The Two Types of Wisdom and Strength

The Two Types of Wisdom and Strength

What I am sharing in this post helped me a great deal, I hope it can help you as well.  If you are not a follower of Christ this may sound like foolishness.

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Are you a follower of Christ who seeks wisdom and strength? Wisdom and strength sounds good right?  We are taught to do this by our parents and our teachers from a very young age.  Most of us study and pray and listen to sermons just for this purpose, but…

There are two types of wisdom and strength, there is God’s wisdom and strength and there is fleshly wisdom and strength. How do we tell the difference?

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There is a big difference between the wisdom and strength of God and wisdom and strength “according to the flesh”.  We should not mix the one with the other because we don’t see the difference.  This difference should be thoroughly understood by every follower of Christ.

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,…30 But by his doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,” -1 Cor 1:26-27, 30

According to this passage God chooses the foolish and weak and He shames the wise and strong. If we are becoming wise and strong and excellent “according to the flesh” (1 Cor1:26), we are setting ourselves up to be opposed by the Lord.

If you are anything like me the difference between Godly and fleshly wisdom is not always obvious, but there is a clear distinction. We know from the passage above that “Christ Jesus has become to us wisdom from God.”  But from the same passage we also know that God chooses the weak and foolish in order to shame the strong and wise.  There is Jesus-wisdom and there is fleshly-wisdom and these are diametrically opposed to one another.

The fastest and easiest way to tell the difference between fleshly and Godly wisdom (either in yourself or in the advise of others), is to ask the following questions:

  • Are they trying to dominate and compete with others?
  • Am I building or seeking hierarchies putting myself at (or near) the top?
  • Are you or others finding pleasure in out-doing, out-witting, or one-upping others?
  • Am I demanding or trying to see my way (or my vision) and will be done? (even Jesus prayed “not my will but your will be done..”)

Answering yes to these questions suggests a strength and wisdom “according to the flesh”.  I’ve been guilty of walking according to fleshly wisdom, I’ve also heard entire sermons of nothing but boasting in fleshly wisdom and in fleshly strength. God opposes this, we should not pretend to follow or serve God when he is actively opposing or shaming us.

Someone who always gets or is accustomed to getting their way is a menace to what God is doing in the earth.

Gods “wisdom and strength” looks like turning the other cheek when it is struck (Matthew 5:39), it looks like sitting down and letting others speak (Luke 4:20), it looks like giving the coat and the shirt to the guy demanding just the shirt (Matthew 5:40). Gods kingdom, (his ruling presence) is with the “poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3).

We who seek to serve and follow the Lord should know beyond all confusion what God opposes and shames and what ‘he chooses’ and ‘gives the kingdom’ to. There is a big difference and it becomes easy to notice within yourself and others, once understood.

Jesus Christ is our wisdom and strength, no need to mingle and mix him with fleshly strength. He and his wisdom is all we need.

Remember that the world is passing away and its ruler, but at the same time, the kingdom and rule of Jesus Christ is ever increasing and it will never end.

What about you, do you live your life according to fleshly or godly wisdom and strength? Or a little of both?  Please comment below.

  • Dear Adam,
    Great biblical insight. As I feel stronger and stronger to be involved in an outer ministry, it seems The Lord keeps putting the breaks on. Very frustrating. In my period of waiting I see that this is for several reasons. One of them is just what you wrote about: Learning to be Spirit led as to ascertain what is worldly wisdom and what is the wisdom of Christ. What a great list you provided above as a way to gauge what is fleshly and what is Christ building. It is important to remember too, that while the world is falling away and in Satan’s domain, Christ loves these people, died for them, who are unknowingly imprisoned by this the prince of this world and desire to set them free through us, The bride. So saying “the world is going to hell in hand basket and so I am going stay over here where it is nice and everyone is RIGHT” does not fit in with Christ’s Kingdom either.
    Blessings and Cheers,
    Leah

    • I see what you mean by isolating yourself and being RIGHT…all alone.

      My point for this post was that we’d all be able to see fleshly vs. Godly wisdom in ourselves and in others and to not follow around teachers who preach fleshly wisdom as if it were a good thing.