I stared into the darkness for a long time last night trying to sort through information that was delivered to me. I wondered about the best choice for everyone involved. My most basic question is – How do I best please God? It is apparent that I need to discern the ‘real’ issue that person is bringing to the conversation. Often what is said or how I perceive what is said is not the whole picture. Do you find yourself struggling to know ‘the truth’ about a friend, a situation, the will of God for your life? Sometimes it can be hard to sort out the truth, right?
There is an invitation found in James’ letter to the Church. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:5-8, NIV)
This is the counsel of the Spirit. Go to the Omniscient One and lay it out for Him. He will not call you an ‘idiot’ nor will He blame you for the problem and walk away to leave you struggling alone. He will give wisdom. We must be certain that we are not asking for Him to vindicate our own position. If our prayer is “Lord, make me smart enough to argue my point. Give me what I need to have my position prevail,” we have not really prayed for wisdom, have we?
James reminds us that if we are trying to serve our own agenda and yet claim to want the counsel of the Lord we end up dragged back and forth, ‘unstable,’ his word. We approach God seeking guidance with genuine humility that acknowledges He is God alone.
So, the basic thing required to find His wisdom is to return to the place where our heart is quiet before Him, our will surrendered to Him as supreme. The ancient wise words of the Proverbs are true! “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.” (Proverbs 9:10-11, NIV)
Mediate for a while in this passage from Isaiah. God’s people were facing a terrible situation, their very existence threatened. Some advised an alliance with Egypt as the key to survival, a choice that compromised their faith. The question for us becomes will expedience overtake faith? May we be called to faithful reliance on His wisdom to sharpen our understanding by this inspired word from the Word.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.”
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:15-21, NIV)
Lord, grant wisdom beyond our human intelligence.
Sharpen my attention to Your voice;
Steady me to be patient as You unravel the knots, revealing the Truth.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen