JAMES 1:5-8: “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 that is blown and tossed 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 everything they do.” NLT
OBSERVATION: Do you need wisdom? Do you need direction in your life? Do we ever come to the place in life when we always know what to do? What a wonderful promise to know that when we need wisdom God is always ready and willing to give it to us!
What is wisdom? Wisdom is seeing life from God’s perspective. It is seeing life through the prism of the eternal. It is having the veil removed so that we can see the next steps in our lives clearly. We all need wisdom. We never outgrow our need for wisdom. While we walk this earth we should daily ask God for wisdom for the day and our future.
When we moved to Florida we bought a golf course home on the 14th fairway. My office window faces the location where most people’s first tee shot hits. The 14th tee is set behind a large water retention sand trap. Golfers have to shoot over this trap and many times they don’t know where their ball has landed. This is where my viewpoint is unique.
Many times I see the ball land near the bushes that surround my house. I know where the ball is because I have a different vantage point than the golfer who is several hundred feet away. As their golf cart approaches, I see the search begin. All the time I know where their ball is. They search and many times they even leave without ever finding their ball. I have quite a collection since moving to our home in Florida.
Imagine if they simply stopped to ask – “Have you seen my ball?” They would be asking for wisdom – seeking direction from someone who has an entirely different perspective. We are like the golfer frantically searching for their ball. All the while our Father God looks down upon our life from His heavenly perspective. He sees our past, present, and our future clearly. All we have to do is simply ask Him for direction.
Is it really that simple?
There is always a prerequisite for receiving something from God. This prerequisite is faith. Faith is exercised when we realize that we do not have the answer and place our hope and trust fully in the Lord!
- “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.”
Notice the emphasis in James’ exhortation. “…Be sure that your faith is in God alone!” This means that we cannot come to the Lord for wisdom when we are unwilling to listen to it.
After Babylon conquered Judah and exiled the majority of the population, a small group of poor farmers was left to care for the land. Among them was the prophet, Jeremiah. Soon, others gathered with them. However, one day, Gedaliah, the appointed governor, was killed. Many of the leaders feared the reprisal of the Babylonians and wanted to flee to Egypt. They came to Jeremiah and said,
- “…May the Lord your God be a faithful witness against us if we refuse to obey whatever he tells us to do! Whether we like it or not, we will obey the Lord our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey him, everything will turn out well for us.” Jeremiah 42:5-6 NLT
The Lord spoke to Jeremiah and gave His instructions. The people were to remain in Jerusalem and trust the Lord to provide and protect them. When the people heard this they quickly did an about-face. It was not what they wanted to hear. They rejected God’s wisdom and did not obey. They stubbornly traveled to Egypt and outside of God’s favor and protection.
Faith calls us to listen. Faith calls us to obey. We cannot seek God’s wisdom as a rubber stamp to do what we want to do. When we come to God for wisdom we must be willing to trust in Him alone. We must be single-minded, fully surrendered, ready to obey. The Israelites who asked Jeremiah to seek God’s direction were double-minded. James reminds us what we can expect when we are doubleminded.
- “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 everything they do.”
God’s wisdom is always the best expression of His love and provision for our lives. Let me share one last example. In 2018 we listed our home in Texas for sale in October. We were moving to Florida in January of 2019 and wanted to sell the home before moving. The home was not selling. We began to seek the Lord for His wisdom.
In my devotions and my prayer life, I felt the Lord directing us to keep the home and lease it for a period of time. This was a financial stretch and required faith. Yet, my wife and I knew that the Lord was directing us in this way. When we decided to do this a full-price offer came in on our home.
Now we had to see if we would trust in God alone!
We did lease the home in obedience to the Lord’s leading. It was a struggle at times, but God always provided. We needed to sell it before the end of three years for tax purposes. It is now 2021 and our home is under contract. The amount that we sold our home for just three years later is substantially more than what it would have been in 2018. This additional amount is God’s provision for our retirement! What a wonderful blessing it is to walk in the wisdom of God.
This morning I can look back at the wonderful provisions of receiving God’s wisdom in our life. Yet, I also am looking forward and need new wisdom for the pathway and challenges that lie ahead. What a joy, what a comfort to know that I can simply come to my Heavenly Father each day and ask for His wisdom in Jesus’ Name! He never grows tired or weary in answering the prayers of His children!
Lord, this morning, shine the light of your love and grace upon my pathway today. Grant me wisdom to see today’s challenges through Your perspective. And, when I hear You say – “This is the way, walk in it,” may I answer in faith through obedience.
In Jesus Name!