How to Receive Wisdom
But as we saw in James 1:5-7, the obtaining of this awe and reverence and respect is tied to our asking Him for it in faith, in full assurance that He will answer our prayer.
Here we have three extremely important concepts inextricably intertwined: wisdom, faith, and prayer. Wisdom is the main thing. And because we all start out lacking it, we need to ask Him for it. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights. But we must ask for wisdom in faith, in full assurance in our hearts that God not only hears our request, but also grants our request and gives us awe and respect of him. That is prayer. And it is a lovely circle because when He gives us a bit of awe of Him, then that is a direct answer to our prayer of faith, which in turn gives us more awe (wisdom) of Him. This is a beautiful circle.
James outlines for us in the first chapter some necessary knowledge about wisdom, faith and prayer. First, he is writing to the 12 tribes which are scattered abroad. He then says that it is a necessary thing that our faith be tried (1:2). It will be tried by temptations that come. But we are to look at these temptations as a source of joy because it brings patience into our lives. Patience is that part of His nature (2 Peter 1:4-7) that helps perfect us. She performs a perfect work, if we let her (v.4). Then in the very next verse the apostle says that if any of us lack wisdom or, in other words, if any of you are not letting patience do the work of perfection in you through a lack of awe and respect of Him, then, by all means, ask Him for wisdom in faith, and He will give it to you.
In v.14 we learn that every person is tempted when we are drawn away from that guiding awe of the Supreme Being by some desire that we allow ourselves to go after. And when that lust or desire has conceived it brings forth sin. There was a seed, a thought, a word of desire of something contrary to the Ten Commandments that conceived, and it brings forth the evil fruit of sin, the breaking of the 10 Commandment law of God. And death is the final result of sin.
In verse 16: Don’t err. Don’t make a mistake in what I’m about to write to you, James is saying to us: Every good and perfect gift comes down from above from the Father of lights. We cannot manufacture what it takes to become perfect; we cannot in our own thoughts and work and effort here on earth accomplish the great work that He wants done through each of us who are called with His heavenly calling. It will come down from heaven through prayer, through fearing and being in awe of such a majestically powerful and loving God.
And then, through moving with fear, we can do the deeds that show that we have the faith and assurance that He is living in us and through us.
We need to get wisdom; it is the principal thing. Without it we will not get anywhere on the road to immortality. We must realize that wisdom is to be in awe of the Great One, the One who created billions of galaxies. We realize our need for wisdom, and then simply ask Him as a little child asks his loving parent. The child fully expects the mother or dad to give him what he is asking for. We need to ask our spiritual Father the same way for wisdom. Father, help me to be in awe of You, You who have created all things in this profound universe. Help me to realize just how powerful You are and to respect your ways. Father, will You give me wisdom?