The God Kind of Wisdom

Ok, I am just going to say it, like ripping off a band-aid. Problems build in us, our reliance on God. (1:5-8) I know that was not easy for some of us to hear, but if our problems are never greater than our ability, we will never sense our need for God. This is why James tells us in James 1:5~If any of you lacks wisdom (σοφία sophia), let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given. Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge to our problems. Divine wisdom enables us to allow problems to refine our faith and develop our character. 

So when we have a problem, we should ask God for wisdom to see what He’s trying to develop in us, through this problem. However, pride can block divine wisdom in our lives. Listen to Proverbs11:2~When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (NIV) The first step in receiving wisdom from God is admitting our need. The reason problems sometimes overwhelm us is our pride causes us to try to handle them all by ourselves. So we must swallow our pride and ask God for wisdom.

Remember He gives with liberality. (James 1:5b) Aren’t you glad God never responds to us when we ask for wisdom by saying to us you made your bed; now lie in it. He never scolds us for our deficiency of wisdom. Not only are we to pray for wisdom, but James writes that we are to ask in faith, don’t waver! James 1:6~But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (ESV) 

One minute we are up, the next we are down. Instability is nothing but a lack of faith, and if we lack faith, we should not think we’ll receive anything from the Lord. James calls them double-minded, think of them as a vacillator. Ever ordered behind one? I think I want, no maybe, well let yeah, umm, let them go, wait, no I, no still not sure. As the pithy Adrian Rogers said, Pray and believe, and you will receive; pray and doubt, and do without. Jesus says it like this in Mark 9:23~If…you can? said, Jesus. Everything is possible for one who believes. (NIV) 

When we lack faith, we are double-minded. James 1:7-8~For that person must not suppose that he’ll receive anything from the Lord; he’s double-minded (δίψυχος dipsychos) man, unstable in all his ways. (δίψυχος dipsychos) literally means two souled, or wishy-washy. Don’t be one who vacillates between God’s way and the world. We either live in the world or we live in Jesus Christ. James says, make up your mind, take a stand for Jesus Christ and become steadfast, a stable believer.

Why? Why should that be one of our concerns? Well, as children of God we want our Heavenly Father to know that He can count on us to fulfill His purpose for our lives. By becoming a person who is single-minded, it means we are totally committed to God. As we pray today and head out into the world, let’s go with a single mind and a single focus, to fulfill the purpose of the Lord. That means to share with others and to pray with others, as we reveal Jesus Christ to a world in need. To do this we need to pray and ask God for His wisdom and guidance and to give us opportunities to minister on His behalf. Today, let’s do the work of Jesus Christ.

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