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How to Recognize Heavenly Wisdom

Posted on June 21, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

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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How to Attain Wisdom

Posted on January 23, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

James 1:5

Would you like to be wise? I can’t imagine that your answer would be NO so I’ll rephrase the question. Are you wise? Throw out the modesty and give an honest answer to the question.

Wisdom is defined as the ability to discern or judge what is true or right. It is the practice of common sense and good judgment. Those who possess wisdom have the ability to analyze and rightly handle complex and stressful circumstances.

God promises that we can have wisdom when we encounter difficult circumstances simply by asking God. James instructs, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all.” The greatest wisdom of all, that which comes from God, is available to every Christian. In fact, the only real, good, and right wisdom originates in the mind of God.

All wisdom requires a source from which we gain values and life principles. For the Christian the pipeline for wisdom runs directly from God. To access the source you must first enter into a right relationship with God by surrendering your life to Jesus Christ. You then enter into a state of awe, respect, reverence, and fear of God in which you acknowledge that only God’s way is the right way. In fact, the bible defines wisdom as “the fear of the Lord.”(Job 28:28) When reduced to the most basic of basics wisdom is obedience to God. Again from Job 28:28, “The fear of the Lord — that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”

When you ask God for wisdom, as instructed by James, you can know that God will never give you information that contradicts His word. The fastest and most direct route to a right decision is to always seek to honor God with your obedience. Once you have tested your choices by the word of God and you are certain that there is no conflict, then you can proceed with confidence. Bathe your decision process in prayer and trust God to show you the way that is best for you. Don’t be surprised if He gives you a variety of choices. Make your decision in faith without doubt. God will honor and support your choice because you put Him first. “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6)

My grandmother used to tell me a story about how she made the decision to marry my grandfather. When he asked her to marry him she didn’t immediately say “yes.” She told him that she would pray about it and then give an answer. Her prayer involved asking God to reveal what He would have her do through a sign. If there was sunshine the following day then she would take that as a sign to accept his proposal. If it rained then it would be a sign from God she should not marry him. The following day there was a heavy downpour. However, she determined to ignore the sign and marry him anyway. It was a decision that resulted in years of unhappiness.

As you look back over your life do you have any regrets? Are there some things you would have handled differently? Is there something about today’s situation that could have been better if you had acted wisely in the past? What went wrong? What was your mistake? Could it be that your mistakes resulted from either failing to seek God’s wisdom or refusing to obey His word?

When you have heard from God on a matter don’t foolishly refuse His wise counsel. Spare yourself a future of hurt and heartache. You are only truly wise when you obey God.

For more on this topic, check out this article: How to Insure God’s Guidance in Your Life

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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