Anyone out there besides me who desires more of God's wisdom? James 1:5, 6 tells us that "...if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to ALL and without reproach...BUT let him ask in faith, without any doubting, FOR THE ONE WHO DOUBTS is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind....that person must NOT SUPPOSE that he will RECEIVE ANYTHING from the Lord."
Let me see, that means that if we want wisdom, all we have to do is ask God (all knowing, all powerful, all present and FILLED with wisdom) and He will give to us. Ahh, ahh, ahh, not so fast. You must ask in FAITH without DOUBTING that He will give it to you. Faith?! You know - the conviction of the truth of anything! So: Ask, Believe in Faith that He will Give it to you; and He will give it to you GENEROUSLY and without REPROACH (rebuke or disapproval).
God's Word tells us in Romans 10:17: So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
To obtain faith, we need to be hearing the Word of God. So the equation looks like this:
Faith(hearing the Word of God) + Ask + Believe = Receive
Isn't that interesting? The book of Proverbs tells us much about wisdom in its first three chapters. Chapter 2 tells us the moral benefits of wisdom:
1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. 12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, 13 who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, 14 who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, 15 whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. 16 It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, 17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. 18 For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. 19 None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. 20 Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.
First, we see that "fear" of the Lord is the "beginning" of wisdom. Fear the Lord. That's right. He is not your bosom buddy, he's not your main man, or your "pal". You must have reverence, awe and respect for the one who created you, the world and everything and everyone else in it. When you start to see how small you are in the grand scheme of things, and how big God is, you begin to have wisdom.
So, too, the knowledge of God leads to proper respect, awe and fear of the Lord, and you only gain the knowledge of God by seeking Him. The world is full of people who want to teach you about God, but it is my opinion that the only way to really seek Him is through reading and studying the Word of God yourself and by listening to people who read, study and ADHERE to what God's Word says in its entirety. The whole truth and nothing but the truth, in LOVE. Don't listen to people who want to merely win you over by telling you what you WANT to hear. 2 Tim.4:3
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,Our ears must be tuned to what God has said in His Word which does not change. God does not change: He is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY and TOMORROW.
In these verses of Proverbs, we are also given conditions which we must meet in order to receive proper knowledge of God and fear of him:
First, we must receive (accept) His words. How many times have you heard people use words similar to these: "I just can't believe in a god who would do that" or "my god just wouldn't do that" or "my god is not one who would hurt anyone or anything, he is a god of love." Friends, there is a lot to know about God and we will never completely understand Him or His ways. We must not be presumptuous about Him but read His Word with our ears open, and our mind and heart willing to learn about and accept Him just as He presents Himself in His Word.
Secondly, we must treasure his commandments. I know what you are thinking. Yes, it is hard. Because we are sinful and love sin, it is hard to hear, accept and love what He commands us to do. (Old and New Testament both are still 100% in agreement.) We must treasure them enough to read them over and over and over and retain what we are taught.
Third, we must make our ears attentive to wisdom. You read that right. We MUST MAKE our ears ATTENTIVE to wisdom. That means when we read, no matter how hard or unappealing it is to our ears, we must submit to what we read, take it in, absorb it and, when we are being taught by another who is also wiser and knows more about God than we do, submit to what they know from reading, receiving, treasuring and submitting to God's Word after years of practice. Then, you can be more successful when you go to the next step of...
Inclining our hearts to understanding. When we involve our hearts in the treasuring of His Word and making our ears attentive to wisdom, then it is a given that we will have a passion for what we have learned and we will increase our pursuit of God and His wisdom through His Word and others who have a like passion for it.
It goes without understanding then, that as you do these things, you will cry out to God to increase your knowledge of Him, your fear of Him and your understanding of His wisdom, His design, His plan, and His love for you. I see it as a circle; unending and ongoing until we die or He returns and takes us home.
I have been crying out for God's wisdom. I know that in the year ahead there will be trouble; there will be pain, and there will be challenges. I know that I need Him and His wisdom to get through these things. I have written this out in blog formation so that I can check against this list to see if I am pursuing God in a right manner.
I know that God keeps His Word...He keeps His promises. I know that God is the Creator, filled with wisdom and knowledge and understanding FAR beyond my comprehension. I know that God loves me. No one else I know would be willing to be spat upon, beaten beyond recognition, have their beard pulled out of their face, hung on a cross with nails in their hands and feet, and die. for. me because I liked to sin or because I wanted to sin, or because I was compelled to sin. Nope, no one. Only Him. Only Jesus. Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, my Savior.
And so, yes, I have the knowledge of who He is, and I have knowledge of what He can do. He has all the power in all the universe to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that He purposes to do. He can rain down fire from heaven and destroy cities; He can cause a person to drop dead as a result of trying to deceive Him, and He holds the key to Hell. What have I got to fear from man when God can not only destroy this body of mine but also throw me into hellfire fore eternity?
Yes, so I have the beginning of wisdom. My prayer for this new year is that I will receive His words, I will treasure His commands, "Make" my ears attentive to wisdom, "Incline" my heart to understanding and cry out to Him for discernment and understanding.
I pray that you, too, will catch fire for God and not be found to be a laodiciaen. Don't be lukewarm about God. That will not get you wisdom. My motto for 2014...'BE HOT FOR GOD...GET WISDOM THAT WON'T LET YOU DOWN OR LEAD YOU ASTRAY!!"
Father God, this is my heart, my prayer for the next year: Please give me your wisdom and how to deal with life in this evil generation. Give me more love for you and for my fellow man and woman. Give me discernment and give me steadfastness and determination. Don't let me give up. Inspire me to keep on keeping on and to keep coming back to you for more. In Jesus' name.