18 May How do we receive the gift of Wisdom?
From time to time, don’t we all struggle to take pivotal decisions in our lives? When we are on a spiritual path, we seek the Will of God to make life changing decisions. More often than not, we find ourselves pouring through the voluminous pages of the Holy Bible, wondering quite naturally at the verses that our eyes gets locked on, and painstakingly trying to decipher what the almighty God is trying to convey to us. We are all bound to get disappointed at this stage!
Decoding Bible verse to perceive the Will of God is not easy at all…
I go through this regime very often and I am sure many of us can relate to this spiritual flaw in our life. We wonder why the Lord cannot be transparent enough to offer solutions on a golden platter, and make our lives much more easy…
Perhaps, a lot of us are sailing through painful and difficult moments at this point, sometimes weathering storms all alone; at times maneuvering through an avalanche of advices from all quarters; feeling totally blank and lonely, and unable to decide what is best for us.
Abusive relationships, suppressed wives, oppressed husbands, parents being rebuked by children, temptations, fatal attractions, extra marital affairs – the skeletons keep tumbling out of our closets all too often, and hinder our progress, putting us on ever shifting grounds.
How should we discern what the Lord wants us to do in such difficult moments of our lives? What is the will of God in our life?
We have a God that is Alive and Empathetic
Remember that our God is Alive and knows every single feeling and pain that we go through. To all his children who run to Him for cover and protection, the Lord can reveal all too well what He has done for them in the past and what He will do for them in the future. All we need to do is BELIEVE in His immense goodness.
When we are lying low, fighting tooth and nail to get ahead of the game, biting our heads off to stay afloat, and feeling anything but happy, remember the silver lining in the cloud – Our God is an all knowing and living God. The God who blessed you in the past will shower you with success and blessings in the future too, and will not leave you alone or abandoned.
Now, at this point, when we are at our lowest, the Devil grabs the dagger and attacks us with scandalous thoughts, and words of discouragement. We will be under siege of the evil one and have every chance to slip, fall, and get fatally wounded! However, what we do not know oftentimes, is that our God watches and waits with arms open wide to take us under his strong and protective wings.
Our God wants to communicate to us! If only we notice and run to him!
Acts 22:14 says -“Then he said: The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear his own voice.
We should know that God can speak to us, His children, and can reveal to us His Will if we so tune our minds to Him. Being baptized, and being a Christian, we are much privileged to listen to His voice.
See what the Lord reveals to Moses in Exodus 33:11
The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp.
Psalm 103:7-He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
We see God directing Moses to the route he has to take when he is in a confused state. The Lord tells him to take the direction of the red sea; to stretch out his staff and lead the way.
Is it possible for us mortals to know the Will of God? Absolutely yes!
If he revealed His will to Moses, to the prophets, to His chosen people, and to St Paul, He can also reveal His Will to us. God speaks to us like a friend. He does not do anything without revealing His secretes to His people. In order to receive His Will and be receptive to His voice, we need the Gift of Wisdom.
The Fruits of Wisdom
We are on an endless pursuit for more money, more jewels, more gold, more fame-endless lists and agendas throng our mind… But, the word of God is teaching us that wisdom is far better and greater, and cannot compare with any of the things that we crave to attain on earth.
Proverbs 8:12 says- I, wisdom, live with prudence and I attain knowledge and discretion.
In Proverbs 8:12, we see that wisdom is personified. Wisdom is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and has unlimited power and glory. The Holy Spirit deeply desires us to have Him, the Wisdom that we need for making the right decisions in life through the knowledge and discretion it provides.
Wisdom 1:2 says-because he is found by those who do not put him to the test, and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.
If you struggle to distinguish the Will of God, unable to take a decision for yourself, The Lord reminds us that you are in need of the Gift of Wisdom. However, quite gravely, our God also reminds us all too clearly that to attain wisdom, one has to be free from sin and deceit.
Wisdom passes to those who lead a holy life and makes them friends with God, for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.
Wisdom 1:4- because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul, or dwell in a body enslaved to sin.
In the Old Testament, we see Moses, Saul and David became friends of God through the Gift of Wisdom. Through friendship with God, we get to know His Will and the directions He provide. For this, we need to deeply desire for wisdom and pray for it.
Again, to receive the gift of wisdom – Fear the Lord.
Wisdom cannot associate with pride, arrogance or perverted speech because wisdom is divinely pure.
Proverbs 8:14- I have good advice and sound wisdom; I have insight, I have strength.
The most important thing we must understand about wisdom is that our God is not always transparent in giving answers to our questions. You ask a specific question to our Lord, you could get a very vague and generalized answer. You ask God for a material need, your answer could be something unexpected and perplexing.
However, if you have the gift of wisdom, you will know that the answer that the Lord has given solves the root of all our problems. To gain such Wisdom and insight is not easy. It comes with relentless prayer, purity, and devotion to God.
Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
This is a word of God we can hold on to, and a beautiful promise for Wisdom! We only have to call out to Him to realize this promise.
Our God has already kept his promise innumerable times through the prophets, priests, and even in our own lives, sometimes without our knowledge and understanding.
Are you pondering as to how to receive this wisdom?
Here are seven immaculate ways to pour out the wisdom from God
1. Keep the Holiness and Purity of Our Body
In order to receive wisdom, we need to be pure and holy in its highest form.
Wisdom 7 :27 says that unless we keep ourselves holy, and keep away from impurity, wisdom is unattainable. Wisdom cannot dwell in perverted spirits and sinful minds.
If you keep your body as a living sacrifice, quenching your uncontrollable desires, thoughts and actions, you will receive pure, joyous, ever flowing wisdom from God.
St Paul instructs us in Romans 12:1:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritualworship.
2.Avoid Unnecessary Burdens, Anxiety and Involvement
Second step to wisdom is to avoid all kinds of burdens and anxieties of the world. When the mind gets occupied in too many affairs of the living world, wisdom shuts its door on you. God’s voice, instruction, and direction will not be received. Wisdom of God can come only to those who do not busy themselves with too many cares of the world.
Sirach 38:24-The wisdom of the scribe depends on the opportunity of leisure;
only the one who has little business can become wise.
3. Great Love for the Word of God
Sirach 1:1- All wisdom comes from God and with him it remains forever.
God is love and pursuit of God’s love and his promises leads us to wisdom untold and to domains untrodden. Wisdom is unfailing and radiant. Set your desires on the word of God; deeply long for them and the Lord will instruct us to the path we have to trod.(Wisdom 6:11-12)
Our Lord will protect us from evil will and unfavorable circumstances while we pray and seek His Wisdom. Even without our knowledge, things start looking up, and the Lord will ensure that we remain safe and protected within any evil domain (Sirach 6:37)
4. Pray at the break of Dawn
Early morning prayer is hailed as enormously gratifying and powerful.
The life of our Lord Jesus reveals to us that he was in the mountains praying to his father, even before sunrise. In the morning, god is waiting to shower his wisdom upon us. Prayers that you direct towards the Lord’s presence at the break of dawn will provide instant answers and compelling solutions…
Wisdom 6:14 One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for she will be found sitting at the gate.
When you direct your prayers to our Lord, and remember his steadfast love early in the morning, God will open his treasure chest and shower his wisdom and blessings upon you.
5. Spiritual Fathers and Spiritual Friendships
It is important to have a Spiritual Father to get spiritual direction and guidance in your life. Let us remember how Joshua the prophet received profound wisdom through Moses. Joshua was very close to Moses and Moses blessed him abundantly.
Deuteronomy 34:9 Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him; and the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Association with spiritual people provides us with profound wisdom in its truest sense. Spiritual fathers will eventually transmit their blessings onto us, and this is of tremendous value to grow in spirit and Wisdom.
The blessings that we get from our spiritual fathers and friendships are the blessings from God our Father itself. Just as God blessed Abraham, Abraham blessed Isaac, Isaac transmitted his blessings to Jacob, Jacob blessed Joseph and his son Ephraim and Manasseh, blessings from our spiritual fathers too are of great significance to us.
To get these blessings ourselves, we need Spiritual and Godly people who can direct us to divine wisdom and enlightenment.
Wisdom of the Lord is transmitted to us when spiritual fathers and anointed priests lay their hands on our heads to bless us. We must cultivate this culture of getting associated with special men of wisdom to get their blessings transmitted to us and the coming generation for our greater glory.
Sirach6:36 If you see an intelligent person, rise early to visit Him; Let you foot wear out His doorstep.
Sirach 37:12- But associate with a godly person whom you know to be a keeper of the commandments, who is like-minded with yourself, and who will grieve with you if you fail.
Why do we need a Spiritual Father?
Let us now shift our focus to people who are failing and struggling. More often than not, they do not have a spiritual father. Either they lack interest in the word of God and the wisdom it provides, or they just don’t recognize its importance.
Even anointed priests are not immune to the need of a spiritual father. To lead them and guide them through their path of spirituality; when they go wrong; to provide advice in taking decisions for themselves; to be independent in their own right, the role of a spiritual father cannot be diminished in any way. Spiritual fathers provide proper directions, corrections, and discipline to the priests, and just like us, they require it until the end of their service to the Lord.
People who direct and help others cannot direct themselves effectively. They need help from other godly people.
In a parish, your Parish Priest is your official Spiritual Father appointed by God. If you look at people who are spiritually inclined, happy, and peace loving, they will always have spiritual fathers behind them.
6. Fear of the Lord is the Source of all Wisdom
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. All those who practice it have a good understanding of wisdom. Wisdom prospers in one’s heart through the fear of the Lord. With the fear of the Lord, we become God’s friends and haters of evil.
Psalm 25:12 – Who are they that fear the Lord? He will teach them the way that they should choose.
Are you struggling to choose a way in your life? Confused whether to be married or take a spiritual path? Frustrated as to what career to choose and which country to settle in? Our Lord is capable of providing you with answers to all kinds of doubts, if you so desire and call out to him.
Depart from evil and God will pour out his wisdom upon us.
Look at the life of Joseph the patriarch. Potiphar’s wife tempted Joseph to commit a sexual sin. Joseph had all the circumstances conducive to commit the sin, and keep it hidden from the world. Yet Joseph chose to say, ‘‘I cannot commit this sin, I fear God”.
Fear of the Lord lifted Joseph up. Similarly, the Lord wants all of us to practice the ‘’fear of the Lord ‘’and be exalted in His presence.
Sirach 1:26 if we desire Wisdom, keep the commandments and the Lord will lavish her upon you.
7. Praying for Wisdom
Last but not the least, The Book of Wisdom Chapter 9 is a very powerful Bible verse that you can include in your daily prayer, early in the morning. It is the prayer of King Solomon ardently seeking the Gift of Wisdom.
It is interesting to note that Solomon himself acknowledges that he is an ordinary man, the Lord’s servant. But when he prayed for wisdom, the Lord readily granted it to him in abundance. This should be an encouragement to all of us ordinary human beings to plead with our Lord to provide us with the wealth of Wisdom.
Taking a decision in our life, knowing God’s will, and leading a life pleasing to him are things that help us to grow in spirituality and godliness.
Let the Gift of Wisdom shine through our lives and enlighten our souls to perfection!