Reading the Small Print
Verse 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.
Yesterday we were talking about how we should be seeking wisdom and had mentioned that James had said that we could ask God and He would give it to us. Today we look at the conditions James gives for us to receive wisdom from God.
Reading the small print is not something that most of us bother to do and it can get us into tough spots sometimes. The small print that James added about asking for wisdom is something that is often ignored and that may explain why so few have actual wisdom. So what does James say must be done to qualify for God’s giving of wisdom? Let’s take a closer look.
First we must believe and not doubt. That is a tough one, isn’t it? It seems like a basic deduction that we can’t believe and doubt at the same time but I think James was going for more than the obvious surface layer of understanding. Doubt comes easy doesn’t it? When we can’t see what God is up to in our lives it is easy to start doubting that He is up to anything. Yet this isn’t to say that the doubter doubts that God is real or even that He is who He says He is. No, this doubt is more about doubting the circumstances. Sometimes it is hard to believe that our circumstances can change. But God doesn’t want us to doubt what He is capable of.
Secondly, we need to see that our doubting makes us unstable in our belief and our understanding of our mighty God. We can’t be wavering in our belief of Him or what He is capable of. If we want wisdom we need to make sure we are solid in our belief of Him or the wisdom He gives may look foolish. God doesn’t think like we humans do and so there are times when the Spirit will press something on our hearts and it won’t always make sense. We are to be sure footed in our belief of who God is so that the enemy’s lies don’t sway us. People who have divided loyalties between God and the world can’t expect anything from God. Read that again. People who have divided loyalties between God and the world can’t expect anything from God. When our loyalties are divided we are too easily swayed. You can’t worship God in the purest way when He isn’t your main focus. Why would He want to give His wisdom to someone who isn’t totally loyal to Him?
Making It Personal
Are you wanting wisdom from God about something in your life? How would you classify your loyalty to God? If you have a growing loyalty to God have you noticed a growth in your worship of Him?
Making It Personal Kids
What do you think it means to be loyal? Can you be loyal to God and His enemy? Who are you loyal to?
Father, thank You for offering us wisdom and thank You for helping us see that there are conditions for asking so that we know how important loyalty is to You. Lead us and guide us away from doubt so that we can worship You fully. In Jesus’ name, amen.