There is no other way to describe my experience: It was agony. I had just spent more than an hour at my computer writing and editing the same email over and over again. Changing words or deleting paragraphs didn’t bring me any closer to my intended goal of hitting “send” before bed, and I felt defeated. As I crawled under the covers, I felt resigned that no matter how hard I tried, I could not get unstuck, and my head began to pound. Argh. It was about to be tomorrow, and I needed a reset.

I wonder if you can relate to feeling confused or conflicted about what to do in a certain situation. How do you handle it?

man holding forehead under sunset

Thankfully, sleep—although not exactly peaceful—did heal my headache, but in the morning, I didn’t feel any less stuck about how to respond to that email than when I had gone to bed. I could tell that serious intervention was going to be necessary.

I needed wisdom.

I picked up my journal and walked into my prayer closet (which looks remarkably like sitting on my couch in the dark.) As the dawn light began to illuminate the blank pages on my lap, I scribbled various forms of the same prayer over and over on the pages: Help me; show me; lead me…

I asked for wisdom.

I begged for healing.

I complained about being stuck.

And then…came…nothing.

Slightly dejected but not yet ready to give up, I picked up my Bible and silently begged God to let today’s reading NOT be genealogies or more details about the building of the temple. I was not ready to descend into a deeper funk while fighting the urge to skim all the unpronounceable names or ruminate as to why it was important to know that “one wing of the first cherub was five cubits long and the other wing five cubits—ten cubits from wing tip to wing tip” (2 Kings 6:24) 🙄. “God, I need real answers from your Word…please!”

Although that day’s reading didn’t give me clarity about my problem, I did feel encouraged when I read these words which were spoken by Solomon. I felt he was talking for me: “Give attention to Your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant is praying in Your presence this day. May Your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which You said, ‘My name shall be there, so that You will hear the prayer Your servant prays toward this place. Hear the supplication of Your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place, and when You hear, forgive” (1 Kings 8:28-30).

I closed my Bible and whispered, “Yeah. What he said.”

Although I came out of my prayer closet still unsure how to resolve my email crisis, I still had one tool in my toolbox that I had yet to deploy: the counsel of the saints.

three woman sitting at each other near flowers

It just so happened that I had my weekly prayer call later that morning with three mature and faith-filled friends who have known me for a long time. Although we are culturally different—American, English, Nigerian, and South African—when it comes to matters of God, the only culture that matters is the Kingdom. I knew they would not steer me wrong. I began by vulnerably sharing my heart and expressed my exasperation in not knowing what to do. I then summed up my request: Help me to see this situation from God’s perspective. I want to honor Him, myself, and the person I was writing to. Let me tell you, my friends did not disappoint.

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,

But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” (Proverbs 12:15)

When I finished our international call, I had the answer I sought, and my whole perspective had changed. In fact, between the revelation I received and the prayers that they prayed, in thirty minutes’ time, I felt like a different person. That is what happens when you encounter true wisdom.





Here’s what’s important to know about wisdom: It is the Lord who gives it (Proverbs 2:6). This is very different from seeking advice. While it is certainly reasonable to ask for advice about what to wear to an outdoor wedding, the advice you get will depend on who you ask. Someone may tell you it’s fine to wear flip-flops to the wedding, while someone else would be aghast at that idea. However, when dealing with matters of the heart, it’s critical to seek God’s wisdom.



In my situation, I didn’t want advice: I needed to hear God’s perspective on what was going on in my heart and the heart of the person I was writing to. Thankfully, as soon as my friend spoke in his lovely English accent, I knew he was providing spiritual revelation from God Himself. His words acted like a key to my heart that not only brought clarity to my situation but also, somehow, brought healing by the end of the call.



Just. Like. That. I knew what to do, and I felt empowered to do it. That, my friends, is true wisdom.



Here’s what I have learned about how to acquire wisdom:




    • Recognize that reverence for God and His perspective, sometimes called “the fear of the Lord,” is the beginning of wisdom. This means you must revere God and want to please Him above all else. It means laying aside what you feel like doing or saying and asking God to show you how He sees your situation.Interestingly, I recently listened to An Interview With Nayib Bukele, the 43rd President of El Salvador. He was re-elected in February 2024 with 85% of the vote. When asked how he was able to institute changes that transformed El Salvador from being the most dangerous country in the world to one of the safest, he said the first thing he did was to “seek God’s wisdom.” From that point on, El Salvador began a process of transformation. Wow! (May all of our leaders do the same.)



    • Develop relationships with people who have true wisdom. I knew that my prayer group would not just give me good advice. I told them I needed Godly wisdom, and that is exactly what I got. If you don’t know anyone like that, ask God to put people in your life who operate in Godly wisdom. I have at least a half dozen people that I can count on to give me wisdom when I can’t hear God for myself.



    • Get to know God. Of course, we can never truly understand all there is to know about God, but we can become familiar with His character and understand how He operates in the world. This will help you cultivate Godly wisdom in your life. God reveals Himself in His word (the Bible), so regularly spend time reading it. As you study the life of Jesus, you will learn what God is like.



    • Be humble. Don’t assume you know everything you need to handle the problems in your life. Ask God for wisdom and expect Him to answer you. If you can’t hear God directly, search His Word and ask friends who operate in God’s wisdom to help you. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).



    • Understand that God does not contradict his Word. In other words, if what you think God is saying is not in line with what the Bible says, the “wisdom” is not coming from God.



    • Ask God to help you trust and obey what He is saying. It’s one thing to hear wisdom. It’s another thing to walk it out. In my case, with this email, I received wisdom and the desire to be obedient in one fell swoop. If that doesn’t happen, ask God to help you do the wise thing.




Friends, the following proverb may be ironic, but I can vouch that it is true:



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