How can I gain spiritual knowledge and wisdom?
Instruction is very important for those who desire to live a long and fruitful life and gain wisdom and knowledge. Those who instruct others must first have knowledge. As one is instructed he learns knowledge and is therefore able to instruct others.
"Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge" (Proverbs 23.12).
All Christians should have a deep hunger and thirst for knowledge of the God (Psalm 42.1-2; 63.1; 143.6; Proverbs 9.10; 30.3), the Father, Son and HOLY SPIRIT. The way to gain that knowledge is through the study of the Scriptures. The more we study the Bible the more we learn of our Father, our Savior Jesus and the HOLY SPIRIT who dwells within all true born-again believers.
Fools hate spiritual knowledge and seldom seek it out. Professing Christians who ignore the greatest storehouse of spiritual knowledge in the universe are the most foolish. That storehouse is the Bible, the Word of God─the Holy Scriptures.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1.7).
Every believer should spend most time reading and studying (Deuteronomy 4.9-10; Proverbs 8.34; 23.12; Luke 8.15, 21; 11.28; James 1.22; Revelation 1.3, Deuteronomy 17.19; Psalm 42.1-2; 63.1; 143.6; Revelation 1.3), (Deuteronomy 8.3; Matthew 4.4; Proverbs 2.1-5; 8.34; 22.17; John 5.39; Acts 17.11; Romans 15.4; 2 Timothy 2.15; 3.15).
Memorizing the following passages will equip a believer to gain strength in the faith: (Deuteronomy 6.6; Psalm 37.31; 40.8; 119.11; Proverbs 2.1; 3.1, 3; 4.1, 21; 6.21; 22.18; Isaiah 51.7; Ezekiel 3.10) and contemplating on (Joshua 1.8; Job 22.22; 23.12; Psalm 1.2; 4.4; 19.14; 63.6; 77.12; 104.34; 119.15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148; 143.5; 1 Timothy 4.15).
Instruction is something that everyone needs in order to gain knowledge. One should get as much as possible and no one can do without it. Every child needs instruction from his or her parents and that is why children are commanded to listen to what their parents teach them (Proverbs 1.8; 3.1; 4.1; 6.20; 23.22). Students need to listen to the instruction of their teachers if they want to learn something. On the job the new employee needs to listen to the instruction of the one training him.
The same is true in the spiritual realm. Parents should instruct their children in the ways of the Lord and in His Word. Fathers should be the head of the house and do most of the teaching (Deuteronomy 4.9; 6.6-7; 11.18; 32.46; Psalm 78.5). In the church the pastors and Bible teachers are to instruct the congregation and show them how to study the Bible on their own. They are to make disciples of everyone in the church (2 Timothy 2.2).
Christians who can study the Bible on their own have the special privilege of being taught by God the Father (James 1.5), by the Lord Himself (1 Corinthians 2.16; 2 Timothy 2.7), and by HOLY SPIRIT (1 John 2.27). Do not waste that great privilege. Sit at the feet of the Savior, God the Father and the HOLY SPIRIT.
"To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding,
to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion--A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel" (Proverbs 1:2-5).
Listening is a very effective way of gaining knowledge and wisdom and it is a very rare attribute. Most people want to talk and talk and only a miniscule fraction of people want to listen. A person who listens to others is a wise person (1.5; 8.33; 12.15; 13.1; 19.20). Everyone needs to listen and learn from others. Christians should listen to their heavenly Father. The way we listen to Him is by hearing, reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on Scripture. If you want to grow spiritually listen to the Lord as often as possible through prayer and reading the Scriptures.
"Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days" (Proverbs 19.20).
"Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge" (Proverbs 22.17).
When a Christian stops listening to the Lord, his or her life goes downhill. The traits of a person who is out of true fellowship with the Lord becomes evident with chronic manifestations of sinful behavior such as bringing division into Christian ministries or unfairly condemning others. Scripture tells us that even prayers from such a person are an abomination to God (Proverbs 28.9).
He or she will stray from the Word--stop obeying it (Proverbs 19.27) and slip into a backslidden condition and will eventually walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand in the path of sinners and sit in the seat of scoffers (Psalm 1.1). This person's life will no longer be like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in due season, whose leaf does not wither. Instead of prospering, eventually this type of person will come to ruin (Psalm 1.3).
"He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace" (Proverbs 11:12).
Wisdom is a precious treasure that everyone should seek after with greater zeal, more than worldly riches or anything else (Proverbs 2.1-5). Wisdom is more valuable than gold, silver, precious jewels or anything one can lust after (Proverbs 3.13-14; 8.10-11; 16.16). Everyone who seeks after wisdom on a daily basis loves his own soul (Proverbs 19.8).
Wisdom is found in the Bible. If you want wisdom directly from the Creator of the universe, study the Bible. Study Scripture daily (Acts 17.11) and study it diligently (2 Timothy 2.15). When you think you have studied the Bible enough start all over and study it more than before. Never stop studying Scripture because no one can grasp all the depths of the holy, infallible Word of God in this lifetime.