wisdom (n) – knowledge, insight, judgment (NLT Study Bible Dictionary/Concordance)
This week’s reading in our study of It’s No Secret by Rachel Olsen starts with Chapter 11 about wisdom. Tucked into one of the Bible study questions at the end of the chapter is to read James 1:5.
James 1:5 (NLT)
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
I continued to read…
James 1:6-8 (NLT)
“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.”
I also like how The Message reads…
James 1:5-8 (MSG)
“If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”
Think about this for a moment. God wants us to come to Him and ask for wisdom. He promises to give it to us, and even says he won’t look down on us for asking. But when we ask, we are to have faith in Him alone. We are not to ask for His opinion among others and then choose the answer we like best.
How often have I asked God for wisdom…
-but then took matters into my own hands?
-or acted out of emotion instead of wisdom?
-or thought, “I still don’t know what to do?”
Has this ever happened to you? Someone asks you for help or advice. Maybe it’s a family member or a co-worker. You take time to listen to what that person needs and then give the help or advice asked for. But when you finish, you find out the person is not going to take your advice, but do it the way she’d planned to all along. I’ve had this happen to me and it’s more than a little annoying. It makes me not want to give my time if asked again.
I wonder if God ever feels that way. Do I give Him reason to think, “Why are you asking me when you choose to go your own way?”
I’m afraid the answer is too often yes.