During my personal devotions in James last week, I came across this verse: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him (1:5).”
I’m always interested in what that actually looks like in life. Here’s a few thoughts from my experience the past week of how the Lord provides wisdom.
Ask and Act
Someone asked me for advice this past week, and I didn’t have a clue how to answer them. In my heart, I asked the Lord for some wisdom, thought about it for a 10-15 minutes, and then the solution came to me. I was encouraged directly by this person for the wisdom I offered. I relied on the Lord and He gave me some good counsel to share. I asked, received, and then acted.
Ask and Wait
Another opportunity availed itself where someone asked me how to break the proverbial evangelistic ice with a young parent. How should this person begin to discuss spiritual things with someone who definitely doesn’t have it on his/her radar?
This time I asked, and acted, and pretty much got the opposite response: “That’s really not any help at all.” You have to love honesty! I asked the Lord what should I say, and pretty much got nothing. But the wisdom I soon realized was, “Geoff, you’re out of touch with evangelism, and need to start seeking more opportunities, and taking advantage of those opportunities when I give them to you.” Now this wasn’t audible, but after I waited, and waited for some good counsel to give, this is the counsel I feel the Lord gave to me.
I still need to answer the person’s question, but I also need to ask more and wait more. It was good to not get an answer right away. Tom Petty, who’s lyrics seem to always pop into my head for sermons and blog entries (which is strange b/c I don’t think he’s really known for his clever lyrics, at least on paper), sang, “The waiting is the hardest part…you take it by faith, and take it to the heart, the waiting is the hardest part.” Asking and Waiting can be hard hard, and times you may not look wise at the moment, but asking and waiting will indeed make you wiser with, as James writes, “the wisdom that comes down from heaven (James 3).”
Instead of making one long post-since I don’t read any long posts myself-I’ll break this up into several posts.