Navigating God’s Word
As Christians, we believe the Bible gives us all we need for right living. As God’s inspired word, it tells us all we need to know to love God and love others (Mark 12:30-31). The Holy Spirit is our partner in this and helps us understand and navigate God’s word (John 16:13).
Sometimes, though, the answers to life’s questions don’t obviously appear in Scripture. We know we need to pray and let the Holy Spirit work in us for understanding, but that understanding often takes longer than we’d like. We also have to admit that sometimes, even after seemingly endless study and prayer, the answer remains, “I don’t know.”
There are many clear answers in the Bible., but some answers aren’t as clear as we’d like. Either way, we know we have what we need to live and think as God desires. The book of Proverbs is a great example of this mix. Much of its content and application is clear. Others, not so much. Some, it often seems to me, is both, and there’s good reason for this mix.
The Pursuit of Wisdom
Take Proverbs 2 for example. My study Bible titles this chapter as “The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security.” Essentially, the chapter’s main ideas is that pursuing wisdom will lead you to the right course of action every time.
Here’s my summary of the first half of the chapter.
“If you receive my words and store them up… if you turn your ears to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding… if you seek insight as much as you seek the things this world values most… then you will understand how to respect God and find the wisdom of God… He will give you knowledge and understanding and success and protection. You will know every good path to take because wisdom and knowledge will be a part of who you are. Discretion and understanding will protect and guard you.”
What I hear God telling me is to make seeking wisdom through his word a habit. He’s telling me to let the Holy Spirit reveal wisdom to me through the Bible and through other people. When I do this, not just when I’m struggling but also when I’m not, he promises to show me the right steps to take just. He promises to direct my steps (Proverbs 16:9).
God is saying that we should expect to hear wisdom and gain understanding when we make seeking it from him a habit. We need to look for it continually and make an effort to understand what he’s revealing to us (i.e., meditate on it). We must ask for insight and understanding. He promises to give it to us.
If you’re still not sure how to get the wisdom of God and what it means for your life, read the entire book of Proverbs. While there are a lot of specifics in it, focus just on the directives specifically about wisdom. Consider listing them in a journal. I promise you’ll come away with a greater understanding of the wisdom of God along with a greater passion for seeking it.