James 1:5-8 NIV
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
If any of us who are believers in Jesus are lacking in wisdom, in discernment, in sound judgment, in insight and in understanding, we are to ask of God, and it will be given to us. But… there is a qualifier here. Yes, he gives generously. And yes, he will not rebuke us for the asking, if…
…if when we ask we believe him and we do not doubt. We must not doubt that he will give us the wisdom we are asking him for. For, doubting would be a lot like saying, “I know you are not going to do this, but would you give me wisdom?” It is self-defeating. It anticipates a negative response.
Usually this is because those asking don’t really want the wisdom. They are asking because they know they need it, but they know if the Lord actually answers them and he gives them what they need, then they are accountable to act on the wisdom being given. So, it is easier to claim ignorance.
So, you will hear some of them say sometimes, “I’ve been asking him but he isn’t answering.” And so, they feel that gives them an “out,” and that they don’t have to respond to their life situations with the wisdom of God, but that they can then continue on in professed ignorance.
And the name given us for this type of behavior is “double-minded.” These are people who profess one thing but live another, or they say they want to follow Jesus in obedience to his ways, but then they don’t, and then they make up excuses for why they aren’t walking in victory.
They are like people who are trying to go right and go left at the same time. It is impossible! We can’t go two opposite directions at the same time. We can’t live for God and for self at the same time. We can’t serve two masters. We are slaves to the one we obey (Rom 6:16).
As a child, I used to love to play on a teeter-totter (a.k.a. a seesaw). Another child would be on the other end on the opposite side and we would alternate who was up in the air and who was down on the ground.
Well, when Christians (or those professing faith in Christ) ask God for wisdom (good judgment) but then they doubt that he will give it to them, usually because they don’t really want it, they are like children playing on a seesaw, oscillating (wavering, vacillating) between faith and lack of faith; between living for God and living for the flesh.
One minute they are espousing the true gospel of grace, but another they are espousing the cheap grace gospel, at a time of moral weakness.
But we can’t expect to receive anything from the Lord if we are double-minded, and if we keep going up and down, back and forth, not ever staying the course, but alternating between faith and lack of faith. Those who continue in this course usually do so because they don’t want to change.
They lack true commitment to the Lord and to walks of obedience to his commands for they don’t really want to let go of control over their own lives. So, even though they ask the Lord for help, and for wisdom, they don’t really want the wisdom because then they would have to act on it.
James 1:16-18 NIV
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”
God is not the author of confusion. What he promises, he will fulfill. He does not, like humans, say one thing and do another. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We can depend on him. We can trust him fully. He is not against those of us who are his.
God also does not tempt us to sin, nor can he, for it is against his divine nature. So, we can’t blame God when we are tempted of Satan or when we are tempted by our own sinful desires. And he did not fail us if we give in to sin, either. We can’t say that he didn’t come through for us.
But many people do blame God when they fall into sin. They don’t want to take the blame themselves, so they will cast the blame on God, that he did not rescue them, or he did not come to their aid, or that he did not stop them from sinning. But those are all just excuses.
For, it isn’t God who failed. It is just like those who pray and ask for wisdom but who don’t really want the wisdom, because then they would be accountable to have to put that sound judgment into practice. So, they claim God didn’t answer them, but it is they who failed, not God.
God the Father sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to the cross to die for our sins so that we would be delivered out of our slavery to sin so that we would now become slaves of his righteousness. He made the way of escape for us out from under temptation. We just have to take it!
The reason that so many professing Christians are living in moral failure is not because God didn’t come through for them. It is because they are double-minded and they ask for what they don’t really want because then they would be responsible to do it. They would then be out of excuses.
So, they blame God instead of themselves, or they blame their spouses or their children or their bosses or whoever else they can find to blame besides themselves. But they are where they are by their own choice because they choose to be where they are.
But Jesus died to give us a better life than that. He died to set us free from addiction to sin and to free us and to empower us to live holy and godly lives for his praise and glory and in his strength. We just have to take the way out he provided for us.
We have to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the power of God’s Spirit. We have to set our minds on things above and not on things of this world, too. We have to come out from the world and be separate and touch no unclean thing.
We can’t live worldly lives and godly lives at the same time. We can’t live to please humans and God at the same time, either. If what we are mainly taking into our minds each day is the garbage of this world, that is what we will produce. So, we must cut those things out of our lives which lead us into sin and not play with fire knowing we will get burned.
And we must walk in obedience to our Lord according to the Spirit of God and no longer according to our flesh. Then we will have victory over the flesh, and then we will be able to exercise godly wisdom, and then we will have the peace of God in our lives that we are able to walk in freedom.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!