We want to begin this evening in the epistle of James. We've been there last week.
But I'd like to ask you to turn to James chapter 1 and let's continue. You may have heard the story about the man who went in to see the spiritualist. You heard that story?
No? And he asks her, he says to her, he says, I've got a strange question and I know, you know, you may never heard this before. He said, but here goes.
He said, what I really would like to know is, are there any golf courses in heaven? She said, well, to be perfectly honest with you, I mean, I never even thought about it. So he said, well, look, if I give you a couple of days to work on it, can you give it some thought and see if you can come up with anything? He said, all right. She said, all right.
I'll give it a try. So a couple of days later, he came back and he said, did you find out anything? And she said, well, yes, I did. She said, I've got some good news for you and some bad news.
Which do you want first? He thought for a minute, he said, give me the good news first. She said, all right. The good news is yes, there are golf courses in heaven. She said, the fairways are long and luxurious. She said, the landscaping is exquisite. She said, the greens are immaculate and the clubhouse, the best in the world. I said, hey, that's great.
That's really great. He thought for a minute. He said, what's the bad news? She said, well, the bad news is UT off Wednesday at 1030. I know it's going to, now I'll tell you what's going to happen. You're going to be halfway home in the car and you're going to get that. And you're going to roar laughing, all right.
So believe me, that one will come home to roost before the evening's over. Now asking things from people and asking things from God are sometimes different issues. We want to talk this evening about asking things from God, but not in the sense we often think about it. We think about asking things from God in the sense of asking for this or asking for this thing or asking for that thing, material thing. But our friend James is going to share with us something this evening, that very seldom do we ask for, and yet we should. But before we get into it, let's review because review is the essence of learning.
You have to know where you've come from before you can figure out where you're going. So where have we come from? Well last week we looked at the first four verses of this letter that James wrote. And we talked about who the author was, that he was probably James, the Lord's half brother. That the recipients were probably Jewish believers, although we don't know where they were.
And that the purpose of the letter was to impart truth, especially truth about practical Christian living. And then we dug into these first four verses and we talked about trials, about testings. And we defined a trial, a test, as any situation in life in which our obedience to God is tested. In which there is an active test of whether or not we are willing to obey God. That's a trial. And James says to rejoice in trials, verse two, to consider it all joy when we fall into trials.
Why? Because the testing of our faith, verse three, produces endurance, perseverance, steadfastness. And that that steadfastness, that perseverance that God produces in our lives goes on, verse four, to produce maturity.
And I shared with you how many people there are who pray, oh God, make me mature, oh God, make me like Jesus, oh God, help me to grow up to be a man or a woman who really loves you and who really walks with you. And what do we get? Problems.
Lots and lots of problems. And we often throw our hands up and go, God, I didn't ask for problems. I asked to be like you. And God says, I know that's why you've got problems, because that's how you get there.
By learning to let the trials produce endurance and the endurance produce maturity. So in actuality, my friends, our trials, our difficulties, our tests, those circumstances that challenge our willingness to obey God are really our friends in disguise, because if we'll respond to them properly and let God teach us how to go through them correctly, we will come out on the other end more mature, more steadfast, more like our Lord. So therefore, James says, that's why you should thank God for them, even though you may not like them, even though they may not be palatable, they have a purpose to make each one of us more like our Lord. Now that's where we're coming from. Where are we going to? Well, we want to cover tonight, verses five through eight. Allow me to read them for you, and then we'll come back and try to take them apart, see what they're saying, put them back together. Verse five. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. And let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man unstable in all his ways. James says we're to give thanks for our trials. We've already seen that, but now he goes on to say something else. He goes on to say that if we will ask God for wisdom in our trials, God will give it. He begins by saying, verse five, but if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.
Now I appreciate James here being so discreet, being so gentle. I mean, he could have said, look, none of you people know how to handle your trials. None of you have the wisdom to handle them. So you guys need to ask God. You all need to stop working it out yourself, but he didn't do that.
Now he could have, and he'd have been right. But he says if any of you lack wisdom, he's leaving it up to us to decide. Do you lack wisdom?
If not, then you don't need to do what verses five through eight say. If you've got the wisdom to handle the trial, fine, James says. You don't need any wisdom, great. But if you need some, then there's a place to go and to get it. And not just wisdom in general, although I'm sure that probably applies, but wisdom with regard to how to deal to any particular trial that comes your way. And I think I can honestly say there's not a one of us here this evening when facing the difficulties of this life, don't qualify as people who need this wisdom.
You may think you don't qualify and maybe you don't. If so, please come up and introduce yourself to me after this service. I would just like not only to congratulate you, but to know your phone number so that I could call you.
When I have things I can't figure out how to handle. But I doubt if I'm going to get many people coming up and dropping off phone numbers. You know who I think of when I think of this is our old friend Jacob. Now I didn't know him personally.
You didn't either. You'll meet him someday. Chances are if you're going to heaven, you'll definitely meet him. But I think about him and I think, man, if there was ever a fellow who thought he had it totally under control, here was the guy. Now a lot of people don't think that Jacob was much of a bad fellow. In fact, there's even been a book written called Jacob I Loved in which this man tries to convince people that Jacob was not really a very bad guy.
He was just misunderstood. Well I must beg to differ at least with my own opinion of Jacob. Like I say, I didn't know him, but I read about him and my opinion of our friend Jacob is that he was a conniving, scheming, underhanded individual. That is, before God really got a hold of his life. Stole the birthright, stole the blessing, went to visit Laban rather, stole about three quarters of his flock.
There was not the kind of guy you'd want to be in business with. This guy was just an unusual sort of character who always had an answer for everything, always had a scheme. And no matter who seemed to be on top in the struggle when it was over, somehow Jacob was.
And I have a suspicion this fellow came to depend on his own resources quite a bit. I have a feeling our friend Jacob really began thinking, hey I really am a pretty smart character. And God decided he needed to teach our friend Jacob a little lesson. So through circumstances he forces him to leave Laban's house. Now he was at Laban's house because Esau was out to kill him, remember?
That was one of the fruits of his labor. And he gets forced out and God says, I want you to go back to your land. And Jacob says, but Lord, have you forgotten Esau's back there?
God says, no, that's where I want you to go. So Jacob packed him all up and he headed back. And then as he got close, he got to a place and messengers came the other way and said, Esau's on the way to meet you and he's got a large army. Good old Jacob.
True to form. What does he do? He splits his camp in two. He says, well, he'll only be able to kill half of us.
I'll split him up. Always got an answer. God's always got an answer to every problem. And then he sent his two camps different directions and he lay down asleep. You remember? And all night he wrestled with our Lord. You know why he was wrestling? Because for the first time in his life, I'm convinced our friend Jacob had come to the end of himself. He was scared. He was petrified and he knew he was no match for Esau and he knew Esau was out to kill him.
And here he is. And that was the first time I believe in his entire life that that man ever realized that he didn't have all the answers. That's why he fought all night long until God finally won. He'd been doing that for years and God finally won. God left him a little limp just to remind him of who really has the wisdom to deal with things. Well our friend Jacob went on to be a great man of God but he had to learn something first. That is, he just didn't have the wisdom to handle it all himself. You know my friends, as long as we think we've got it all under control, I'm afraid there's not much God can do with us. You see, I read a quote one time that said this, God made the world out of nothing. And as long as you think you're something, he can't make much out of you.
That's true. Now, we're not talking about humble pine groveling in the dirt. We're talking about an honest recognition that God has the wisdom, not us. That God knows how to deal with the problems, not us. And that the wisdom to deal with them comes from Him, if we want it. And what concerns me so much about us as Christians is that when problems come into our life, you know how we deal with them? Oh, so often we deal with them just like our friend Jacob, just like our friend Jacob.
Oh, we've got all these plans, we've got it all worked out. How often does it ever occur to us to first go to our needs and say, God, I need wisdom here. Lord, I don't know what to do here.
Can you direct me? I would venture to say, you probably don't do that very often. I'll tell you, I don't. I wish I did, I'm learning. But I wish God would teach me sooner than He's teaching me. That before I rush out to deal with this problem and solve this great problem, that I need to go to Him for wisdom.
I can't tell you how many problems I had all worked out in here, that somehow when it got out here, I made the biggest mess you ever saw out of them. Any man needs wisdom. I trust you're sitting here saying to yourself tonight, that's me, that's me he's talking about.
Not that somebody else or that was the Jews or that's me. I need this wisdom. He's talking to me.
And if he is, let's listen to what he has to say. He says this, if any man needs wisdom, let him ask of God, let him ask for it. Don't sit around and worry. Don't get discouraged and distraught. Simply go to God and ask Him for it.
Why? Look at the kind of God we're asking. We're asking the kind of God who gives generously to all men and without reproach. He gives liberally to all men. And when believers come to our Lord and they ask for wisdom and they satisfy the requirements, God gives wisdom liberally. And without reproach, He never disgraces us for coming. He never embarrasses us for coming.
He never shames us or despises us for coming, isn't that great? Many of you know I'm working on a doctorate up at Johns Hopkins and that is not exactly the ideal place to ask a question. We all sit around in this little class. Most of the classes have four or five. The B classes have six or seven in them.
I've been in classes with just one, myself and a professor. And here they go, boy, they're flying through this stuff at breakneck speed. In my earlier days there, my naive days, I would do something like this. Excuse me.
Yeah, what do you want? I don't really understand. Can you explain this to me?
And the reaction from the whole class, including the professor, was something like this. What is wrong with you? Don't you understand that?
What a dumb question. I can't believe you interrupted our study. And the professor sometimes would answer it, but always begrudgingly, always like, oh, I can't believe it. All right, here's your answer. Boom.
Back to what we're doing. Didn't take long for me to get the point that questions is not exactly what this guy wanted and I got to the place where I just wouldn't ask a question. I mean, rather than be embarrassed and rather than be despised and rather have everybody look at me and go, like they always do, you know, I mean, never say anything, but they always kind of go, I thought, man, I'm not going to ask a question. I'll just stay dumb, but I'm not going to ask a question. And so I didn't. And I stayed rather dumb. And I flunked a test or two in the process for things I should have known. But I wouldn't have asked those people.
I'd go to my grave before I let them know I didn't know. Aren't you glad we don't have a God like that? Aren't you glad when you go to God and you say, Lord, I don't know that he doesn't say, why you stupid idiot?
What do you mean? You don't. Aren't you glad our God doesn't do that? That he gives liberally and that he gives without reproach and he doesn't mind giving over and over and over again. He loves to give and he won't disgrace you and he won't embarrass you and he won't shame you. He'll give it to you.
That's what James goes on to say. God never wants us to be afraid to ask him for anything. And the promise of God, verse five, and it will be given. Not it might, not if God's in a good mood, but it will.
It's God's promise. Now perhaps he'll give it through the word of God or perhaps he'll give you the wisdom through illuminating your thought life and it'll just seem to pop to you. It doesn't just pop to you. God gives it to you, but it seems like it pops to you. Or maybe someone will make an offhand comment and it'll just click right in and you go, wow, I never thought about that. Or maybe somebody around you will give you a piece of advice, solicited or unsolicited.
It doesn't matter. Or maybe through a sermon or a tape or a book, it doesn't matter where it comes from. God says, if you need the wisdom and you ask him for it, you will get it from somewhere. He'll make sure you get it.
Regardless of the means, it'll come. I don't know how many of you like cartoons. Maybe some of you are beyond the cartoon age.
I don't know. I love cartoons. I love nothing more than on a Saturday morning sitting down with Jamie and watching cartoons. Now I hope that doesn't totally wreck your image of me.
Probably just goes right along with most of what you thought anyway. But anyway, love to sit down and just plop and put Jamie on my lap and watch Popeye or Bugs Bunny or Elmer Fudd. I'm telling you, I just, I really get a kick out of that stuff. And I'm always amused at our friend Popeye. You know, every cartoon is exactly the same.
The circumstance changes, but not really. He's doing something, olive oil is doing something, and Brutus is always doing something. And before long, Brutus has got Popeye by the neck and he's squeezing him until his head's blowing up like this and never fail, out of the pocket, plop comes the spinach. And this can opens itself. You know, it's the only can that opens itself in the whole world. And the top pops back and the spinach leaps into his mouth and his shoes are like this on Popeye.
Now, you know, the muscles pop up and pow, and that's the end of the story. Every cartoon, just the same. And yet I can get into him.
I can really enjoy him. Now what do you think would ever happen if Popeye's spinach didn't show up? That's probably how they'll end Popeye cartoons, is just one day spinach will be just maybe the grocery store won't have any, and that'll be the end of Popeye. If it wasn't for the spinach, there'd be no Popeye, he'd been gone a long time ago.
And yet he didn't need how that spinach is always there. And I realize that's a fantasy character, but you know, there's some truth that relates to our Lord. When we need the spinach of wisdom in our life, when we've got Brutus the problem choking us by the neck, and we begin crying out for spiritual spinach called wisdom, God says, it's always there. God opens the can for us and opens our mouth and dumps it in, chews it up, pushes it down our throat, and we've got what we need. That's God's promise, God's promise, that when we ask for it, it will be given.
No doubts, it'll be given. And God's more dependable than spinach, and I thank God for that. Dependable He'll never let you down. But He has a condition, He has a condition, and that's in verse 6, 7, and 8. And let Him ask in faith without any doubting. The condition, ask in faith without doubting. Now, faith's one of these fuzzy words.
People always talk, I got faith, keep the faith, have faith. Well, I think a little definition would be in order. What is biblical faith?
It's not complicated. It means believing what God said, depending on it, and acting on it. Whether you can see it, touch it, feel it, understand it, doesn't make any difference. If God says it, or to believe it, and depend on it, and act on it, doesn't matter if you can see or touch or feel or understand anything about it, we do it. And so when we're told to act in faith, what God is telling us here is when we pray for wisdom, we are to expect it to be there. Not hope that it'll be there, but expect it to be there, to know God will give it. Not just to know God can give it, but to know God's promise is true and that He will give it.
We don't know how, we don't know from where, we don't know when, but it'll come. And when the wisdom is needed, it'll be there. All the great men and women of God have had to act by faith. We don't have to turn there, but in Hebrews 11, we're told that Abel, by faith, sacrificed a lamb. He couldn't see how God was going to work everything out, but he took God's word and he acted on it. And Noah, God said, build an ark. Noah said, great, Lord, what's an ark?
So God showed him. God says, because it's going to rain. Noah said, it's great, Lord, what's rain? So God told him.
God says it's going to be a big rain, going to be a biggie, going to cover the whole earth. I think Noah was a tiny bit skeptical. I'm sure it crossed his mind, but it's a lot of rain, but he took God's word. He did what God said. He never saw a cloud in the sky when he was building the ark, but that didn't matter.
He didn't have to see where it was coming from. He believed God and he acted on it. I'm sure glad he did.
I'm sure he's glad too. And Abraham, God said, leave your land. Abraham said, where are we going? God said, don't worry about it. You just follow.
I'll show you. And Abraham did it and God said to Abraham, I want you to kill your son. And Abraham said, but Lord, God says, I want you to kill your son and he would have done it if God hadn't stopped him, I believe that. And Joseph, by faith, left his bones in Egypt when he died because he believed God's promise that they were going back to Canaan. That's why he left his bones there because he knew they were heading home one of these days. And all these people, by faith, believed God and depended on God and acted on what God told them.
That's what faith is. I'm sure many of you have heard of Vance Havner. I always get a kick out of his country humor. He can say it like nobody else can ever say it. And he said this one time, he said, you know, he said, Christians are the most amazing lot. He said, we pray for rain and we never take the umbrella. Simple. Oh, but is it poignant?
Because he's right. We pray for it, but we don't expect it to happen. God says, if you don't expect it to happen, it won't. I want to share my heart with you for just a minute. When we were thinking about coming to McLean Bible Church as your pastor and his wife, I trust most of you don't think that it was a snap decision for us.
I'm looking into a congregation of four to five hundred people, adults, never had a senior pastorate, never had a junior pastorate. And trying to figure out, Lord, where am I going to get the wisdom to handle all this? I mean, I don't have the slightest idea what I'm doing.
Don't tell them that. But you and I both know I don't know what I'm doing. I think I know what I'm doing.
I got some idea where I ought to be doing, but I've never done this before. Lord, am I really going to be able to handle this? And all these verses meant so much. God's saying, listen, if I call you there and you ask for the wisdom, you have my promise. You'll get it. But do you really believe that or not, Lon? So I just sit down and decide, do I believe it or don't I mean, what happens if I get over here and I'm here for a month and I move and all of a sudden there's no wisdom?
I'm not particularly looking forward to having to move again. What am I going to do if I get here and all of a sudden I blow this whole thing? That thought crossed my mind, I want to tell you. And yet God said, don't you worry about the wisdom. You worry about it whether or not I want you there. If I want you there, the wisdom will be there. You just need to trust me and believe me enough to go if that's where I call you. So we came because we're confident we have the wisdom.
No, no way. But because we're confident that God's promise is true and that he'll give us the wisdom if this is where he wants us, this is what we need to do. This is the way we need to respond. We need to be willing to follow God and believe his word, not just theologically, but practically. So asking in faith means several things. It means first of all, you've got to know our Lord, you've got to have salvation faith before you can ask in faith. But beyond that, it means believing that God can provide wisdom and that God will provide wisdom if you ask him. Why doesn't God respond to an attitude of lack of faith?
He tells us. He says, don't let that man, the man who won't trust me, believe that he'll receive anything from the Lord, being a double minded man, unstable in all his ways. God will not deal with people, my friends, who won't trust him. I've run into so many people who say to me about one thing or another, you let God show me first, then I'll believe, oh, never happen. God doesn't deal with people that way. God says, no, no, no, it doesn't work like that. It works like this. Here's my word. You believe it. Then I'll show you how it happens. That's the way we have to be.
If you want a demand to see it, I'm afraid you're just not going to go much of any place. God doesn't work with people on that basis. He says here that they're doubters, verse eight, they're double minded people. And he tells us in the book of Hebrews that without faith it is impossible to please God. We cannot please God if we're constantly doubting His promises. You want to please our heavenly Father?
You trust Him. You want to displease Him? I don't care how many times you're in church. I don't care whether you teach Sunday school or not.
I don't care how much money you give. You want to displease Him? Refuse to trust Him and you'll displease Him. And notice, would you, that lack of faith in the end of verse eight is directly connected with instability, lack of stability in your daily life, unstable in all His ways. And may I remind you, He's not talking to unbelievers.
He's talking to Christians. You want an unstable earthly life as a believer? You can have it. Just don't trust God. You can have it any time you want.
But the converse is true. You want a stable earthly life? Then I can tell you how to get it. Believe God's promises for wisdom and for other things. You know pastors get a good chance to counsel.
Sometimes more chance than they'd really like for their schedule. But counseling has suddenly come on as the new and end thing. Everybody wants to be counseled. And yet I have found in the counseling I have done that people with mental and psychological instabilities, now they exist and sometimes there's medical reasons. And sometimes perhaps there really are severe psychological problems. But for the most part, I have found when you are dealing with believers that when they are having mental and psychological problems, you can almost always, not all the time, but very often trace it back to a refusal to trust God, almost without exception. There was some time or some place where they refused to trust God. And the instability started to set in. God says it right here. People who won't trust Him end up being unstable in all their ways.
God won't bless anyone, believer or unbeliever, if they refuse to trust Him. I always enjoy reading the Gospels about the disciples. Boy they were a bunch. What would you like to start a local church with 12 men and have them be the disciples? You think you'd have your hands full?
Oh boy would you have your hands full. Now I'm not talking about the disciples who wrote the books and the disciples who at the end of their life gave their lives. I'm talking about the disciples when the Lord had them in the Gospels, the early disciples as opposed to the late disciples. These were the disciples who when they walked through the village and the villagers didn't come out to greet the Lord, that the apostle of love John said, hey Lord, want us to call down fire from heaven and burn them up?
The disciple of love, escort them. Yep, these were the guys. These were the guys who right after the Lord fed the five thousand, said when He went to feed the four thousand, it's impossible. Yep these were the guys. How'd you like to start with a local church and these be your 12 elders?
Oh, would you have your hands full? These people, they made a lot of mistakes. They were selfish.
I'm afraid sometimes they were just plain stupid. They had spiritual immaturity. They even deserted our Lord. And yet I can see in the Scripture no place where He ever became angry with them or put them down for these kinds of mistakes. In fact, the only time I see in the Scripture that our Lord ever became angry and rebuked these men was when they wouldn't trust Him.
Isn't that interesting? In fact, in Mark 16, let me read you a verse. And afterward He appeared to the eleven, this is after His resurrection, as they were reclining at dinner, and He reproached them. Remember what James 1 said? The Lord gives wisdom without reproach to a man who trusts Him. Here He reproaches these people. And He reproached them for their unbelief and their hardness of heart because they had not believed the report of those who had seen Him when He had risen. It's the only time He ever lost His temper with them.
Only time He ever reproached them. Was it over the issue of failing? No.
Was it over the issue of making mistakes or being immature or doing silly things or just having it all backwards and twisted? No. No. The Lord puts up with that. The Lord doesn't mind that. Our God is patient with that.
And He is not patient with His refusal to trust Him. I'm afraid our Lord has very little patience with that. And so He says, you want wisdom? You need wisdom?
And the truth of the matter is, yes, we do. And God says, fine, I've got a simple solution, ask for it and I'll give it to you. But if you want it, you better ask in faith, believing and trusting and expecting that not only can I do it, but that I will do it. And when you need the wisdom, it'll be there. And yet this principle goes far beyond just wisdom. It goes to any area in the Christian life. The way to honor our Lord is to trust Him. To get a dishonor in is not to trust Him.
Now, how do we get this kind of trust? Where does it come from? What pill do you take? Oh, you can't take a pill. What exercise do you do?
No exercise that you can do. How do we get faith? Well, I'm thankful the Lord told us. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Very simple. One more faith.
Got a simple solution. Read this book. Want to grow in your ability to trust God?
Read the book. See how God provided for Abraham and see how God provided for Jacob and see how God provided for David and see how God provided for Paul and see how God provided for Peter and digest the book. Your faith will grow. That's how God says it grows. The reason so many of us are anemic with regard to faith is because we're anemic with regard to this book. That's why. How does God take this book and produce faith?
I don't have the slightest idea. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that He does and that I need to read this book if I want faith. I want to close with an illustration from the life of King Solomon. I didn't pick this because he happened to have the same last name as I did. Of course, he had the same first name as my last name too because he only had one name.
But it just happens to be a good illustration. So I trust you'll understand that there's no family ties in this, at least not that I know of. But you'll remember when Solomon was a young man and God made him the king after his father David that there was a very interesting encounter he had with our Lord one evening. It's in 1 Kings chapter 3 if you would turn there with me in the Old Testament. The first book of Kings chapter 3. Verse 5. 1 Kings chapter 3 verse 5. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night and God said, Ask whatever you wish me to give you.
Now how'd you like that? I mean just think for a minute. Here you are, you're fast asleep and all of a sudden, bong, there's the Lord. Now I don't know exactly what he looked like.
I've never seen him but I guarantee you, you will recognize him when you see him. And he says, All right, anything you want, ask, what would you ask for? Mercedes Benz, a house in Great Falls, what would you ask for?
New sanctuary if you're a trustee? I don't know. I don't even know what I'd begin to ask for.
I mean you only got one shot and it's got a count because you're the only one you're going to get. What are you going to ask for? Well it's interesting to see what our friend Solomon asked for. Verse 6, and Solomon said, You have shown great loving kindness to your servant David my father, according as he walked before thee in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart towards thee. And you have reserved for him this great loving kindness, that you have given him a son to sit on his throne as it is this day, meaning himself. And now, O Lord my God, you have made thy servant king in the place of my father David. Yet I'm but a little child.
I don't know how to come out or to go in. And my servant is in the midst of thy people whom thou has chosen, a great people who cannot be numbered or counted. So give thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people to discern between good and evil, for who is able to judge this great people of thine?
Did you catch something in there? What did Solomon ask for? He asked for wisdom. But did you notice that his motive was to be able to minister to God's people, God's way. He could have asked for wisdom and intended to use that wisdom for his own hands.
He could have asked for wisdom with the intention of using that to make money or to get power or to get fame. But he kept repeating, these are your people, Lord, which are called by your name. And you chose them. And now you've chosen me. And how am I with my limited capacity going to lead your people unless you give me your wisdom? See his motive? Not for self gain, but to really be able to minister for God and look what God said.
Understand. And it was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. How'd you like to have that said about you?
And it was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Bob Overholt asked this thing, that Charlie Lazo asked this thing, that Raj Walker asked this thing. How would you like God to say that about you? I'd like God to say that about me, say, hey, that was a good request.
I'm very happy with that. Don't you like God to say that about your prayer? And God said to him, because you've asked this thing and haven't asked for yourself long life, some of us would have asked for that, wouldn't we? Nor have they asked riches for yourself, let's be honest. Some of us would have asked for that. Nor have they asked for the life of your enemies to always be at peace and be a great conqueror and have great fame and power.
Some of us would have asked for that. But have they asked for yourself discernment to understand justice? Behold, I have done according to your words. I have given you a wise and discerning heart so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. James chapter one, ask for wisdom. Will you get it?
Oh, my friends, if you missed this, you missed the whole thing. What better to ask for than wisdom? What would delight God more than for how to have his people ask for wisdom that they can do their lives, live their lives in God's way?
But would you notice it goes on, it gets better. Verse 13, and I have also given you what you did not ask, riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. That's tremendous, isn't it? Now if this man Solomon had asked for money, he'd have gotten it. Or if he'd have asked for power, he'd have gotten it.
Your fame, he'd have probably gotten that too. But he wouldn't have gotten them all, nor the wisdom to use them correctly, nor the approval of our heavenly Father. But he asked for wisdom. Lord, give me wisdom so that my life can count for you. Not only did he get wisdom, oh, but my friends, he got everything else. Everything that he needed to make his life rich and fulfilling and rewarding, he got all of it along with the wisdom. And I believe if God's people, meaning you and me, would learn to ask for more wisdom and less things, we'd end up with more wisdom and more things than we do now.
Any man need wisdom? Fine, God says. I won't reproach you, ask for it. But ask in faith, believe I'm going to give it to you, and if you'll believe me, I promise you, God says, you'll have it. So this week, as different things come your way, why not practice sitting down for a minute? And before you rush out to work this whole problem out, just like you got planned, why not take a moment? Just ask God for some wisdom.
In fact, you don't even really need to begin waiting for the trial to get there. You could start asking God tonight for wisdom for the things that he knows are coming, because they're coming. I can't think of a more biblical prayer than the very simple prayer, God, give me wisdom. Let's pray together. Let's pray together.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-06 12:16:49 / 2022-11-06 12:26:17 / 9