If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; -James 1:5-7
On initial approach, this verse seems contradictory to me and maybe even somewhat overly demanding. If a lack of faith is foolishness (and it is because it requires a denial or lack of acknowledgment of the most foundational fact of reality, the fact of the nature of God), then isn’t asking for wisdom the same thing as asking for faith? How can it be that you will receive what you ask for but only if you already have it? Seems like a trick, maybe even a little cheap. But we know that God is anything but a cheap trickster! It’s blasphemous to even consider such a thing. We know that he does not require from us the impossible, not without enabling us to accomplish it by means of himself.
We already have the cornerstone of this wisdom written on our hearts and shouted to us through every aspect of creation
Consider this though, we already have the cornerstone of this wisdom written on our hearts and shouted to us through every aspect of creation at all times. The basic, less-than-a-mustard-seed faith required to acknowledge God as the creator and sustainer of all things has already been made accessible to us. It is, in fact, intuitive to us. If we deny God it is through an act of consistent and intentional denial of the obvious. So the faith or the wisdom to realize that God exists and is able to do anything that is according to his will, in other words, that God IS and is God, is not the petition being referenced here. That is like asking God to please enable us to breathe air, to please enable us to walk upright. He has already done this. The wisdom we are exhorted to come and ask from him is something beyond this basic fact of existence, the knowledge of him we were born with. Therefore in order to ask it of him, we must bring to the table the entry-level faith we were born with, the knowledge of him that is undeniable. We must not come to him asking to be convinced that he is real or that he is who he is when he has already given us that conviction.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. -Romans 1:18-20
Truly God is not requiring anything from us when we petition him for wisdom other than that we do not actively suppress the truth of what he has made plain to us from the beginning. It turns out once again that his burden is indeed easy and light!
Daily Nourish serves to encourage Christians to honor God with all their heart, mind, soul & strength and to love their neighbor as themselves. Thanks for stopping by! Davina
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