Spiritual Boot Camp Day 3

If you are just joining us, welcome! You aren’t too far behind. We have looked at the first four verses in James 1. You can read the two previous posts. Today we will look at James 1:5-8.

James 1:5-8

 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

The “wisdom” referred to in verse 5 “is not just acquired information, but practical insight with spiritual implications”. When we ask God for wisdom, He provides it. His wisdom is much more than simple knowledge, it is practical and something He wants us to apply to our lives and His wisdom always has spiritual implications. Are you facing a situation in your life where you are in need of wisdom? Seek the Lord and ask Him for wisdom.

Verses 6-8 talk about two barriers to receiving wisdom. The first is doubt and it is when we are not deeply rooted in the Lord and the knowledge that with Him all things are possible. Instead, when we doubt, we are easily swayed by our circumstances. We see things not working out the way we expected or wanted or not happening in our timing and we doubt whether or not we are doing what the Lord asked us to do or whether or not He will act. When was the last time you doubted you were doing what the Lord wanted you to do? Did you start off knowing you were supposed to do something and then when you ran into an obstacle, doubt started creeping in? Spending time in His Word and with the Lord in prayer will help us be firmly rooted in Him and trust His ability to move in our circumstances.

The second barrier to receiving wisdom from the Lord comes from our tendency to be “double-minded”. In the Greek it is the word dipsychos and it refers to “one who has not resolved to embrace the way of faith in God. It is not merely weak in faith, but being disposed to embrace the way of righteousness of faith (believing god’s commands and following them) while being equally disposed to embrace the way of unrighteousness (disbelieving God’s commands and relying on one’s own means).”

How often do we place our trust in the Lord and then face obstacles or doubt and take matter into our own hands? When we take back something we have given to God, we are double-minded. When we try to handle things on our own, we are double-minded because we are not wholeheartedly seeking His wisdom because we think we can do it ourselves.

Both the image of being like a wave tossed in the ocean and being double-minded lead to instability in our faith because we are living with a foot in each world; one foot on the side of trusting God and one foot on the side of trusting in the world and ourselves.  

What situation do you need God’s wisdom to solve? Where have you sought the wisdom of the Lord and when you didn’t see immediate results, you began to doubt and take matters into your own hands? What situation do you need to hand over completely to the Lord and seek only His wisdom?

  • Scripture references from http://www.biblegateway.com

  • Notes on wisdom – NIV Study Bible notes, Zondervan

  • Greek definition of wisdom – Key Word Study Bible, AMG publishers

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15 thoughts on “Spiritual Boot Camp Day 3

  1. Love the straight-up approach of James! Good word and insight on the state of being double-minded. Thanks for sharing!

    • Renee, it is so easy for us to be double-minded. We live “in” the world but are not to be “of” the world. Thanks for the kind comments!

  2. James is definitely no-nonsense! As I read, I wonder if there’s a progression to wisdom. It might look something like this:
    1. Pride – I do what I want
    2. Intelligence – I do things right
    3. Wisdom – I do the right things
    And I might add… this is the “kindest” boot camp I’ve ever witnessed 🙂
    Be blessed!

    • Bill, I like the progression you have for our obtaining wisdom.. the closer we draw to the Lord the more we desire the things He desires so it would make sense that we would begin to want His wisdom operating in our lives as well. The writings might be the “kindest” but I hope the impact is the “strongest”. Thanks for your input! Blessings.

  3. Wilma

    I like that 3 step approach. Well put. I’m facing trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. Someone pointed out 2 questions: Are you seeking God or, Are you seeking what God wants you to do? I said I assumed the 2 came together (“Work out you salvation”). Is being a housewife taking care of her husband and home enough? Shouldn’t I be doing volunteer work, doing something with the time God has given me by allowing me to quit my job to keep a home in a way I can feel I’m being a good wife? Doubt sets in and I find myself begging to know what God wants me to do. Perhaps, I should be asking for wisdom. Thanks for the needed word. Moments like this remind me how God puts the right people, the right situations, and the right message in our lives. He is truly engaged in our lives. How could I doubt? Thank you and bless you.

    • Wilma, it is important that we seek the Lord simply for His sake alone and not what he can do for us. It is when we seek Him that we really experience His presence. I am just finishing a Bible study by Priscilla Shire called “Discerning the Voice of God. She makes a powerful statement about our purpose – “It isn’t our job to discover our purpose, it’s God’s job to reveal it to us.” When we spend time with the Lord and put into practice the two basic principals Jesus said – to love God and to love others, He will reveal His plans to us. I am humbled to be used by God to minster to you through this blog. Love you friend!

  4. This is great! God’s been convicting me lately of being double-minded and “shaky” when it comes to trusting Him. At first I’m so sure that He is with me every step of the way and that I can rely on His promises and then when obstacles come my way I start doubting everything I believed in the beginning.

    It’s so important to not allow those hard things in life to stop us from believing in God’s truth and promises for our future!

    • Anna, it is so easy for us to doubt when we run into obstacles. The more time we spend with the Lord and the more we see Him working in our lives the more we are able to place our complete trust in Him. The conviction you are feeling is a wonderful sign God is working in your life. So glad are joining us for boot camp. Thanks for sharing your insights from the Lord. Blessings!

  5. Wisdom, something we need and to think the LORD will abundantly to us, if we just ask in faith! Thank you!

    • Toni, glad to have you in boot camp! It is amazing how simple some things are with our faith – ask and believe. Simple concept but harder to put into action. Blessings!

  6. Reblogged this on Felxfame.

  7. I grew up by the Atlantic ocean and witnessed those churning waters of the sea. I remember vividly how difficult it was to even stand up in the current. There was very little calm about those waves, especially when compared to a smooth pond or lake. What you said about ‘living with a foot in each world; one foot on the side of trusting God and one foot on the side of trusting in the world and ourselves’ it reminded me of how instead our feet need to both be planted firmly on the Rock. When our trust is fully in Him, we will not fall into sinking sand.

    • Sue, thanks for the great image of what it is like to be trying to stand firm in the midst of great waves. We can only stand firm if we are deeply rooted in Him. May we all be firmly planted on the Rock today!

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