Wisdom isn’t something we usually seek early on in life. We like smart. We’ll take that. Maybe some beauty, a little charisma. These are the desires of the young heart. Somewhere at about, “Oh goodness, I need to choose a college, a life path, a career plan, a spouse….” That’s when we start to look around for lady wisdom to walk alongside us on the path.
And oh do we need her! There are So. Many. Choices.
It’s easy to get weighed down by concern for our ability to ever make a “right” decision. We either let anxiety take its hold or we try to throw it off with a laissez faire approach – “Who cares! Bring it, world! YOLO! Whatever will be, will be.”
Our choices do matter, neither of these approaches work, and you all know it. You’ve tried them on, so have I. It’s not working.
God speaks plainly through James to give us another answer. There’s no lady wisdom, folks. Wisdom rests solely in the hands of our Creator, and He offers us a direct connection to where to find some answers.
Please read James 1:5-8:
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Unstable is pretty much how our world feels at any given moment. Our political climate is rougher than our lifetime has seen it, families are a mess, companies collapse. Everything around us is unstable. The last thing we desire to be is unstable.
Yesterday in our study we learned who is stable though, the Lord. He is steadfast, never changing. These things are related. God invites us to seek wisdom freely in verse 5, and it’s what our eyes are drawn to, the how of getting what we need. But the book of James looks at things a little differently, always showing us the Who of where it’s coming from.
When we know God, we know wisdom. The more firmly we plant our two feet in His arms and in His Word, we will begin to broaden our understanding. He is stable, and His wisdom is stable. He gives us His Spirit to work in our inner being. And wisdom works all the time in the everyday, not just the big world changing events, how we interact with others, how we lead, how we parent, where we spend our money, etc.
Let’s look at Luke 21 to understand who and what God is offering us. Please read Luke 21:10-18 if you have your Bibles available. I’ll highlight just verses 14 and 15 here:
14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.
Well, that’s risky, Jesus. “Settle it beforehand” not to create responses and ideas in our heads? This sounds like the opposite of wisdom! But it’s not, not when we are actively in a relationship with God. Double-mindedness and instability will never be our problem when we have our eyes fixed on Him. The disciples here were entering a time of serious persecution. I’m sure they wanted assurance and security more than ever, just like we do in our own lives. Jesus’s answer instead is…
Lean on me. Come to me. Meditate on me.
The decisions we need to make are just a distraction. They’ll get made as they need to get made.
The real substance is in knowing Who is Wise.
The world will not stop being crazy. Decisions won’t stop coming rapid-fire. Ah, adulting. It’s so fun. Said no one ever.
The only thing we can change is where we go with them. So often as I get older and maybe wiser, my prayers have changed from lots of words, to lots of frustration expressed, to now just open hands, palms up –
“Here you go, Lord. I have no idea, but I know You do.”
Hand it to Him, friends, and trust that the same Spirit Christ sent to light His disciples, literally on fire, is in You, ready to give wisdom at every turn.
Meditate on Him. Ask, sometimes with mouths closed, but heart open. Every Good and perfect gift is from above- including wisdom.
What do you need wisdom for currently?
What do you wish someone would have told you about being an adult? Would you have been able to hear them?
What wisdom would you share with someone going struggling with life, faith, or a decision?