From God’s Word, the Old Testament Book of Proverbs is filled with words of wisdom and about wisdom, giving us countless precepts for a good and wise way of life, and in particular, Proverbs 4:1-9.
Therein, we are given good advice on acquiring wisdom. From these verses the commands given are to “get wisdom”, verse 5; to “forsake her not”, verse 6; to “exalt her”, verse 8. These verses conclude with words telling us of the fruit of having heeded these words, “She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee”, verse 9 – KJV.
The verse that stood out to me years ago, when first learning of wisdom is verse 7: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all they getting get understanding.” – KJV. So you see, it is not just enough to “GET” wisdom and pack it away like a pack-rat, but I have to understand it as well. Understanding, to me, means that if I acquire it I must put it to use; I must apply it, or verse 9, will not bear the fruit promised. So, to answer the title question: Need Wisdom?~ YES! A resounding YES, YES…we need wisdom.
Returning to our text for today, James 1:5-8, Scripture says: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 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. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” – KJV.
Now the question is not whether we need wisdom, nor if we should seek wisdom, but whether or not we want wisdom. Hopefully, you are visiting here Beyond the Strait Gate, because you are interested in knowing more…and today’s menu, being wisdom, you ‘want wisdom’. And, if you’ve missed your turn, and come to visit and were not seeking wisdom, perhaps, you will be challenged before you leave, to follow Scripture’s directive and seek it from here on in.
In seeking wisdom, to Whom should we go? We go to the One Who is all wisdom…we go to God. He is all knowledge…and we who know Him, know that one of His attributes is Omniscience; that is all knowing. Why go to the shoemaker, if you need food for your table? Why go to farmer to buy a car? Ridiculous, is it not?! Well, then, why do we go to another man or woman, to seek wisdom and not come to God, Himself, FIRST! HE alone has the answers for which we seek.
Verse 5 assures us that God will not “upbraid” us for seeking His wisdom; that is, He will not reproach us nor revile us (Strong’s Concordance: #3679 – onedizo). He wants us to ask Him. So ask Him!! Really quite simple, isn’t it? God tells us in verse 6 of James, there’s only one condition God requires when we go to Him, asking for wisdom. We must ask “in faith, nothing wavering“. STRONG’S Concordance on ‘wavering’ – #1252 – diskri’no – “discern, doubt, partiality, staggering.” To ask in faith, then, means I come asking and believing God 100% for His answer. I believe God will show and give me what He knows to be good and right and I am to receive it without doubtings of my own, without reservations; without second thoughts about His response. Can we do that? DO we do that?
Hebrews 11:6 has this to say about faith: “…without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” – KJV
Thus, we must come to God, asking for wisdom… in “faith”, without “waverying” to receive from God “liberally”…bountifully (Strong’s Concordance – #574- haplos’). So, not only does God give us an answer, it is a comprehensive answer: an over-flowing answer to the request for wisdom. And, how could it not be…if we are obedient to His mandate in Proverbs to “get wisdom”? As, in the children’s song, O-B-E-D-I-A-N-C-E, it “is the key; do it immediately…it is the very best way to show we believe.”
Recapping, we can ask God for His wisdom, knowing all that He will impart to us will not only be for our good, but He will give us much wisdom. God is approachable. He is equipping us to be able to face the trials and testings He has allowed for us, and our response is JOY! The trial brings us into an intimacy with God that we alone can share together. It is in this intimacy that we get to know Him, Who He is; How He works; His character; His faithfulness and it is in this intimacy that our faith will grow strong IN The One in Whom we have believed.
Verse 8, “double-minded” – Conversely, if we come, asking with doubt, filled with our own spin on what we must do and how we will do it, we will not have God’s blessing. Why? Our faith is not wholly based on Him, nor wholly resting IN Him and we have responded as one who is double-minded. Our mouths say “HELP!”, but our hearts and self-will have interferred and polluted a pure, clean faith that should be based in God alone. In this case, we can expect turbulence. No peace. No clear answers.
If we have no peace, it is time to examine the situation and where it was that we have not accepted God’s will and direction for how to proceed. Confess it, and then, get it right…OBEY HIM! God has said in I Peter 1:16, “Be holy for I am holy.”
In the September 1 devotional from My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers says, “Never tolerate…any practice that is not in keeping with a holy God. Holiness means unsullied walking…unsullied talking…unsullied thinking…every detail under the scrutiny of God. Holiness is not only what God gives me but what I manifest that God has given me.” Has God given you the wisdom He promises to give as you seek His Wisdom? Then, go, follow it, obey Him, that you might be holy as He is holy, “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”