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.
5 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. 6 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. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 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