Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Generous Wisdom

James 1:5-6 5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 

The Old Testament tells us that when Solomon became king of Israel, he asked God not for wealth or power but for the wisdom to rule his people well. God answered his prayer with all he wanted and then some. Now we know that Solomon was far from perfect, he even made some dumb decisions later in life when he got away from God and His wisdom, but he is still remembered as among the wisest people ever.

It’s easy for us to look at Solomon and think this wisdom was a one time only deal, only for the new king and not for anyone else. However, if we look at James 1:5, we see something else entirely.

God not only wants all of us to have wisdom; He wants to be generous with His gift of wisdom. It is as if we have received this huge box from God and on the front, it says generous wisdom. We want to get into the box and see all that our Father has given us but we can’t figure out how to move the lid. We fail to notice the sign on the side that says “Ask to Open”. James tells us here that if we lack wisdom all we have to do is ask and that generous box will be open to us.

However, don't think this wisdom is like a magic lamp with a Genie inside, make a wish and be set
for life. As we see from the life of Solomon, God’s wisdom will only be available to us if we stay close to God and follow Him. It is a box that we open again and again by staying with God always. God’s wisdom for us is not the same as clairvoyance or massive knowledge. It is simply learning to see His will and His movements in the midst of the uncertainty of this world - and being smart enough to follow Him.

James tells us in verse six that we have to ask in faith without wavering. God is willing to give us wisdom, but we can't be wavering in faith not just during the asking but throughout. You can’t be thinking on Monday, “God give me wisdom to do your will” then on Tuesday, “God, never mind. I don’t trust you!”

If you don't believe in the wisdom of God you are not going to find it to be very wise. In fact, you will consider it to be foolishness. We see this throughout the Bible, from the rich young ruler walking away from what Jesus told him, to Paul speaking to the crowd in Athens. We want God’s wisdom but if it doesn’t line up with our preconceived knowledge then we simply don't accept it. That is why our minds must be made up before we ask. That is why we must have already made our choice. If we want God to be generous with His wisdom then we must be willing to choose God over the world.

To discover more, visit Oak Grove Baptist Church.