In part one of this series we began to discuss three steps to making important life decisions which we should all consider. Here are the steps for your refreshing:
- What Does the Word Say?
- What Does the Spirit Say?
- What Does Wisdom Say?
In the first article we went over step one and step two, talking about the importance of building a strong doctrine for our important decisions from the Word with at least 2-3 scriptures (2 Cor.13:1). We also went over the importance of being led by the Spirit as sons and daughters of God, for without the Spirit we can never hope to properly understand or apply the scriptures. Without the Spirit we cannot truly be led by God throughout this life.
In today’s article we will finish up this series by discussing the last step, which is determining what Wisdom is saying about a situation. After we discuss this last step, we will end the series with me sharing honestly about some decisions I made concerning relationships in the past that I came to have no peace over, which caused me to go back years later and make the situation right. At the end of the day you have to consider what brings you peace and what brings you closure, especially when it comes to relationships. This is all a part of the final step to decision making where we seek the counsel of Wisdom in our life! I pray this is a blessing to you!
3. WHAT DOES WISDOM SAY?
I find it very interesting that all throughout the book of Proverbs, Wisdom is given a pronoun and is identified as a person. Here’s an example:
“Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars;”
Similar to the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Wisdom is given individuality and personal identity in the scriptures, even though just like the former three She is still collectively one in God. There is one God, one Spirit, but seven expressions to that Spirit, of which Wisdom is a part (Is.11:2).
“The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”
What am I saying? I’m saying just as we’ve come to develop a relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, we need to come to develop a relationship with Wisdom, for she is better than rubies, and all the things that one desires cannot be compared to her (Prov.8:11).
Just as the Son cannot exist apart from the Father, so Wisdom cannot exist apart from these other Spirits: understanding, revelation, counsel, & knowledge (Is.11:2; Eph.1:17). To develop a strong relationship with Wisdom you must be committed to growing in the riches of knowledge, understanding, counsel, and revelation. This is achieved by meditating on the Word, yes, but there is more to it than that. This is achieved through being committed to personal development everyday. This is achieved from being committed to learning more everyday, and applying what you learn in your life so you own the truth as an experience! Let me give you an example.
The bible was written more than two thousand years ago, so although the basic principles and overall message is timeless, there are many ways that the world has changed since the Bible was written. Most people in the day the Bible was written could contextually relate to it more because it was written during the time of antiquity; it was written during their day and they understood most all of the references and “context” that the scriptures were set in. I hope I’m making sense.
If I were to make an important financial decision today concerning my retirement, I would follow the first two steps. I would study what the Word of God has to say about handling finances as a good steward, and I would also pray and seek the Lord about what to do with my finances in retirement. But I would not stop there, and neither should you. I would add the last step and ascertain what Wisdom has to teach me concerning this important life decision that will have generational ramifications. The bible says that Wisdom teaches through counselors.
“A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,”
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”
Plans are established by counsel; by wise counsel wage war.
“For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.”
The bible says that it is indeed the Holy Ghost that teaches you, the anointing within that teaches you all things (1 Jn.2:20&26), but the Holy Ghost who is a Teacher anoints other teachers to teach you in this life. What you need to learn is not just going to come through sitting alone reading your bible. That’s not the way God designed it.
Just as the Holy Ghost is your Teacher, but He uses human teachers in your life, Wisdom does the same thing. Wisdom will give you counsel for every major life decision you need to make, but at times Wisdom will counsel you through Counselors. I would suggest that if you are looking to retire comfortably and wisely, that you learn about the modern world of finances and investing, and that you seek out the counsel of wise trustworthy people who know that world of finance and investments. Too many Christians spiritualize reasons for falling short in their pursuit of Wisdom, but you will never find that kind of behavior and thinking endorsed by scripture. The bible says to establish your plans with counsel, and only in a multitude of counselors is there safety. The Holy Ghost will use human agents all throughout the earth, not just in the church, to provide you with that counsel for your own safety and prosperity. Seek it out. Follow through with step three in this process!
BEYOND RIGHT & WRONG
If you’re anything like me, the first thing your mind and heart goes to when trying to make an important decision is the morality of the issue. I always want to determine if this decision that I’m about to make is right or wrong, according to God’s word and precepts. But I would encourage you if you’re wired in this way to not stop there. In addition to the question of morality, ask the wisdom questions. Yes, ask the moral question first, because ultimately even if it sounds like a good idea there is no wisdom in deliberately going against God’s standards with our decisions and lifestyle choices. But ask yourself what the ramifications are going to be after you’ve made the decision. Are you going to be able to live with it? Does it bring you peace and closure?
Once you’ve studied the Word and consulted with the Spirit of God through prayer and intimacy with him, and once you’ve done your research, read your books, sat in your meetings, and taken your notes, it’s now time to make a decision. At this stage, you need to ask yourself what you’re willing to live with. You may have all the spreadsheets in front of you, you may have done all the research needed to be done, but if you’re financial planner’s strategy is too risky in your estimation then don’t do it, because you’re the one that has to live with the results moving forward.
A few years ago I had a conflict with a friend of mine who was also in ministry. This friend of mine ended up going behind my back to another leader and twisting my words as He retold them what I said from His perspective. By the time the leader confronted me on it and told me what my friend said I told him, it was so twisted and so far removed from what had actually been spoken I felt like I was playing a game of telephone.
Long story short, this ended up bringing great damage to the relationship I had with this leader. At the time, I opted to not even engage in it. I opted to not even respond or try to defend myself at all. I just pulled away from both of them and went another direction. But years after the incident occured it still bothered me. I still found myself up some nights thinking about it, expending a lot of thought and energy on it, even though it was something that was in the past. I needed someone to tell me then what I’m telling you today. Don’t just make decisions because you think it’s right, make decisions that you know you can live with.
The decision I made to disengage and not try and tell my side of the story was what I thought to be “the higher road”. It’s what I thought to be the right thing at the time, but the problem is that decision brought me no closure in the situation and no peace as a result. Years later, even though it may have seemed petty, I had to eventually go back to the leader and tell them what happened from my perspective, just for the sake of getting it off my chest. Yes, I was open about forgiving the person and letting it go, but for my own heart I had to stand up for myself eventually because I was not able to live with myself moving forward unless I did. The fact that I waited years to do it made it less effective in helping this leader see the truth than if I would have taken a stand at the time when it happened, but it still helped, and I’m glad I did it.
Especially when it comes to relationships, you need to make decisions that bring you peace. It doesn’t matter if everyone believes you, if you take a stand for what’s right and you do everything you can to help others come to the knowledge of the truth on a matter, you can rest easily at night knowing that you did everything you could. We live with regret not because of the results. We live with regret knowing that we could have done more.
Now I realize that some of you have made decisions and there is no going back. I had another friend that I had an altercation with when I was younger, and before I could make it right that friend died and I never got to reconcile. In those situations, as you repent and give it to God, He will release the burden from you and give your heart grace to have closure and move on in peace. But there’s something called “restitution”, which is an act of restoring, or a condition of being restored (1). When there’s something that can be done to make things right or restore a situation, then you need to do it. Those are the times when something usually hangs over you if you’ve tried to give it to God. Go and make it right, or at least do everything you can to make it right, and watch as God finally lifts the burden and gives you peace concerning that situation!
Am I saying that there’s no time to be silent and let God fight your battles for you? No, I’m not saying that, because I’d be going against the Word (Ex.14:14). But remember, when Moses stood silent before the enemy, He received a specific word of counsel to do that in that situation. Not every scripture should be applied to every situation. That’s why we need revelation and wisdom when applying scriptures in our lives.
So I want to encourage you, learn from your interactions with people and learn when to take a stand and when to humble yourself and suffer in silence. There’s a time for both. When you have the opportunity to help another see the truth, do it. When God shows you it won’t help, then just humble yourself and do your best to love. But remember this word today when making important life decisions. Remember to go through these three steps and remember to make big life decisions that you can live with moving forward and that bring you peace. And for everything else that’s outside of your control, give it to the Lord and receive his supernatural peace that surpasses all understanding! He will help you with this! Of this I’m sure!
In His Service,
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