Richard Weirich

How to Recognize Heavenly Wisdom

How to Recognize Heavenly Wisdom

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

James 3:17

When we pray for wisdom we are asking God to give us good judgment so that we might make right choices and decisions. Life hands us complex predicaments for which we need competent solutions.

The good news is that God promises us heavenly wisdom.

 “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…” James 1:5-6

James tells us to ask God for wisdom and that we can expect God to give it to us generously. After that, it’s a matter of faith. Believe you have been given wisdom and — don’t doubt.

But like I said, those occasions when we require wisdom are marked by complex predicaments that require competent solutions. And we get that part about believing. It’s not that we’re doubting, we just want to be sure we heard God’s solution right. Fortunately, in James 3, we get insight into how to know if our wisdom has come from God.

In verse 14, James teaches that heavenly wisdom is hindered by “bitter envy” or “selfish ambition.” In fact, “Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.” (v15)

Heavenly wisdom isn’t driven by jealousy, getting even, or trying to get ahead at the expense of another. As we’ve seen, such thinking is worldly and ungodly.

When we turn to God for wisdom, we can expect that it will run contrary to the way the world handles complex situations.

There are 8 signs (James 3:17) that this wisdom for which we have prayed have come from God.

(1) pure

Heavenly wisdom has no hidden agenda. It comes from purity of heart and a desire to do what is right in the eyes of God.

(2) peace-loving

Heavenly wisdom will always strive for a peaceful resolution. It doesn’t stir up more trouble or agitate, but looks for a peaceful end.

(3) considerate

Heavenly wisdom doesn’t just consider your side of the story or what’s important to you. It respects the feelings of others, considers the needs of all involved, and it is bathed in unbiased fairness.

(4) submissive

Heavenly wisdom submits to God and the instruction of His word. It will never conflict with His word.

(5) full of mercy

Heavenly wisdom doesn’t drop the bomb of retribution on others but is administered in godly mercy and grace.

(6) full of good fruit

Use Galatians 5:22-23 to gauge the quality of the fruit of your wisdom. Heavenly wisdom will be filled with the fruits of “love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…”

(7) impartial

Heavenly wisdom doesn’t play favorites. As I write this, I am reminded of our political representatives in Washington, and how they could benefit from heavenly wisdom. The impartiality that God is looking for finds a way to bless everyone involved and doesn’t insist on just your way or the highway.

(8) sincere

Heavenly wisdom is genuine; without pretense or deceit.

Often the difficult situations in which we find ourselves seem to require drastic measures that are more worldly than heaven sent. Fighting back, getting even, and returning hurt for hurt make more sense than God’s loving, kind, gentle, and merciful approach. That’s why it’s important for us to pay close attention to James final words in Chapter 3. “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” (v18)

Heavenly wisdom results in righteousness. Notice, too, that yielding to God’s wisdom makes us peacemakers. And isn’t that what Jesus called us to be? “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

For more on this topic, check out this article: Peacemakers Needed

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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