Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
ASk for Wisdom

Ask and You Will Receive . . . Wisdom!


Wisdom seems to be in short supply these days, whether among political and corporate leaders or among the average people you meet on the street. People say and do things that often make us scratch our heads. He did what? How could anyone think that was wise?

But if I’m honest, a lack of wisdom isn’t limited to other people. I’ve done some pretty stupid things in my life, despite the diplomas hanging on my wall. Diplomas may attest to the attainment of knowledge, but the ability to apply that knowledge requires wisdom.


The Source

When God formed the universe out of nothing, He applied all of His perfect knowledge in His creation. Prov. 3:19 tells us, “By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations.”

His wisdom—the application of knowledge—was exhibited as He employed astronomy, biology, geology, and all the other sciences. The result is the creation of a world where the pieces and processes fit together better than the finest jigsaw puzzle.

Consider the interaction between the moon’s gravitational pull and Earth’s ocean tides. Ponder the impact of the monarch butterfly’s migratory pattern on the food supply chain. Think about the relationship of the Earth’s precise rotation axis and the support of life on our planet. Pieces of a puzzle that all fit together seamlessly through His wisdom.


The Request

It sounds so simple. If you want wisdom, just ask for it. But is it really that easy?

The Bible tells us it is that easy. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God” (James 1:5). Wisdom is something God encourages us to specifically seek after and request.

But here’s the problem. Even if we ask, we often wait until a crisis hits and we’re desperate to work our way out of the emergency. But how many of us begin our morning by asking for wisdom for whatever might come our way that day—before a crisis looms?

That’s exactly what the wisest man in the world did. God offered to give King Solomon of ancient Israel whatever he wanted. So what did Solomon request? “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people” (2 Chron. 1:10). And God granted his request.

Wisdom is not something we are born with. Quite the opposite. We are born with a sin nature and a bent way of thinking. If we want wisdom, it won’t come from within.

Many spend their lives seeking knowledge without asking for the wisdom to apply that knowledge. They amass heads full of facts and appear quite educated by the world’s standards, but they don’t know how to apply what they have learned in a way that will honor God. Even worse, much of what masquerades as wisdom in today’s world is not wise at all.


The Proof

When it comes to the topic of wisdom, God grants our request, but He also says, “Show Me.” If we have true wisdom, it will show in our behavior—especially in the way we relate to others.

The apostle James wrote, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13). Claims of wisdom mean nothing if we do not manifest it in our behavior. People do not want to hear about our wisdom, they want to see it.

And that brings us back to the world around us and to the people who claim to live and lead with wisdom. How many of them—and us—are intentional about actually seeking and asking for God’s wisdom?

Maybe it’s time for us to admit our claims of wisdom don’t match our actions. And maybe, in addition to asking for it, we need to ask for God’s help in living out that wisdom in our decisions and our relationships.

When do you ask for wisdom? How has God answered your request?

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