But if I were to go out on the street and ask the question, “How does a person gain true strength?” the answers might not come as quickly.
So that is what I want to talk about. What brings mental and moral strength? What brings influence, authority and the capacity to do great things? And once we determine what that is, what’s the simplest way to gain it?
The answer doesn’t come from the latest New York Times best-selling author or the hottest new entrepreneur. It comes from the Author of the best-selling book(s) of all time. God Himself. Here it is:
A wise man is strong,
And a man of knowledge increases power.
Proverbs 24:5 (NASB)
Wisdom and knowledge.
I like how the Contemporary English Version (CEV) puts it: Wisdom brings strength, and knowledge gives power.
Some might ask, “Well, what is wisdom, really?” I believe there are different types of wisdom. There is the wisdom of this world, and there is true wisdom; i.e. wisdom that comes from God. However, many worldly people have acquired some true wisdom.
For example, there are certain principles that just about everyone agrees are crucial to success. Things like preparation, self-discipline, diligence, hard work, excellence and continual self-improvement, to name a few. Those principles are straight out of God’s Word, but of course many people who apply those principles aren’t Christians. They’re just sensible people who have learned some genuine wisdom, which paved the way to their success.
To get back to the question on wisdom, I would say that true wisdom is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on acquired knowledge on how life generally works. Another sense of the word wisdom is: truths or teachings from God on how life works.
If we want to become a stronger person, it’s essential to continually gain wisdom.
How do we get wisdom? Some people think that wisdom only comes with age and life experience. It’s definitely true that wisdom usually comes through life experiences and learning from mistakes or trials. So wisdom often comes the hard way.
But we don’t have to get wisdom the hard way.
We can bypass a lot of the pain, sorrow and regret that comes from bad decisions by learning wisdom directly from God. We become stronger, able to make better judgements, able to stand against the enemy, less likely to fall for deception and able to overcome challenges when we gain wisdom by immersing ourselves in God’s word.
God reveals truth and wisdom to us in a way that is amazing and hard to put into words. Have you ever noticed that you can hear something a million times, but it just doesn’t sink in? But when God opens our eyes about something, it is life-changing. It moves us to action. It transforms us, and that is when we become stronger, better and more spiritually mature.
It took me a long time to learn (on a heart level) the importance of a daily quiet time with God. Long story short, it finally got to the point where I knew that I needed to do something different, because I felt stuck. God showed me that I needed to have that daily time with Him, in an intentional way.
Once I committed to having that special time every morning, connecting with God and being in His word, it was life changing. I got out of the stuck season and entered into a new season of personal development and spiritual growth. I could see that God was working on my character and slowly but surely transforming me, like a Potter with clay.
So to sum that up, the simplest way to become stronger and transformed is to have a teachable heart and continually learn directly from God. And not just hear it, but apply it. I did the opposite for years, and through all the pain and heartache that came from that, I learned that doing things God’s way is really the smartest thing one can do. I really wish I would’ve known that years ago.
Let’s talk about knowledge in general
True knowledge brings authority and influence. So if we want to make an impact, it’s so important to always continue to learn.
That may be a no-brainer, but think about how many people stop learning after they’re finished with their formal education. It’s not surprising that one of the things that very wealthy, successful people have in common is their continual quest for knowledge and self-improvement. They aren’t interested in things that waste time, like TV, for example.
Thomas Corley, the author of “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals” writes:
The wealthy are not avoiding watching TV because they have some superior human discipline or willpower. They just don’t think about watching much TV because they are engaged in some other habitual daily behavior — reading.
To be clear, by bringing that up, I’m not saying that money equates to true success. I believe that true success is fulfilling our true calling, as I talked about in this post.
But it’s still worth noting that wealthy people who have achieved a form of success usually have the habit of reading and continually seeking knowledge.
Simply having knowledge is not enough, though. If we are willing to share that knowledge, with honesty and a heart to serve and make a positive difference, then I believe God blesses that. We will have favor and authority and influence.
So if you want to be stronger and more influential in 2015, as I do, then gain wisdom and knowledge! Seek it from the Source of all true wisdom and knowledge. Let’s do this together. : )
I want to end this post with a prayer.
Thank you God, for teaching us that wisdom and knowledge are crucial, if we want to get stronger and have influence. I ask for a spirit of wisdom and revelation, for myself and for whoever is reading this post, so that all of us will know You better, the source of wisdom! Thank you.
In Jesus’ name, Amen!