"How does one obtain wisdom?" This is a very revealing question. In fact, those that ask for such things are showing that they already possess a degree of "Godly" wisdom found in humility. The one that does not measure himself superior in knowledge to his fellow man already has the understanding that all wisdom comes from God and that God chooses to distribute His wisdom according to how He sees fit for a grander purpose than we can fathom.
Only the fool considers himself "wise in his own eyes", and this arrogant stance is not only "worldly wisdom" manifested, it is also a stumbling stone for those that can't be taught. For the one that thinks he knows it all, no longer hears the voice of wisdom.
Anyone that wants to live a right life, making right choices and not going against their own conscience, shows awareness of "something" outside themselves that requires "wisdom" beyond themselves. Whether conscious of God or not, those that heed their own "conscience" are submitting to the Spirit of God who speaks to all of us in this way.
I say all this to say, that the fear (the reverential awe and respect) of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge, wisdom and discipline. To understand this is primary in laying the foundation for obtaining wisdom to live a Godly life. Without a good grasp of this, you cannot ask and expect to receive from God, what you do not believe.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." James 1:5-8 (NIV)
A double-minded man or a "man of two minds" is one who holds on to the wisdom of the world, which promotes self, while trying to gain something from God to aid him in his worldly ways. Often times, people curse God when they don't get what they pray for, when it is only because they ask for things with ill motives, and God knows each of our hearts and He knows the "Whys" behind everything anyone seeks. His word clearly says that such a man should not expect to receive anything from Him.
But now, let us look at King Solomon. Here is a man about to become the king of God's people, to replace his father King David, a tough act to follow. God appeared to him in a dream and told Solomon He would give him anything he asked. Here is what Solomon said to the Lord:
"Now O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?" 1 Kings 3:7-9 (NIV)
It goes on to say that the Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for this and not for long life and wealth or anything else born of selfishness. The Lord made him wise of heart and gave him all that he did not ask for as well.
You can see from the scriptures above that Solomon approached God in humility and with much respect and awe for the power of God. He had seen the effect God had on his Father, David. Solomon had the "fear of the Lord" and was made the wisest ruler over God's people. He did not ask for wisdom for himself, he asked for wisdom, for what was God's: His people.
We should approach God in obtaining wisdom in the same light. Not for our own ends, but to serve our fellow man (for these are also God's people, though the blood of Christ that saves all those who would believe in Him).
God gives His wisdom freely to all who ask and believe; to all who ask of pure intent to live a good life and treat others well, showing God's wisdom through all words and deeds. God gives wisdom to those who are humble in spirit and true to their own heart and conscience.
God gives His wisdom to those who would live for Him through such wisdom and turn and walk a life rich in love and respect toward all of God's people.
May He grant us all a discerning heart and the ability to distinguish clearly between right and wrong. May He grant us His wisdom to help us walk a life rich in love towards everyone, so that all who would see our lives or hear our words would be blessed and turn from ways of darkness and seek His Light found through God's ultimate Wisdom, found through His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Thanks for listening.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."
Proverbs 1:7 (NIV)