Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Little Bit Wiser

"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."  
James 1:5

Before I began my quiet time this morning, I bowed my head as I always do, asking the Lord to prepare and speak to my heart.  I also very intentionally committed this avenue of sharing to the Lord, and asked Him to open up His Word to me and give me understanding so that I would be His channel, for the purpose and encouragement of anyone who's eyes read these ponderings.  I specifically asked Him for wisdom.  I long to see hidden truths. I want to grasp not just the literal meaning, but God's heart that inspired each word.

Very quickly goosebumps were rising.  I opened my devotional book and almost immediately 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."

WOW LORD!  How quickly You responded.  The answer comes in my asking.  The desire for wisdom was planted, I recognized my need, and I asked.  Is it really that simple?  But there it is: if I lack, then I ask, and God gives. And how does He give?  Liberally and without reproach.  

God longs to open up His teaching freely, lavishly, abundantly and without reproach.  Do you know the tenderness in that last phrase?  His Spirit explains things to us "without reproach".  He doesn't shame us for our lack of intelligence.  He won't call us dumb for asking.  He will never laugh at us or express disapproval with our inquiries.  No ridicule.  No making us feel inadequate.  No disgrace.  

As we sit in His classroom, He gently puts His arm around us and says, "It's OK that you don't understand right now.  No worries.  I will help you.  I will interpret My Word to you in ways that you will grasp it's meaning.  Then, once you understand, you have a responsibility.  The accumulation of knowledge alone can result in selfishness and pride. I am opening my Word to you to change Your heart."

How do we know if our interpretation of God's Word is from Him?  James goes on to tell us that the "wisdom that is from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."  (James 3:17)  Each one of those descriptions causes my thoughts to pause as God searches my motives and intent.

If any area of our decision making, actions, advice or comprehension lacks the above characteristics; 
       if our response isn't virtuous or if it has hidden agendas; 
       if it isn't kind, considerate or courteous; 
       if it isn't willing to yield to reason;
       if it's all about me and my way;
       if it isn't gracious and producing prosperous results; 
       if it's showing favouritism or is pretentious, insincere or false, 
that wisdom is not from God and should never be credited to Him.

Father, today I confess to You my lack of understanding.  Lord, there are areas even now that You are revealing to me where I have sought my own wisdom without being "easy to be intreated".  I have stubbornly held to my opinion to protect and promote self.  Through Your Holy Spirit, continue to open up Your Word to me.  May my understanding be divinely informed.  Thank You that You promise to give to those who ask.  May even my asking come from a pure heart.  Lord, I just want to know You.  Rise up within me a deeper desire for Your Word and then when I open it, feed me my portion for that day and let me grasp it's truth, giving me the ability to share it here and double the blessing.
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