person, in a house with Prudence.
- In this mental picture, instead of holding Prudence's hand like in the first mental picture above, Wisdom is searching for something in the house:
- He's opening lids on big baskets.
- He's lifting baskets, jars, and pots up and peeking under them.
- He's shining a light in the corners of the house … looking and looking for something.
- And each time he finds something, he takes it out and piles it up in the light, where everyone can see it.
What is wisdom looking for? Why, knowledge and discretion, of course!
Remember: “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion.” Knowledge and discretion aren't things you just automatically are born with; they have to be learned. They must be sought after, tested, tried, and hunted down. For example:
- You only learn discretion after you get embarrassed one too many times from telling the wrong people your business when you shouldn't have. Then, suddenly, you start hunting down the answer to the question, “When should I speak and when should I keep silent?” 🙂
- You only even begin to learn knowledge when you seek out education and mentoring–whether from the Lord, from a book, from a mentor, etc.
- You only learn real knowledge, which according to the Scriptures is experiential knowledge, by trying and testing different things.
But you know what? In each of those examples, it's WISDOM that inspires you to hunt down, search for, and even desire to find knowledge and discretion.
Another way of putting it is: When you get wisdom, you will naturally be inspired to learn, grow, and discern when to keep your mouth shut. 🙂 Even if you learn by way of trial and error, wisdom still teaches you to desire knowledge and discretion, and to learn to operate in them.
Pray this if you want knowledge and discretion:
“Father God, in Jesus' name, thank You for giving me wisdom when I asked. And Father God, I ask You also for knowledge and discretion. Please teach me:
- Help me to learn knowledge. Be my Mentor and disciple me personally, please.
- Help me to know what to say, what to do, and where to go–as well as what NOT to say, what NOT to do, and where NOT to go!
- Give me discretion to know when to keep my mouth shut and when to keep my business to myself.
Thank You, Abba Father. In Jesus' name, amen.”
4. When you get wisdom, you also get the fear of the Lord.
Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” I love this verse because IT, in and of itself, puts the fear of God in me. 🙂
Think about it: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” We can think about this forward and backward and from every side, and we'll see:
- If wisdom is Holy Spirit applying Himself to your situation, then we had better fear Him in order to obey Him when He TRIES to apply Himself to our situations!
- Also, this verse seems to indicate that the very first thing Holy Spirit teaches us when He gives us wisdom is TO FEAR THE LORD.
- We can also see that the fear of the Lord, which should be all-consuming, is the beginning of the journey of wisdom. In other words, if we begin fearing the Lord, we have entered the portal of wisdom–but, in Christ, there are so many other riches to mine and depths to plumb. Fearing the Lord gives us access, but is only the beginning!
Related: How to Get Rid of Your Desire to Sin
The fear of the Lord also helps you hate evil.
Proverbs 8:13 says:
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.”
So when you get wisdom …
… And wisdom births the fear of the Lord in you …
… Then you will begin to hate evil. You will begin to hate pride, arrogance, the evil way, and the perverse mouth:
- You will hate these things in yourself if they are there, so you will be inspired to change.
- You will hate these things in other people, so you will suddenly have a desire to change your relationships if you're friends with proud, arrogant, evil, perverse people.
- You will hate these sins so much that you will begin to pray for the people committing them–both yourself and others!
I used to LOVE the sin-enjoying business. I was proud, arrogant, evil, AND perverse before I met Jesus.
However, after I got saved and began praying for wisdom–and began to really study the Scriptures to learn that wisdom–I suddenly began hating the sin I saw in myself. That new hatred for sin was a HUGE motivation to change.
So, even though I messed up a lot, and still do, every time I sinned I would go to the Father immediately and repent. Then, I would plead with Him to change my heart.
Sometimes it seemed like He took His sweet time to change me at all; He's definitely still working on me, and I know He will never stop until Jesus comes back. However, even at that time when progress seemed so slow it felt nonexistent, I always knew He was working in my heart because I hated sin.
Yup. Hating sin was a change for me. A big change.
After being an enthusiastic sinner for 20+ years, when I got saved and began praying for wisdom, the Lord suddenly put a real hatred of sin in my heart. As a former pastor of mine used to say, “Jesus put me out of the sin-enjoying business.”
He'll do the same thing for you when you begin praying for wisdom.
Remember Proverbs 8:13:
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.”
When you pray for wisdom, you get the fear of the Lord too. And the fear of the Lord:
- helps you love what God loves and hate what He hates;
- causes you to hate evil and love righteousness;
- brings you to absolutely abhor pride, arrogance, evil ways, and every perverse thing that can come out of a person's mouth … including your own.
Wow. The fear of the Lord is a pretty life-changing thing!
How should you respond to this truth? Pray for the fear of the Lord as well as for wisdom!
Personally, I pray for the fear of the Lord pretty often. (I would do so daily, but sometimes I forget.) Remember that, when you pray for wisdom, the fear of the Lord comes with it–but I always recommend speeding up the process by praying specifically and ardently for every aspect of our relationship with God. 🙂
Here's a simple, sample prayer for the fear of the Lord:
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for allowing me to come boldly before Your throne. Thank You for giving me mercy and grace to help in time of need.
Heavenly Father, I want to fear You the way You want me to. I don't ever want to operate in unholy, demonic fear, but I do want to be filled with Your Spirit of the Fear of the Lord so that I honor You, respect You, obey You, and fear You in a godly way–the way YOU want me to.
Would You help me, please, Father? Please fill me with Your Spirit of the fear of the Lord. Help me to have such a holy awe and fear of You that I never disobey You; never dishonor You; never insult You.
Help me to walk perfectly before You, Father, because of Your grace, the blood of Jesus, and Your Spirit who lives within me.
Thank You, Heavenly Father. I love You. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.”
Let's recap the first 4 results, benefits, and fruit of wisdom.
- Discretion; and
- The fear of the Lord.
Wow! That fires me up. How about you? Does even this short section of the list make you hungry?
In subsequent blog posts, I will continue sharing from this list until we get through all 17 benefits, results, and fruit of wisdom. But for today, I'd love to hear from you.
What is Holy Spirit saying to you about these things? Are you hungry for wisdom? If so, please leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you!
(1) Merriam-Webster's Dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prudence, accessed February 22, 2021.