WISDOM FROM HEAVEN
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17 (NIV)
I lack wisdom. I admit it all the time. I cannot do this life without God’s wisdom because my ideas, abilities, insight are so very finite and limited.
It became glaringly obvious during parenthood. Being responsible for a tiny little baby in the wee s’mas of the night make one realize how inadequate we are. I read books, I made myself available to babysit (and I did all the time in my younger years) and I actually have my degree and worked in children’s ministry for 30+ years – but nothing prepared me. Prayer was my biggest resource. I prayed and God delivered.
Wisdom is important in all aspects of life. Purchasing a home, a car, vacation. Decisions at work, home, in relationships of all kinds. How can we get the wisdom we need for the daily grind? I’m glad you asked:
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 (NIV)
I have prayed this verse countless times reminding God of His promise here. If you notice, there are a few steps involved in this verse. Number one – we have to recognize our lack. It’s called humility when we walk this way. We do not have it all together, no matter how hard we try. We can put up a good front, but the reality is – we lack. We do not have everything we need.
Secondly, we need to ask. This word ask in Greek is aiteo. It means to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require. Quite a mouthful to describe our position before God. We are to beg to God for wisdom. He is God Most High – He is our Supreme, One and Only God. He is the One we need wisdom from. So, we beg. We fall at His feet and recognize our need.
Ever pay attention to how many people are at the feet of Jesus? I can think of a few, ones that I love to remind myself of.
One of my favorites is Jairus – he was the synagogue ruler (most presumably in Capernaum) and his daughter was sick. He had a lack, a need. His precious daughter was dying and he was desperate. I believe he had met Jesus before when Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum (John 6:59), so Jairus knew who Jesus was. He knew Jesus could do miracles. He saw, experienced and was in His Presence. It’s overwhelming just to think about that!
Jairus fell at Jesus’s feet when Jesus stepped back into Capernaum. He begged Jesus to come to his home to heal his daughter. Jesus went. Jesus responded immediately to this humility. (You can read more about this in Mark 5:21-43.)
Do you have a lack? Are you finding yourself in need of humbly positioning yourself at the feet of Jesus? Are you at the end of your rope? Do you need a miracle? Wisdom? Help?
Call out. Beg. Fall at His feet. Ask for wisdom on how to move forward. And do not move until you are given the green light. It’s here where we run into trouble. We run on ahead thinking we’ve got the green light because we asked, when in reality, all we did was ask.
We did not wait.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1 (NIV)
Two words begin this verse – two words we normally don’t string together in a sentence.
Waited. Well, at least, in my vernacular, these words are not strung together like popcorn on a string. Nope. It’s either waited, or patiently (and even the patience part is sketchy), but not both.
Having taught Psalm 40 recently, I have been looking at this verse in a new light. King David wrote this. He knew patience. He knew what it was like to wait. And wait. And wait. He was anointed king when he was a young whippersnapper, and yet he was not crowned for many years. And in the ensuing years he was being chased by the jealous king who was still on the throne but not willing to give it up.
I believe the key to unlocking this verse lies with our patience. In our ability to wait. In our humility to recognize our lack and beg for God’s help. His wisdom. And, James writes God gives generously to all without finding fault.
Yes, folks. This is the promise I remind God of all the time. I need His generosity to me for wisdom. And He looks beyond my faults, which are many.
How is this possible?
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV)
It's Jesus. It’s always Jesus. We can fall at His feet and beg Him to give us what we lack. Most of the time it truly is wisdom – how to proceed what that diagnosis, how to engage with a relationship going south, how to keep going when the suffering seems looooong.
Jesus as our Shepherd guarantees will shall lack nothing (Psalm 23:1). Let us draw near to Him as sheep and cling to His goodness, recognizing He is for us, and will give us what we need. Let us humble ourselves and wait patiently for Him to give. And trust He will.
Father God, yes, You alone are my God. My Hope. My Redeemer. My Shepherd. I need You. I need all You have for me. I am at Your feet seeking You and I will wait. Patiently, because I know this pleases You. I want what You want. More than anything, I want You. In the Name of Your Son, Jesus. AMEN.