See if this doesn’t sound familiar: “I have a big decision. I’ve asked God for direction, but I’m not getting any.  The deadline is approaching.  What should I do?”

Wouldn’t it be great if God always provided direction for our decisions?  We could go confidently forward, knowing, without a trace of doubt, that God chose our decision for us. We’d have no confusion and no doubt. We all know, however, that He doesn’t always give us the answer for which we were hoping. So many times it feels like he doesn’t respond at all.  At least not in the way that we often want.

What if, instead, He’s provided an answer in a different, more indirect way?

Indirect Answers

If God directly demonstrated the right choice for every decision, why would we need wisdom?

In many cases, He doesn’t speak directly to the question.  Rather, He has spent a lifetime equipping us and molding us to develop the knowledge, the character, and the experience to answer the question. He’s provided us with life experiences, taught us by trial and error and multiple failures, influenced us through relationships, and embedded into our knowledge of Him and His word.

Decisions Based on Wisdom

At some point, He expects us to use all of that which he has given us and make a decision based on wisdom. Instead of directly answering our question, He has spent a lifetime bringing us to the point where our thoughts become ever closer to His. He speaks to us, not in so many words, but in the outcome of the work that He has done with us for the duration of our lives. That’s called wisdom.

Let’s dig deeper into that concept and gain some guidance for the next big decision we must make. I like the Wikipedia definition of wisdom:

Wisdomsapience, or sagacity is the ability to think and act using knowledgeexperienceunderstandingcommon sense, and insight.[1]

Wisdom is associated with attributes such as unbiased judgment, compassion, experiential self-knowledge, self-transcendence, and non-attachment,[2] and virtues such as ethics and benevolence.[3][4]

Wisdom is Highly Valued

In Christianity, wisdom is highly prized and valued. We are all familiar with the story of Solomon, and his request, subsequently granted, for wisdom. Solomon was known as the wisest man in the world. It is interesting that Solomon asked for wisdom above everything else, and was given it so that he could rule well. Solomon knew that he would be called upon to make many decisions with significant consequences and so asked for wisdom to guide him.

But wisdom didn’t begin to show itself with Solomon.  It begins with the creator himself, in the process of creation. God himself used wisdom in the creation.

Here’s Jeremiah 51:15:

It is He who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom, And by His understanding, He stretched out the heavens.

In the Bible, wisdom is necessarily present at the beginning of great works and with people who will be called upon to make weighty decisions.  The story of Joshua provides one example.

When Joshua was being prepared to take over for Moses and lead the Hebrews into the promised land, God gave him wisdom. God equipped this great leader with the quality he would need most intently.

Read Deuteronomy 34:9:

Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him, and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the Lord had commanded.

When Jesus was a child and growing up, wisdom is the only character trait that is mentioned in his maturation.  Here’s Luke 2:52:

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

We understand that Jesus brought redemption and sanctification to us.  We don’t often think of him as having wisdom. But, He so embodied wisdom that the apostle said He became wisdom.

1 Corinthians 1:30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,

And, of course, as Christians, we are told in multiple verses in both the Old and New Testaments that wisdom is valuable and to pursue it. Here are some of those verses:

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Proverbs 4:5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

Colossians 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

So, wisdom is incredibly important to us, because it is God’s way of indirectly influencing the decisions we make.  Rather than intervening directly, He gives us life experiences, knowledge of His word and His ways, and couples it with our ever-growing understanding of human motivations and behavior, and presses it with a healthy dose of Holy Spirit revelation to combine it into this quality of character known as wisdom.  And that enables us to make Godly decisions.

Instead of intervening directly in every decision we make, God has spent a lifetime shaping us and filling us with understanding and knowledge, so that we can begin to think like Him and make Godly decisions.

As Christians, we understand that not all wisdom is the same.

Worldly Wisdom and Godly Wisdom

1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”.

James 3:15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above but is earthly, natural, demonic.

Godly wisdom, like every spiritual gift, is given to us by God.  Unlike other gifts, which are given selectively, wisdom is available to all of us.

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.


Wisdom is incredibly valuable, and particularly so for the situations in which we have to make lots of important decisions (businesspeople, salespeople, parents, etc.).  It is one way that God answers prayers and directs our decision-making – not directly, but indirectly by embedding the spirit of wisdom into us.  If we ask for it, He will give it. And it would be wise to ask for it.

Note:  All scripture references are from the NASB version.