If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 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. James 1:5-8 NLT
I sometimes ask God for something, and then when He delivers I find myself questioning “Is this really you?” Wisdom is one of those things. We all need it. God has it. And He wants to give it to us. James makes it clear in the passage above “He will give it to you.”. God not only wants to give wisdom; He gives it “generously and without reproach” another version says.
Our part is to ask and then trust. God is not going to disapprove of our request. He wants us to receive His wisdom and use it. Why then do we doubt? Maybe it is just me. When I receive a word of wisdom or knowledge, that is in line with a request from my heart and in line with His Word, I still find myself wavering “Is it really from Him?”
When I ask for something tangible and God delivers, I have no problem accepting it and giving Him glory. If I ask for healing and receive it, I know it is from Him. When I ask for provision and it comes, I know it is from Him, regardless of the source that hands the provision to me. When I ask for anything I can see with my eyes or touch with my hands, I don’t doubt. When I have tangible proof that what I asked for is received, I believe. I don’t ever remember not believing those tangible answers were from God.
Yet Hebrews says: Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 NLT It is not faith when I am receiving what I can see. Yes, there are things that I stand on in faith, that I have not seen yet – my whole family loving the Lord with their whole hearts using their gifts and talents to further His Kingdom or seeing the tangible needs of my community met through the Church servings as God’s hands and feet. I long for a day when the spirits of perversion, greed, poverty, pride and the anti-Christian spirit is no longer prevalent in this nation. These are things I can not see yet, and until then I will continue to stand in faith for.
Wisdom however, can only be received in faith. I can not see it. Sometimes I may see the result of worldly wisdom in the solving of a larger problem, or the facial expression on one receiving it, but I can not actually see wisdom. So if I ask for wisdom, I have to have faith that God will be true to His word and provide it. I can not then sit on that wisdom, I must begin to act on it. God will back it up wisdom with the Word. He would never give knowledge that is contrary to His Word.
Even when He gives worldly wisdom to His children, it will still line up with the Word. An example immediately comes to mind, I was helping to raise money for a non-profit once. It was an annual fundraiser and we seemed to be capped on the amount that we could raise. We talked about switching venues, raising ticket prices, or sponsor amounts. We just kept hitting the same amount when we discussed the barriers to each idea. Budgets were already created for the sponsors they would choose to go down a tier or pick another non-profit. Venues were already booked up for the year. Charging more when we were not really changing anything really seemed unfair to the faithful supporters.
I prayed about it for a while, knowing the goal we wanted to hit. In the midst of brainstorming with the team, I threw out a change to what we provided the sponsors, not changing the dollar amount, but just the seats that we provided which often times would go empty. When we worked it up, that small change actually got us over the goal. Needless to say, we raised more money that year, even though there was a slip at the end and there was not a direct ask for additional donations. It was definitely wisdom given by God for the moment.
For me, I find I waver more when the wisdom that is given is a spiritual wisdom. Spiritual “wisdoming” is outside my comfort zone (I know God is suppose to be my Comforter, not a zone where I need to stay for my own security), especially in my spiritual circle. In my sphere of influence, outward, I usually have no problem “wisdoming”. I don’t even mind sharing one on one when I am with others. When I get in a group, like at church, I really have to push myself to share anything that is placed on my heart by God. He literally has to confirm, and reconfirm, and still at times I have quenched the Holy Spirit instead of sharing the wisdom He has placed, even though I asked for Him to give it to me.
As I read this passage in James, I realize the risk I have run by quenching His Spirit. I repent of not receiving and releasing His wisdom when He shares it with me. I understand why James uses the picture of an unsettled wave, but when I have resisted it, I feel so unsettled, blown and tossed – not just in the moment but for days after. It literally divides me because I get to the point that I stop wavering and realize I should have just done a little “wisdoming.” God convicts me of it in love, but it becomes an open door for the enemy to walk through with his condemnation.
When we ask God for wisdom, we have be believe that He will give it to us. We have to receive it in faith and act on it with obedience. We can look for confirmation in the Word of God when we feel we have received wisdom in a matter because whether it is worldly knowledge or spiritual wisdom, it will never be contrary to His written Word. Wavering not only causes internal conflict, but opens the door for the enemy to bring in condemnation. Instead of wavering in our faith, we need to be “wisdoming” in faith!