I had often heard the warning, “Be careful what you pray for because you might get what you want.” This has, of late, become more than just an admonition to young and old who seek human folly in prayer.
Thinking I was free and clear of such folly, for decades I have prayed for several things. Wisdom and discernment have been on the top of the list along with prosperity and hope. But it was not until recently that I read Proverbs 8 from the New International Version subtitled, “Wisdom’s Call” that I was finally able to understand what my prayers were actually requesting. Together with a handwritten Old to New Testament scripture reference written above Proverbs 8, about which I do not recall what or who compelled me to write it, was the reference to I Corinthians 1:30. When I turned to this New Testament passage in the NIV, I was amazed to discover the subtitle, “Christ the Wisdom and Power of God” above the section of scripture that included I Cor. 1: 18-31.
“Well, what have we here?” prompted my inner voice. Perhaps all those years of praying for wisdom, discernment, prosperity and hope have finally made their way into my heart? So, I read the Proverbs and Corinthians passages in their entirety. While in Proverbs, I could not help notice that my eyes were drawn to the more familiar passage that appeared in chapter 9, verse 10. So, I read that:
10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy one is understanding.”
Certainly I understood that, right? Then, I read the aforementioned passages again and again and again. Is it possible that in all these years of praying that I had missed such a fundamental truth?
But what is wisdom that calls out? (Pro. 8:1.)
Is it just ‘coincidence’ that ‘wisdom’ stands at a point where paths meet (Prov. 8:2), to me suggesting a fork in the road where you can choose right or wrong?
When wisdom calls out, the simple and foolish gain understanding. (Pro. 8:4-5.)
And what do they gain when they heed wisdom’s call?
Prudence and understanding. (Pro. 8:5.)
But there is more for those who choose ‘wisdom’.
Knowledge. (Pro. 8:10.)
Why? Because “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.” (Pro. 8:12.)
I was prompted to think once more about the Proverbs 9:10 scripture. The answer to the “fear of the Lord” is in Pro. 8:13: “To fear the Lord is to hate evil.” And then, this is where the real answer to prayer emerges and is bestowed to those who shun evil and choose instead to love wisdom—the ‘real wealth’ of Pro. 8:14-21.
But what is this wisdom that was ‘appointed from eternity’? (Pro. 8:23.) Christ, the Wisdom and Power of God! The very subtitle granted to the I Cor. 1:18-31 New Testament scripture.
“It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” (I Cor. 1:30.)
At last. Though my coffers are bare and the world has called me a fool because I have chosen to seek Jesus instead of the many opportunities to opt for ungodly gain, I can find real wealth in wisdom, discernment, and the hope of Jesus Christ.
13 “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep or to grieve like the rest of men, who have not hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (I Thessalonians 4:13-14.)
Seek. Watch. Listen.
16 “I pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19.)
May we find Him when the paths meet. God grant us that we choose well.
Very good article. Wealth is not JUST money. Money is included, but not primary. Money is required when living on planet earth and God does supply it as we need it and also HE knows how we would handle it. I love the way you put it "Wisdom is the principle thing and with all your getting, get understanding"....JESUS IS ALL OF IT and as we focus on HIM we will all understand better how to live on earth. GOD BLESS YOU