Wisdom: James Two Verses at a Time (x2)
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver. For a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea tossed to and fro by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world and they are unstable in all they do. James 1:5-8 NLT
Need wisdom? Ask God. He will give it to you. Sounds pretty basic doesn’t it. God won’t even rebuke you for asking. Like a good father, he wants his children to come to him for help. He is there to give guidance and direction. Right now I could use some wisdom about:
- Our summer plans
- My role here in the fall
- Should I take language classes right now or wait for summer?
- In whom do I need to be investing my time?
So far in this series we have talked about that trouble will come which are really opportunities for great joy. This testing of our faith helps our endurance grow. This is where wisdom comes in. When we are going through hard times requiring endurance, we need wisdom.
The best place to get wisdom is from God. We know that, but do we truly believe that? In James, it says, “be sure that your faith is in God alone.” James goes on to remind his readers to “not waver”, and to not divide our loyalty between God and the world. If this happens, that person “should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” I have been thinking about this a lot this week. How do I ask for wisdom, but my faith is not in God alone? When I ask a friend for wisdom, I listen, weigh my options, and then I may or may not follow his or her wisdom. It doesn’t work that way with God. When I ask God for wisdom, I need to follow his wisdom. Why wouldn’t I? He is the maker of the universe and sovereign overall. But then I don’t. I want to do things my way or another way looks easier. The problem is that when I don’t follow God’s wisdom, I am saying that I don’t have faith in God alone. I am saying I don’t trust that His wisdom is best for me. I am not being obedient to his next steps.
This is sobering. Asking God for wisdom is serious business. When I do this and God answers, God expects obedience. It is good to remember that obedience is always the best option. It is through obedience to God that Jesus endured the cross and is not seated at the right hand of God. (Phil 2:8,9) It is through obedience that God is glorified. It is through obedience that I will be doing God’s best for me.
Dear God, Thank you that you are always ready to give us wisdom. Thank you for never rebuking us for asking. May I not take asking you for wisdom lightly. May I listen to your words and guidance and obey fully. Thank you for always giving us a way through that is for our best even when we don’t think so. May I obey with a grateful heart. Amen