Wisdom Wave or Wisdom Wind?

Crashing Wave

A wave will eventually crash, but the wind keeps on blowing (Photo credit: Clearly Ambiguous)

James 1:5-7 5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”

Wisdom is defined as: “The soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of such experience, knowledge, and good judgment”. Now it is important to note that knowledge and wisdom are two different things. Say, for example, a friend asked you to jump off a low bridge into the water below; an unwise person has the knowledge that it’s probably a bad idea but they still may do it, whereas a wise person has the knowledge that it’s a bad idea and applies this knowledge to make a wise decision by not jumping. Wisdom is the application of knowledge if you want to put it another way.

Now we see this verse is for those who “lack wisdom” both in a worldly and spiritual sense. In the context of the preceding verses this is talking about the wisdom needed it trials. It’s an undisputable fact that there are many people out there who aren’t wise (myself included!) People may be full of knowledge, but if this knowledge is not used to make wise decisions then it is wasted. Anyone can obtain knowledge, but wisdom is not so easily come by. However we see from this verse that if anyone lacks wisdom they are to “ask of God”. It doesn’t end there though! We are to ask of God who gives to all men liberally! If you ask for wisdom God isn’t going to give you little bits here and there, He gives to all men liberally; He gives it away freely and fully.

Notice also that He “upbraideth not”. God isn’t going to revile you for asking. He isn’t going to condemn you for past actions or foolishness. If you go to God for wisdom He isn’t going to turn you away, He will give it to you. The last part of verse 5 says “and it shall be given him”. If you go to God and ask for wisdom He WILL give it to you. However, there is a but…

Verse 6 starts out with the word “but”. This shows us that verse 5 is conditional. So what is that condition? The verse goes on to say “let him ask in faith”. The condition of this promise is that when you ask God for wisdom you ask Him in faith that you will receive it. The second part says “nothing wavering”. When we ask God for something we shouldn’t do it with wavering, in other words we shouldn’t do it with uncertainty or hesitation. We have to be clear and concise. God already knows what you are going to ask, He just waits for you to ask for it properly. The verse goes on to give a comparison: “For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed”. The person who wavers in their asking is like a wave driven by the wind; they are controlled, tossed around to and fro in their hesitation. A wave cannot choose its own direction; it is forced along by something else. We are to be like the wind, not the wave. We should be controlling our ideas, not letting our ideas control us. Always remember that a wave eventually crashes, but the wind keeps on blowing.

Verse 7 is the real clincher though. It says “For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord”. The man who hesitates in asking the Lord for something will simply not receive anything.  If you go to God and start asking for things you aren’t sure about then you won’t receive anything. When we go to God we have to be precise about what we ask for.

If you’re going through a trial recently and you feel like you’re lacking wisdom to get through, then I urge you to go to God and ask Him for what you need. Sort out in your head what the problem is and then go and ask for the exact wisdom to sort it out. Don’t go with hesitation. Don’t go in fear that God will rebuke you; but instead go in faith, believing that whatever you ask God for He will give it to you, not just in part, but in a liberal manner, giving you the wisdom you need and ask for freely and fully.


Posted on August 29, 2012, in Andrew's Thoughts for the Day and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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