Today I’m again in Week 1 (now Day 4) of Faith – the Bible study of James. Our scripture today is:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:5-8) Today’s study really packed a wallup, and culminated into what I’m calling The Great Cleansing.
If you lack wisdom, ask God and He will give you wisdom generously, if you ask in faith. What is wisdom from God?
- Practical – Wisdom from God is the tool by which trials are overcome
- Divine – This wisdom begins with respect for God, leads to living by God’s direction, and results in the ability to tell right from wrong.
- Christ-like – Asking for wisdom is asking to be like Christ, who is the “Wisdom of God” (1 Corin. 1:24). When we receive wisdom from God and live according to His direction, we are able to have joy in our trials knowing that God is guiding us to Christ-like behavior, which will deepen our faith. “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)
In order to receive wisdom from God, we must ask in faith without any doubt. The reason given in KJV is found in v 6 “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” If doubt is driving your life and choices, you aren’t allowing God to direct your path. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:6) “In all thy ways acknowledge him” means to turn over every area of your life to God. Look at your values and priorities – what is important to you? Where do you spend your time and energy? In what areas have you not acknowledged Him? It is in the areas where you attempt to restrict or ignore His influence that will cause you grief. Make Him a vital part of everything you do; then He will guide you because you will be working to accomplish His purposes.
Doubt leaves a person as unsettled as restless waves – subject to external forces. If you want to stop being tossed about, rely on God to show you what is best for you. Then your decisions will be sure and solid. We must have confidence that God will align our desires with His purposes. A mind that wavers isn’t completely convinced that God’s way is best. It treats God’s word like any human advice, and retains the option to disobey – vacillating between allegiance and subjective feelings, the world’s ideas and God’s commands. To stabilize your wavering or doubtful mind, commit yourself wholeheartedly to God. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) It’s possible to avoid most worldly customs and still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn and arrogant. ONLY when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates and redirects our minds are we truly transformed.
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” (Romans 8:5) Daily we must choose to center our lives on God – discover His guidelines through His word, and then follow them. When the Holy Spirit points out what is right, do it eagerly!
If instead we are double-minded and unstable, this denotes having one’s mind or soul divided between God and the world. This is being spiritually unfaithful to the Lord. If we are unfaithful, He won’t give us wisdom. Only by receiving divine wisdom will we be able to be joyous and submissive in our trials. God intends that trials will drive believers to a greater dependency on Him, by showing us our own inadequacies.
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22) Our requests must be in harmony with the principles of God’s Kingdom. The stronger our belief, the more likely our prayers will align with God’s will, and then He will be happy to grant them. I then prayed about the list I made yesterday of my current and life-long trials – and got down to the nitty-gritty of each trial. I laid them one by one in the Lord’s hands. I believe God has allowed them into my life for His good purpose. He is in control and He has a plan, and I choose to align myself with His purposes.
- My notes from Bible Study “Faith: A Bible Study on James for Women“
- Life Application Study Bible (NIV)