What is the “Word of Wisdom” Spiritual Gift? Discover Its Purpose and How to Activate It

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit…”

—1 Corinthians 12:7-8 (emphasis added)

Have you ever asked, “What is the ‘word of wisdom’ spiritual gift?” It is a supernatural gift given to you by the Holy Spirit to understand what to do with the knowledge He also releases. According to the Bible, if you are a born-again Believer, you have access to the word of wisdom spiritual gift. 

Let us look at the gift of the word of wisdom, its purpose, and how to activate it.

Why You Need to Understand the Spiritual Gift of the Word of Wisdom 

In this season, the enemy is releasing the spirits of manipulation and rebellion. He is twisting the words we hear, and we must be able to discern truth from lies wisely. We must understand the signs of the times and know how to move forward and overcome, just as the sons of Issachar did. 

The Bible says we are destroyed for lack of knowledge. If we aren’t wise to the times and seasons we are in, the enemy will steal, distort, and twist what is ours and what is truth. Think of it this way; you only know what a counterfeit bill looks like when you know the real thing well. The same goes for God’s wisdom. The first step to unlocking the word of wisdom gift is to get into the Word daily. 

To overcome the demonic assignment that has been released in these last days, we must desire not only the word of wisdom gift but seek to partner with others who are walking in the truth of the gifts of the Spirit. When we are united in one accord (see Acts 2) in the Spirit, we are filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit, fulfilling God’s destiny for the Church. 

The Gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12

First Corinthians 12:7-10 lists nine gifts of the Spirit. The following verse reminds us that the Holy Spirit imparts gifts to Believers as He wills.

  • “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.—1 Corinthians 12:11 (emphasis added)

It is important to understand that the Holy Spirit is the distributor of your gift. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of your inheritance as a Believer in Christ. He permanently resides within you, which means you have spiritual gifts that God intends for you to use.

What is the Word of Wisdom?

Specifically, the word of wisdom is a gift that is designed to enable those who receive it to know things that would otherwise not be known to them. 

It is one of the revelatory power gifts and…

  • Manifests itself as a supernatural impartation of future knowledge and/or what to do with knowledge 

An Example of a Word of Wisdom in the Bible

A biblical example of the manifestation of a word of wisdom is seen in the story of Noah. God revealed a future event so that Noah could prepare. 

  • “And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopherwood… And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.’”—Genesis 6:13-14, 17

It is not uncommon for Believers to receive a word of warning or “gut feeling” from the Holy Spirit. The question is, how seriously do you take this word? If you have received a warning word, it could mean that you have the gift of a word of wisdom waiting to be activated.

What is the Purpose of the Word of Wisdom?

Wisdom written on the ground with an arrow pointing towards a trail - Symbolism for the word of wisdom gift.

As with all spiritual gifts, the word of wisdom is meant to build up and edify the Church through Believers.

  • “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.”—1 Corinthians 14:12

The word of wisdom is commonly manifested in Believers today for three purposes:

  1. To help Believers witness to something God is doing or about to do
  2. To prepare for something that is going to happen in the future
  3. To seek to change a future event through prayer and/or fasting

Are you one of the saints who carry the mantle and responsibility of passing on a word of wisdom? If so, God has and will continue to equip you with all the spiritual tools necessary to carry out your spiritual assignment. 

  • “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”—1 Corinthians 2:4-5

Does the Word of Wisdom Work with Other Gifts of the Spirit?

Yes. As with all spiritual gifts, the word of wisdom is often complemented by other gifts. 

For instance, let’s return to the story of Noah building the ark. In this example, we see the word of wisdom manifested through Noah’s obedience to God’s instruction about what was to come. The word of knowledge is then manifested in the instructions he used to adequately build the ark God described. 

The book of Exodus gives us another clear example of God’s intention for His children to have many gifts that all work together. 

  • “…I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.”—Exodus 31:3-5

In other words, the Spirit releases more gifts to those who steward them well.

Ways to Activate the Word of Wisdom

In order to carry out the work of the Holy Spirit, Believers must be willing to put in the effort to align themselves with their anointing. Simply put, you cannot be spiritually asleep and expect your spiritual gift to manifest.

So then, is there anything standing in the way of surrendering to His Kingdom purpose for your life? If so, take a moment to come before the Lord and repent, cleansing out the lies that can infiltrate your mind.  

This question is posed to expose any obstacles that may stand in the way of your spiritual gift manifestation. After the Lord reveals any obstacles, it’s time to A.C.T.—apply, change, and transform. 

  • A- Apply: Apply the truths that are being revealed to you. Faithfully seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and discern His wisdom through time spent in His presence. Finally, repent of anything that feels unresolved.
  • C- Change: Make the necessary changes in your life for your spiritual gift to manifest. Ask God to reveal what is standing in the way of the manifestation of your gift, and be obedient to His instruction.
  • T- Transform: Allow the Holy Spirit to transform your faith through the manifestation of your spiritual gifts. Confidently awaken to your calling and strengthen your gift through obedient determination.

The Takeaway

The word of wisdom is a spiritual gift given to Believers by the Holy Spirit. It is supernatural wisdom to know things and what to do with that knowledge that would otherwise not be known. It works closely with the word of knowledge and the gift of prophecy. 

Like every spiritual gift, a word of wisdom is designed to edify and encourage the Church. It is to prepare Believers for what is to come and be witnesses of God’s character to the world.