LORD GIVE ME WISDOM! (A Mini-study by Sally Koch)
WISDOM: The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.
KNOWLEDGE: acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation;
(James 1:5, Philippians 3:10, Phil. 3:8, Matt. 8:29, Luke 4:34, 1st Corinthians 12:7,8, Numbers 27:21, 1st John 5:14, James 3:15, James 3:17, 1st Cor. 1:18)
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him/her ask of God who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
If you lack wisdom…….let him ask! When was the last time you really asked for wisdom? Wisdom is one of those old fashioned words you don’t hear every day. It seems to me that the emphasis these days is on the accumulation and elevation of knowledge. What you know and who you know seem to be the keys to advancement and happiness for many.
I don’t know about you, but as a “baby boomer,” I’m feeling a little overwhelmed lately with trying to keep up with all the latest technology. Even using a phone, something I used to be quite good at, is getting more and more difficult! My daughter in her 20’s is also feeling like she is falling behind and having a hard time keeping up with all the latest tech toys. Now even running is complicated with chips inserted into tennis shoes connected to iPods which have to be downloaded and charged a certain way. Whatever happened to just going out and running around the block? It takes a lot of knowledge to operate and keep computers, and all these “tech toys” up and running, but does it take wisdom?
Interestingly, the Bible doesn’t say if you lack knowledge, ask and it will be given, but it says wisdom. Without wisdom, we are unable to adequately apply any knowledge we may have. Without wisdom, we lack understanding, and foresight. Our knowledge is not as valuable without the wisdom to know how and when to use it, or what to do with it. What good is our knowledge if we’re not using it ultimately to glorify God? The use of knowledge to glorify God requires His wisdom.
The Apostle Paul used the wisdom of God to apply the knowledge of God he had in his life. In Philippians 3:10 (NAS), Paul declares his mission statement, “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death.” He mission in life was to acquire the intimate knowledge of God even when it meant suffering, discomfort, or pain. Paul “counted it all as loss (dung)” when compared to the knowledge of Him. (Phil 3:8 “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”) All the knowledge that Paul had accumulated over the years of formal and informal education as a citizen of Rome he was willing to trade for a moment of intimate knowledge of Jesus. How sad that today people are investing so much time to acquire technological knowledge, but don’t have the only true knowledge that counts, the knowledge of God. How sad that we may spend hours to acquire knowledge of the latest technology, but only a few minutes a day to acquire the knowledge of “Him who first loved us.”
But even knowing God in an intellectual capacity is not enough. You may recall that even the demons knew who Jesus was. In Matthew 8:29 they are addressing Him, “And they cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, SON OF GOD? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” They also knew what He could do and that He had power and authority over them. Why else would they beg Him not to throw them over the cliff but rather into the pigs? (See other good example: Luke 4:34) We must, of course, have heart as well as head knowledge.
Jesus always operated out of wisdom and knowledge and we should see to do the same today. In addition to asking for wisdom, you may also ask God to give you the gift of “word of wisdom,” a very helpful ministry tool, especially in counseling and prayer. In the book of 1 Cor. 12: 7, 8, it speaks of 9 spiritual gifts, the word of (God’s) wisdom, and the word of (God’s) knowledge being two of the nine. “But to each one is given the same manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;” Note it does not simply say wisdom or knowledge but it says a word of knowledge and a word of wisdom. That’s because all true knowledge and true wisdom reside in God, so you’re in essence asking for a word of His knowledge and a word of His wisdom.
The Israelites had the Urim, a stone carried in the breastplate, which the priest would in some way consult to arrive at wisdom and knowledge. (Num 27:21) “He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the Lord.” It’s hard to comprehend that process, but certainly makes us thankful that we, as Christians, have the ability to enter boldly the throne of (His) grace and consult with the one, true and living God face to face? We can, because of the finished work of Christ on the cross, have access freely to the one in whom all knowledge and wisdom is found.
When Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge to lead his people, rather than wealth, riches and honor, long life or the death of his enemies, God told Solomon he could have his heart’s desire. And God will do the same for you and me if our heart’s desire is in line with His heart’s desire. 1st John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” You see, what the Corinthians needed what Solomon needed and what we all need today is not just knowledge but wisdom! And of course it has to be Godly wisdom, not the wisdom of man or the earthly, devilish wisdom James refers to in James 3:15. “Such wisdom does not come down from heaven, but is earthly, unspiritual and of the devil.” What we need and should ask God for is described in James 3:17, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
This brings us back to our original statement! James 1:5 “But if any of you lack wisdom, (and we all do,) let him ask of God!!!! I encourage you to be bold and tenacious in 2008 as you ask for wisdom and seek the intimate knowledge of God through Jesus Christ. And even though Christ was the “wisdom of God,” (1Cor.1:18,) he himself as a man had to grow in wisdom. The Word tells us that Jesus “kept increasing in wisdom and in stature and favor with God and men.” That is my prayer for you in 2008, that you would keep increasing in wisdom and favor with God and with men as you seek intimacy with the one in whom all knowledge and wisdom remains.
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