Wisdom For The Next Level
By Bishop Francis Wale Oke
Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Ibadan, Nigeria
Foundation Scripture: 1 Kings 2:5-9; 3:4-15
Sunday 28th June 2015
When God is ready to elevate and make a person (or a people) great, He crowns the person with wisdom. To fulfil the counsel of God over a lifetime requires wisdom - it is the principal asset you need. When wisdom is present, all the resources needed for an assignment will manifest. Conversely, if wisdom is absent, all the resources soon dissipate and fritters away. Wisdom is given to kings and leaders to fulfil their assignment.
Wisdom exists in levels. Each of us has a measure of wisdom acquired through knowledge, academic pursuits, training, through relationships with the wise, real life experiences, and the study of God’s word. There is a level of wisdom that has brought each of us to the position we are today. However, to move further in life, we need another level of wisdom. With a greater level of wisdom operating in a person’s life, promotion to the next level is inevitable - wisdom moves the person up. It is vital that we all crave for a new level of wisdom in our lives, because God wants to take us higher.
From our foundation scriptures in the 1 Kings 2, we read about the final instructions that King David gave to his son Solomon, shortly before Solomon replaced him as the king of Israel. David being a wise man could recognise wisdom in his son (1 Kings 2:6, 9), and instructed him to exhibit kingly wisdom in executing two enemies of the kingdom – Joab the son of Zeruiah and Shimei the son of Gera. Shortly afterwards in 1 Kings 3, Solomon travelled to Mount Gibeon to worship, offer a sacrifice and pray to God. His request to God was a prayer for wisdom. He was aware of the great responsibility of governing the nation of Israel and realized that the wisdom in ruling as a prince was insufficient to rule as king. His humility and request pleased God. The scripture reads: ‘The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing’ (1 Kings 3:10).
A person’s status in life is not determined by what one drives, but by what drives that person. Equally, a person status is not determined by where he/she lives or by the size of the person’s wardrobe, but by what such a person carries. Solomon was acutely aware of this, and realized that he needed something more than what he had hitherto, and God granted his request (1 Kings 3:11-12). I pray that the Spirit of excellent wisdom will rest upon you in Jesus name! (Amen).
Here is the 1 Kings 3:11-12: ‘Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you’. God’s response to Solomon’s request elevated him to a level beyond his father, David.
Not only was Solomon’s request granted, but God added riches and honour to his request (verse 13). In addition to God’s wisdom manifesting in a person’s life, long life, riches, wealth, grace and satisfaction is inextricably woven.
Ecclesiastes 8:1 reads: ‘Who is like a wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the sternness of his face is changed’. When a person is living in wisdom, such a person is bright and superior. Ecclesiastes 10:10c reads: ‘But wisdom brings success’. A wise person runs a surplus (and hardly a deficit) budget. The scripture is full of examples of people who enjoyed successful businesses – Abraham had an abundance of resources (Genesis 24:1).
The wise virgins in Jesus parable in Matthew 25 were distinguished because of their wisdom – all the ten virgins lived a life of purity; they all exhibited some form of human weakness and frailty – they all slept, but the wise virgins had extra and surplus oil for their lamps. They had more than enough but the foolish virgins ended up begging. Solomon had so much wealth, that the bible records that gold and silver became common during his reign. ‘And the king made silver and gold as common as stones in Jerusalem, and cedar like the sycamore-trees of the lowland in number’ (2 Chronicles 1:15 BBE). In Genesis 41:53-57, the bible records that Joseph’s wisdom delivered Egypt from famine. In addition to providing for Egypt, the surplus also catered for the surrounding nations. Jesus Christ, our Lord also demonstrated wisdom to create abundance. He fed the multitude in thousands and the food remnants were gathered in basketful. The temple tax was paid, even at a point when it seemed that the funds had ran out (Matthew 17:24-27).
Proverbs 24:3 reads: ‘Through wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established’. Wisdom is vital to building and sustaining a house and household. As much as money is important, it answers to wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 reads: ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding (KJV). When God raises a leader of influence, He always endows such a person with wisdom. Joshua experienced this as recorded in Deuteronomy 34:9, which reads: ‘Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses’. Wisdom solves problems.
Wisdom aids a person in focusing on what is major, ignoring the minor. They prioritise tasks – tackling important issues, delegating some and ignoring the unnecessary ones. Wisdom ensures that a person focuses primarily on God. Jesus in dealing with this subject as recorded in Matthew 6:33 says: ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you’. Such a person manages their time appropriately. After prioritising time and giving God the first attention, a wise person devotes time to their family. A wise person also values their calling and is fully aware of the responsibility of giving an account to God. Colossians 4:17 reads: ‘And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it'. A person living in wisdom is mindful of their contribution to the world, in making it a better place and the legacy to be left behind. It is important that we live our lives with legacy in mind, on how we will impact our generation and put a smile on as many faces as possible.
Furthermore, the bible records that a wise man is strong. Proverbs 24:5 reads: ‘A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength’. A wise person is strong spiritually because he is aware that the spiritual controls the natural. A wise person is strong mentally – he works to improve his mental capacity so that he can influence others positively in society. He is also strong physically. He is aware that our bodies are meant to last a lifetime and must be trained to fulfil the purpose of God. A wise person is strong morally – He has boundaries. He is aware that one moment of indiscretion can destroy decades of achievement. A wise person is strong emotionally – Such a person controls outbursts of anger even under intense pressure. Ecclesiastes 7:9 reads: ‘Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger resides in the bosom of fools’ (NASB). Jesus in speaking to his disciples in Luke 21:19 says: ‘By your patience possess your souls’.
A wise man is strong financially, and does not beg. A good indication of a wise person is the value of their financial purse. A person who spends all that is earned is not wise. Some of a person’s earning must be demarcated for tithes and giving to God, as savings and funds to be spent, regardless of the unfavourable economic situation. Again, we can refer to Joseph in Genesis – he refused to enjoy all the resources at once but kept some away for the difficult days ahead.
In rounding up, take note of these words: One of the greatest gifts from God after our salvation is the gift of wisdom. A person living a life of wisdom stands out among equals. The bible records the wisdom of Jesus in the book of Luke. Here are some verses to ponder on. Luke 2:40 reads: ‘And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him’. Luke 2:52 also reads: ‘And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men’. In moving from one level of wisdom to another level as a Christian, is simply following in the footsteps of Jesus. At Jesus baptism, as recorded in Luke 3:21-22, which reads: ‘When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased'. Isaiah 11:2 depicts the manifestation of God’s spirit on Jesus, primarily by the wisdom: ‘There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
I pray that the Spirit of wisdom will rest upon your life. By the wisdom of God, I declare that you move to a higher level. You are moving higher, moving from glory to glory, from strength to strength by the wisdom of the Lord. I pray that the Spirit of God will rest upon you to operate at a higher level in Jesus name! (Amen).
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