Wisdom: There’s more than enough for everyone

Published 6:40 am Friday, October 12, 2007

By Staff
When we pray, we normally pray for money, for healing of relationships, for health, for death, etc. Many of those prayers are censored by God because He knows what we are asking for either does not fit with His divine plan or it is not best for us at that time.
The one thing we, as believers, can ask from God, and have assurance that it will be provided, is wisdom. In the New Testament epistle of James, chapter 1, verse 5, we read, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
Most of us go through three stages in life. The first is that we think we know everything like the rich man in the gospel of Luke, chapter 12, verse 19. He said, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." God called this rich man a fool (Luke 12:20), because he lacked wisdom and was clueless as to the real issues.
The second stage is when we realize we know nothing. This is usually an overreaction to stage one and sounds a little like Agur in Proverbs, chapter 30, verses 2-3: "Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom nor have knowledge of the Holy One." This state can be desperation and despair.
The third stage is when we recognize our need, our lack, and God's supply, and we relentlessly and continually ask God for wisdom. As we read through the Old Testament, we are impressed each time God's leader would seek counsel of God. In 1 Samuel, chapter 30, David and his men had experienced the loss of their homes and families. When David could have reacted in rage, he stopped to inquire of the Lord as to the actions he should take (1 Samuel 30:8). God gave a clear answer and David was able to proceed with confidence.
The opposite was true of Joshua in the situation with the Gibeonites. Usually, Joshua was quick to inquire of God, but in the Old Testament book of Joshua, chapter 9, Joshua relied on himself and his intellect and was easily tricked by the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:7-14).
The conclusion is we are not wise enough to make our way through life's circumstances without God's help.
If we are "abiding in Him" (John 15:7) and ask God for wisdom, three things will happen. First of all, He will give to all who ask. The only prerequisites are to admit lack and ask without doubting. Seems a small thing to ask God for wisdom, but for those of us who in self-reliance resist asking for help, or will wander aimlessly for hours refusing to admit we do not know where we are and stop to ask for help, it is a big deal to say, "I do not know what to do." God does not inspect anything about this request, He just gives abundant wisdom to everyone who asks. The nature of biblical wisdom allows God to give it without reservation.
The second thing is there is no reproach or "upbraiding" by God when we ask. People who have the gift of giving sometimes have a great desire to control. Giving a gift can be access to the affairs of the receiver.
God is not like that; He gives true wisdom with no strings attached. We can ask God for wisdom, and He will give it. We either may not listen to God's wisdom or twist it a bit, and the result will be less than it would have been had we followed God wholly. The next time we ask, God is right there with wisdom from above.
The third thing regarding wisdom is that "it will be given him" (James 1:5). We have definite assurance that wisdom asked for is wisdom dispensed.
The Word of God is filled with God's ways and means. Asking God for wisdom must be coupled with a diligent checking and rechecking the Bible, which is the instruction book for wisdom. The Old Testament book of Proverbs, chapters 8 and 9, personifies wisdom with all its attributes and actions.
Sound easy? It is, but it is not simple. We are self-reliant, "me do," creatures. It takes a lot of humility to admit lack.
It seems that most of us need to be deeply mired in the results of our own way before we ask God for help. It is almost like we need wisdom to know when to ask for wisdom. That is where God comes in. As it states in Proverbs, chapter 8, verses 2-6, wisdom takes her stand, cries out, calls to us, and begs us to listen. God is inviting us to ask!
He writes a weekly column for the Niles Daily Star.