Prayers of Petition continued...
When was the last time you prayed for wisdom? When was the last time you earnestly petitioned God for the wisdom He promised He would give to those who ask?
We pray for God to bless our homes, to protect our loved ones, to help us find better jobs, to fix our relationships, to give us better gas mileage, to help us find our keys, but rarely do we petition Him for wisdom.
Make the time to ask God for the essential things in life. Because Solomon asked for wisdom, God also gave him those things he never asked for, such as long life, and riches. When we ask God for those things which please Him, He gives us abundantly of those things we never asked for as well.
Even Jesus promised wisdom to those who would follow Him, and those who would be called upon to give account for their faith, who would be persecuted, and who would be delivered up to prisons, and brought before kings for His name’s sake.
Luke 21:14-15, “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.”
This is the promise of Christ to those who will be persecuted for His name’s sake: He will give them a mouth and wisdom which all their adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. Although men might not be quick to keep their promises, Jesus always is, and if He promised us wisdom, He will give us wisdom.
There are different kinds of wisdom, and wisdom comes from different sources. There is earthly wisdom, gained by learning, experience, and devotion to a certain branch of knowledge. There is learned wisdom, gained by studying the wisdom of others, and assimilating it into one’s heart. There is demonic wisdom, which the enemy distributes to those doing his bidding, attempting to lead others toward destruction. And there is sovereign or divine wisdom, which comes from God.
There are ways by which we can identify and differentiate divine wisdom from all the others, and know that the wisdom we possess comes from above.
James 3:17, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”
The wisdom that is from above, the wisdom that is of a divine nature has eight distinct attributes which can be readily identified. First, the wisdom that is from above must be pure, meaning not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material. Heavenly wisdom is undefiled, it is pure and uncontaminated. When we attempt to add to divine wisdom, when we attempt to take two parts divine wisdom and one part human reason and mix them together, it is no longer pure or untainted.
The second attribute of wisdom from above is that it is peaceable. To be peaceable, is to be inclined or predisposed to avoiding argument or violent conflict. There are some believers wandering about today whose only mission in life is to spark controversy, to start up arguments, and cause division within the body of Christ. They do this not over issues of salvation, but rather pet doctrines they choose to promote over the fullness of Christ because it makes them feel superior to other believers. Heavenly wisdom is peaceable, it avoids argument, and it avoids conflict, standing on the principled defense of truth, but not actively seeking the destruction of those who come against it.
If you’ve never been on the receiving end of ‘Christian’ vitriol, then you might not be able to identify with how disturbing it is when a professing brother or sister in the Lord merrily goes about the attempted act of eviscerating you without a second’s worth of trepidation or regret.
If you see deception or false doctrine somewhere, attack the deception, attack the false doctrine, but don’t make an individual a moving target. We expose falsehood with the truth of God’s word, which we are able to express through divine wisdom, which is pure, peaceable, and also gentle.
Yes, gentleness is the third attribute of wisdom from above, which is defined as being mild in temperament, kind or tender.
You can speak a difficult truth with gentleness. There is a difference between possessing a spirit of gentleness, and being gentle. I’ll be the first to admit I do not treat sin gently within the house of God, but I do rebuke it with gentleness. I don’t foam at the mouth, I don’t scream at anyone, with gentleness I point them to the word of God, allow it to define the sin, and call them to repentance in Christ.
The fourth attribute of wisdom from above is that it is willing to yield. The context in which the world ‘yield’ is used in this passage, is not to surrender or give up, but rather to be open to the possibility of having to give way to an argument, persuasion, or entreaty.
One of the sure signs that the wisdom we possess is from above, is our willingness to yield an argument when we have been proven wrong or outside the boundaries of Scripture.
The passage doesn’t say a sign of divine wisdom is that we yield outright, but rather that we are willing to yield. There is a difference, and it has to do with the condition of the heart.
When I approach a dialogue willing to yield if I am proven wrong, then I will listen to what the other party has to say, and not merely pretend to be listening since I’ve already made up my mind on the matter.
Before I start getting e-mails accusing me of being a compromiser, allow me to nip it in the bud and say that we are not supposed to be willing to yield on issues concerning which the Bible is clear about, but everyday discussions and matters which arise not having to do with the veracity, authority or preeminence of Scripture.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.