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1 Corinthians 12:4–11 (ESV)
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
Lexham Theological Wordbook (σοφία)
σοφία (sophia). n. fem. wisdom. Refers to the quality of having knowledge, skill, and experience in the sense of mastery over a particular subject or trade through practice and learning.
Proverbs 4:7 (ESV)
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.
Wisdom is more than just what you know; it’s how you expertly apply what you know. Information in your brain doesn’t equal wisdom. It’s a gift of utterance, which means that its effectiveness is activated when it comes out of your mouth by the leading of the Spirit. There’s no wisdom in speaking facts at the wrong time. There’s no wisdom in speaking the truth without love.
“The truth without love is like surgery without anesthesia.” - Justus du Plessis
Saying the right thing at the right time is an exercise in the spiritual gift of wisdom.
Wisdom means knowing the necessary steps to take to see the manifestation of the promises of God. We know He heals. We receive that by faith in the finished work of the cross. Seeing the manifestation of it requires the wisdom and strategy of God working in our lives.
Accessing wisdom is as easy as asking for it.
James 1:5–8 (ESV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
In our discussion of the gifts of the Spirit, we will regularly emphasize that these gifts are for the common good. Having wisdom for your own life is good; it’s even necessary. We are responsible for allowing the Spirit to do through us that which He has done in us. If you’re receiving wisdom from God, it’s your responsibility to share it with the body of Christ. The gifts of the Spirit should be the overflow of what your intimate relationship with Him is producing.
When we are found in Him, we are connected to He who has become wisdom for us.
1 Corinthians 1:30 (ESV)
30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption...
How do we know if it’s human wisdom or the wisdom that comes from Heaven?
James 3:17 (ESV)
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
Here’s the scale in evaluating wisdom. Does it check these boxes? If not, it may be smart, but not wisdom.
1 Corinthians 1:25 (ESV)
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
The Church needs more than just good ideas. We need wisdom from Heaven. Wisdom that comes as a result of the grace of the Holy Spirit active in our lives. The wisdom of God won’t be accompanied by arrogance.
James 3:13 (ESV)
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
Wisdom produces humility and it takes humility to seek wisdom. Understanding that your ways and your thoughts are not even worth mentioning compared to His. If we want Heaven’s results, it will require Heaven’s wisdom. Kingdom wisdom. When you realize what you don’t know, you’re positioned to receive it. If you’re convinced that you know it all, why would you ask God for help?
Pride is the enemy of all spiritual gifts, but it comes at wisdom with a unique attack. There is no issue in your life that the wisdom of God can’t handle. Pride tells you that you don’t need it. You can rely on your own education. Your own experience. Your own natural gifts.
Wisdom reminds you of your need for Him and it provides answers that you could never find on your own.
Remember that spiritual gifts operate in us and through us. If you need wisdom in your life, God can speak directly to you, but He can and will also speak to you through a Spirit-filled believer operating in overflow. The gift of wisdom will come out of a brother or sister for your life and confirm what the Lord is speaking to you. Maybe in the context of your friendships, someone will say something wise about your situation and the Holy Spirit on the inside of you will jump and bear witness to it right away. That’s drawing and receiving the gift of wisdom from the Holy Spirit through a yielded vessel.
Receive wisdom for yourself and be a dispenser of it for someone else. Receive it from a dispenser. The Lord will put people in your life to speak wisdom to you and to draw wisdom from you. That’s the nature of a church community. It’s always giving and always receiving.
Whatever answer you need tonight, I believe that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom, is available to you. Let’s pursue His wisdom and receive it by faith.
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