Heavenly Wisdom

Wayne Reynolds, Pastor

James 1:5-8, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. {6} But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. {7} For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. {8} A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

There are many things I could write about in this article I could write about the war in Iraq, or the way the government is operating, or the threat of economic collapse, or a number of other topics. However, the most important topics are those that concern our spiritual life on this earth and our eternal welfare in heaven.

I have chosen to write about wisdom, because it is an intensely personal subject. Every person must gain wisdom for themselves. Parents cannot be educated into wisdom, nor can they send their children to college to get wisdom. Wisdom can be gained, but not by any method the world has devised. God gives wisdom when an individual asks.

Definition of Wisdom

Wisdom is not knowledge. Most people have knowledge, which is the accumulation of facts, but having facts does not mean there is understanding of those facts. Knowledge is gained by education and experience, but heavenly wisdom comes only from God.

The Bible speaks of two different kinds of wisdom: Godly, or heavenly wisdom and earthly or sensual wisdom. Earthly wisdom is nothing more than common sense. I am not writing about common sense, but uncommon sense, which is heavenly wisdom. James 3:14-18 explains these two different kinds of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Earthly wisdom is limited to the practical application of earthly knowledge, while heavenly wisdom is the practical application of all knowledge. According to James 3:14-18, earthly wisdom is the source of bitterness, strife, envy, and devilish conduct, while heavenly wisdom is the source of that which is pure, peaceable, and gentle. Heavenly wisdom will cause a person to be filled with mercy and good fruits, making him easy to be entreated, and lacking hypocrisy.

Would you rather have earthly wisdom or heavenly wisdom? If you are running a business, would you want your employees to have earthly wisdom or heavenly wisdom?

Heavenly wisdom is much better, is it not? Isnít it strange that we know heavenly wisdom is much better than earthly wisdom, yet few ask God for heavenly wisdom? Have you asked God for heavenly wisdom?

Most of us will readily admit we lack knowledge, and sometimes we will even admit we lack heavenly wisdom. But will we admit to God our lack of heavenly wisdom and ask him to give us his kind of wisdom? That is the real question.

Receiving Godly Wisdom

I Kings 3 describes how Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived received his wisdom. He did not go to school or appeal to the learned of his day. Solomon asked God to give him wisdom. I Kings 3:9 states, Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? This speech pleased God, and God gave Solomon Öa wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

The wisdom of Solomon was immediately put to the test when two harlots came to him for advice. Both of these women bore children in the same house, but the child of one of the women died in the night. The mother of the dead child changed babies, and when the mother of the living child woke, she realized the children had been switched, although the mother of the dead child denied it. What was Solomon to do? How could he possibly discern which child belonged to which mother? He called for a sword and gave command for the living child to be divided into two pieces, and one half given to each mother. At this point, the mother of the living child asked that the child not be killed, while the mother of the dead child proclaimed it was right to slay the living child. Solomon then, to the amazement of all, gave the living child to the right mother.

Heavenly Wisdom Is For Today

Is it possible for God to give us heavenly wisdom, as he gave to Solomon? Some might think the days of receiving heavenly wisdom are past, but that is not true. James 1:17 declares, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. This verse states that every good gift comes from God, and we know that heavenly wisdom is a good gift. This verse also states there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning with God, which means that God never changes. The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament is the same. The God we serve today is exactly the same God that gave wisdom to Solomon.

Remember, James 1:5-8 states that if any person lacks wisdom, all he has to do is ask God for wisdom, and God will liberally and freely give him wisdom. Wow! That almost sounds too good to be true. All I have to do is ask?

How does God give wisdom? Does he pour it into my head through a funnel inserted into my brain? No, it does not work like that. God gives wisdom through a study of his word. If any person wants the wisdom that God gives, he will search the Word of God for wisdom.

Notice, I did not say God gives wisdom by reading a book written about the Bible. I said that God gives wisdom by reading the Bible. Donít just read what somebody says about the Bible, read the Bible.

Reading the book of Proverbs is an excellent place to begin receiving Godly wisdom. Proverbs 1:1-6 states, The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; 2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. 5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: 6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. 8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

Verse 4 states that God will give subtilty, which is wisdom, craftiness and prudence to the simple person. Are you simple? You do not have to stay simple. God can give you wisdom. All you have to do is ask, then do what he tells you to do.

The entire book of Proverbs, of which Solomon wrote the majority, is an untapped resource of heavenly wisdom. It is available to any person who will devote himself to reading and asking God for understanding.

Proverbs chapters 1-9 tell of heavenly understanding in wisdom. These chapters tell how to avoid bad company, find true friends, and peace in this world and in the world to come.

A sneak preview of Proverbs 2:10-22 reveals how wisdom will deliver from evil men and women, and cause a person to walk in the good paths of life. Proverbs 7:21 exposes how an evil woman rapes a man! Did you ever hear of a woman raping a man? Earthly wisdom declares that an evil man rapes an innocent woman, but heavenly wisdom explains it is possible for an evil woman to rape an innocent man.

Beginning in Proverbs chapter 10, Solomon writes many one-verse parables of cause and effect, or the consequences of good and evil. It would be a real blessing if proper application of these proverbs were made in our everyday life. Every sin would be avoided, and every blessing would be obtained.

Some Examples

Proverbs 13:18 states, Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. This proverb teaches that it is good to listen and apply instruction to everyday situations of life. There are repercussions to not listening to those God has placed over us.

Proverbs 14:29 states, He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. Have you ever known a person who got angry quickly? Often the facts of a case are not known immediately. As time passes, the facts become known, and the person who was hasty of spirit is ashamed at his anger, but the person who waits for the facts is not ashamed.

Proverbs 21:31 states, The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD. It is good and right for our nation to prepare weapons for the day of battle, but it is utter foolishness to depend on armament for safety. God is able to make the weaker prevail against the stronger: remember the American Revolution?

Proverbs 26:17 states, He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. How about this word picture? The person who meddles with strife not belonging to him has a dog by the ears. He cannot turn loose, and he cannot continue to hang on. It would be much better to leave strife alone, unless we are directly involved.


Do you lack heavenly wisdom? Do you want heavenly wisdom? Remember, I am not talking about common sense, or horse sense, but heavenly, God given wisdom. Heavenly wisdom will be a good guide in this life, as well as in eternity. Remember the words of our text, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally.


Independence Baptist Church is a happy church, a friendly church, which has a great desire to share Godís happiness, Godís joy and Godís friendship with you. If you are looking for a church home, please consider Independence Baptist Church. You are welcome in all of our services.