Friday, February 26, 2010

Partnering in Prayer - A Lenten Devotion - Day 10 - Where Does Your Wisdom Come From?

Day 10 – Friday
Where Does Your Wisdom Come From?

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
(James 1:2-8 NLT)

Troubles have a tendency to get us down, to confuse us, and to fluster our faith. But rather than running back and forth in indecision, God wants us to trust Him for the wisdom we need.

All of us want wisdom, but most of us don’t want to do what’s required to get wisdom. Unless you’re Solomon and wisdom is just bestowed as a gift, you have to get it the old-fashioned way: the school of hard knocks. And nobody wants hard knocks. But James tells us to rejoice when troubles come our way, because they produce the qualities in us that lead to wisdom.

Do you feel like life has been generous with doling out the struggles? Thank God that He’s generous to hand you the ingredients for wisdom, on a silver platter. If the school of hard knocks hasn’t given you what you need, then remember—wisdom is just a prayer away. But when you ask, don’t doubt. When you ask, listen. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten pretty good at asking God questions without listening to the answers. When you ask, believe that He’ll speak, and don’t doubt.

When you ask for wisdom, don’t have divided loyalties. If you’re seeking the truth from God, don’t go to people and ask their opinion. Ask God directly. If you’re asking God’s opinion and then you turn and ask a friend’s opinion, then you have divided loyalties between God and the world. This makes you unstable in everything you do. Instead, seek God’s opinion alone. Let Him guide you.

Paul writes in Galatians 1:15-19 (NLT):
But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus. Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother.
Trust God’s voice. Quit relying so much on the “wisdom” of this world. Ask God for wisdom, and listen to His answer. Believe, and don’t doubt that He’ll answer your prayer for wisdom. Be loyal to God alone, and He will give you all you need.

No comments: