How can we obtain spiritual wisdom and understanding or discernment?
To begin with, we can not obtain spiritual wisdom and understanding or discernment by our own power, because both came from God, and only God can give them both to the obedient believers. They are God-Given gifts.
(Proverbs2:6) says-"for the Lord giveth wisdom : Out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding". Understanding, here, means spiritual discernment. When Solomon requested for wisdom and understanding or discernment, He said in (1King 3:9)-"give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: For who he is able to judge this thy so great a people". Then in (James 1:5) says-"If any of you lack wisdom , let him ask God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not: and he shall be given him". Meaning-if any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him. There are many verses in the Bible that tell God-gives wisdom and understanding or discernment to all obedient believers who ask Him. See (1Ki 4:29),(2Chr.1:10), (Ps.51:6),(Pr.2:6), etc.
The Bible says-"the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments : His praise endureth forever" (Ps. 111:10)-meaning- "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ; all who follow His precepts have good understanding . To Him belongs eternal praise ". The fear of the Lord is the starting point and essence of wisdom and understanding or discernment; also, a reverence for God, express in submission to his will. See (Job28:28), (Eccles. 12:13), (Proverb 9:10, 15:33). Wisdom and Understanding or Discernment are not obtain by a mechanical formula but thru a right relationship with God.
In (Isaiah. 11:1) says-"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of His roots, ". It is interesting that it says "A rod out of the stem of Jesse". David is not mentioned. The one who is mentioned is David's father. Of course, that means Jesus is in the line of David, but why does Isaiah go back to Jesse? Well, the royal line did begin with David. Jesse was farmer, a sheep-herder who lived in a little out-of-the way place called Bethlehem. But by the time of Jesus, the line of David had sunk back to the level of a peasant. It no longer belonged to a prince raised in a palace, but it belonged to one raised in a carpenter shop. Isaiah, therefore, very carefully, said that the rod comes "Out of the stem of Jesse". Then, immediately, Isaiah said in (Isaiah 11:2)-" and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him (Jesus), the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord".
Hereby, when Jesus came the first time, the spirit of the Lord rested upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding or discernment. It means that the spirit of wisdom and understanding or discernment that believers can obtain, can only come from Jesus. We can not obtain wisdom or understanding or discernment by our own power. It must be God-given. It must be given by Christ. We must be rested and abided in Jesus before spiritual wisdom and understanding or discernment will be given to us. In short we must follow Jesus. Jesus said in (John 10:27) says-"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me".
Before going farther, I would like to define the meaning of spiritual wisdom and discernment. Spiritual wisdom is the knowledge of what is true and righteous or just, coupled with good judgment. Spiritual discernment is the knowledge to distinguished between right and wrong or good and bad. Since we know that the spiritual wisdom and understanding or discernment rested upon Jesus, then we also know that the knowledge of what is true and righteous or just and the knowledge to distinguished between right and wrong or good and bad, also, rested upon Jesus .The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the truth (John 14:6); and (Rev.19:2) says-"for true and righteous are His judgment". Therefor, wisdom and discernment can only come from Jesus and no other else. Because, everything Jesus does is true and righteous or just, when we follow Him, also, everything we do is true and just also.
Now, the big question is-how can we obtain spiritual wisdom and discernment? Spiritual wisdom and discernment can only be obtained by being an obedient believers to follow Christ and by having the mind of Christ. (Phil. 2:5) says-" let this mind be in you, which is also in Christ Jesus". Two things that characterized the mind of Christ are humility and obedience. In (Ep.4;1-2) says-"---- Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness with long suffering forbearing one another in love", then in (Phil.2;7-8) says-" but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a men, He humbled himself and became obedient unto death , even the death of the cross". This is the mind of Christ. This is the pattern of Christian living . When Paul says that Christ is the pattern for Christian living he is not talking about imitation. He is talking impartation. That is, the mind of Christ should be in us, and it can be there only by the power of the spirit of God.
Another big question will be asked'. How can we have the power of the Holy Spirit of God which is the only way to have the mind of Christ? Be filled with the Holy Spirit is the answer. Whenever we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have his power overflowing thru us. (Ep.5:18) says-" and be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the spirit. Paul has taught in this Epistle that all believers are sealed with the spirit when they believe, (Ep. 1:13-14 , 4:30), but not all are filled, since this depends on yieldedness to God's will (Ep. 5:17). The Holy Spirit also fills believers for witnessing (Act,4:8), for leadership (Acts. 6:3), for strength (Acts. 7:55) and for special discernment (Acts.13:9). but his feeling could be suspended when we quench or grieve the Holy Spirit. When we are cold and indifferent of his indwelling in us, we are quenching him , and when we are sinning in our daily walk we are grieving him. Therefore, when we are in this situation our responsibility is to confess our sins, and God will forgive us (1John1:9)
In order to be filled with the Holy Spirit consistently, we have to be sure that we are always walking with Christ, and following Him wherever He goes. Let Him be our Master and Lord.
The steps of how to obtain Spiritual wisdom and discernment are the following:
1. Be filled with the Holy Spirit consistently by following Christ and confessing our sins daily as they occur.
2. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have His power overflowing thru us.
3. By the overflowing power of the Holy Spirit thru us, the mind of Christ should be in us.
4. Having the mind of Christ we can obtain spiritual wisdom and understanding or discernment.
Written by: OSMUNDO S. SABADO
Edited by: ORMAN L. SABADO