Posted on Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 by Craig Denison
"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." -James 1:5 NLT
I wonder how many missed opportunities I've had to allow God to move in greater ways in and around me. Every day God provides more healing than I make space to receive. Every day God is speaking, but I am too busy or distracted to listen. And every day, God has wisdom he desires to give generously, but I fail to simply ask him for it.
But today is a new day. Today is a fresh chance to lean not into my own wisdom, the lessons I've learned in my limited time on this earth, but to ask for and receive the wisdom of the ages – insights from the Creator, Seer, and Sustainer of all.
James 1:5, our verse for today says, "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." The Scriptures promise not only that God will give us wisdom if we ask for it, but that he will be "generous" and won't "rebuke you for asking."
For God to not rebuke us in offering wisdom means he does not disapprove of your lack of knowledge or insight. He is not disappointed with your need for insight and help. God has seen every day of our life. He knows the fragility of our frame, the limit of our capacities. Psalm 103:14 says, "he remembers we are only dust."
If we will humble ourselves, even just for a moment, I think we'll find beauty in the sentiment of the Scriptures. God did not create you and me to be self-sufficient, no matter what our society says. He does not expect us to have everything together, to have all the intuition, all the insight, all the knowledge we need to be successful in life on our own.
Instead, he created you and me for relationship.
To be self-sufficient is to decide that relationships are a luxury, not a necessity.
To have all the wisdom we need is to declare ourselves to be Lord of our own lives, the shepherd instead of a sheep.
Scripture is clear that to receive God's wisdom we have to ask for it. But why is it that asking for help can be so challenging? Why is it that we can have access to all wisdom in the Holy Spirit, in the Scriptures, in wise counselors around us, but we choose instead to go our own way?
I know in my life, it seems that my pride and the values of my society work together in an attempt to keep me isolated, to prove my worth on my own, to make something of myself. I desperately need a daily reminder, first thing, that God's ways are higher, that his ways are better. That he says I am valuable before I've done a thing of merit or worth.
So here are a few rhythms we can practice to seek and find the deep, life-giving wisdom of God.
Rhythm One: Wake Up to the Wisdom of God
Beginning our day seeking and finding the wisdom of God as found in his Scriptures, in his presence, in his voice, is the key that unlocks our ability to see God's wisdom declared through and in the world around us.
Rhythm Two: Bring Purpose to Moments of Stillness
With social media and entertainment offering us opportunities to fill up every moment, even the still ones with noise, we have to be more intentional with our choice of how we use the gift of still moments.
Moments of stillness are a chance to catch a breath from the day, attune our ear to the voice of God again, simply rest in him, and reconnect our being to the Spirit. They're an opportunity to listen for the wisdom of God, to stop and notice the world around us and hear what God might be saying.
Even 30 seconds of stillness spent drinking from the reservoir of God's wisdom can fill us with what we need for the rest of our day.
Rhythm Three: Learn From Our Days in the Evening
As our days come to a close, it's so tempting to squeeze in a few more moments of entertainment or a few more swipes through social media. But there is vast wisdom available to us if we will bring our day before God and give him a chance to speak.
Asking for encouragement for those moments that most glorified him, asking for correction for those times we went our own way, confessing and receiving forgiveness and God's unconditional love provides a time for God to be our teacher and redeemer.
Rather than rushing from one day to the next, living with the same problems and questions, we can learn from our days with God. We can grow, develop, heal, and become who we know God made us to be.
And the best way to do that is to bring our days to God every evening, adopting the rhythm of examining ourselves with the Spirit, allowing God's wisdom and kindness to transform us and refresh us before we begin another day.
God’s wisdom is available to you, his presence already with you. You don't have to live this life on your own, but through restored relationship find the guide, power, and help that God longs to give you.
Craig Denison is the author of First15. First15 writes new devotionals each day consisting of Scripture, reflection, prayer, musical worship, and a call to action. Thousands of readers each month use our content to discover God in a deeper way, and it's changed their lives.” Click here for more info.