I’ve been giving some thought to James 1:5 recently. It goes like this: “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.”
Why would God set up a process for us to obtain wisdom? He could just give it to us. That would be so much easier. Yet, think of it this way, asking for His wisdom and receiving it brings us into relationship with God. The wisdom we receive is not just some information He imparts to us, but is character learned. We observe who He is and He helps us to behave like Him. We come to know Him better in the process. God’s wisdom is readily available, but we must ask for it.
Have you recently needed guidance in a certain situation? Our usual tendency is to pray for direction. But God has a better way. If we pray for wisdom, the direction will become clear. Let’s say you ask God for direction. Then God can only answer by giving you information. But if you pray for wisdom, God answers by giving you His own mind. As Paul encourages Christians at Philippi, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5 NKJV).
We are prone to call on God for wisdom only when we find ourselves in trouble. But far from being a one-time request in a moment of need, James hints at an ongoing process. It isn’t that we ask for wisdom one day, when we’re backed into a corner with seemingly nowhere to turn; we are to ask for wisdom daily because we will find ourselves in that corner sooner or later. God’s provision of His mind is often given in advance. It is more than instruction for a way to go; it is training for a way of life.
Do you need direction and wisdom from above? The crucial step, often neglected, is to ask. How often I have tried to figure things out on my own? How often have I asked others for advice before I asked God? So why not go ahead and ask God now for His wisdom? Ask Him often. Make the asking a regular part of your life. Don’t wait until trouble comes; learn the mind of God/Christ now. He offers it generously.