James 1:5 promises that if we ask God for wisdom, He will give it. For the past couple of weeks, I have been standing on that verse and praying a new, more specific prayer for wisdom. This week, I believe God gave me three impressions, three bits of understanding that are important on our Christian walk. All three came to me as object lessons at a convenience store on the way to work.
A New Way to Pray
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”James 1:5
James 1:5 says that God WILL give wisdom to those who ask Him. It doesn’t say “might,” and there are no conditions like “if” or “when.” We ask for wisdom. He gives wisdom. Period.
But a couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about this truth in light of how very lacking I felt my myself to be in that area. Then I thought of a deep well. If you try to fill the well with water using a thimble, no matter how many times you dump that little container, it’s still going to be pretty much empty for a long time.
It occurred to me that God was giving me wisdom in teaspoons when I needed truck-fulls. I wanted God to back up His truck full of wisdom and dump it on me. So, I started praying “beep beep,” like the sound of a truck backing up. It sounds really silly now that I type it, but those two syllables represent an entire conversation with God. I talked to Him at length about my deep desire to know His will in every situation, His words in every conversation, and His heart in every matter. I asked Him for wisdom to how to please Him (and give me the strength to follow through with whatever that may be).
3 Impressions of Wisdom
This past Thursday, I forgot my cup with cucumber water I usually take to work. This happens occasionally. I just take it as a signal that I need to stop somewhere for a drink and to pass out a gospel tract or two while I’m there. I decided to stop at the QT by school to get a cup of ice and a bottle of tea.
When I got to the gas station, most of the spots were full by the building, so I parked closer to the gas pumps. As I walked to front doors, I noticed a patch of cement in my path was discolored like it was wet. There was just one large spot, though, so I knew it couldn’t be rainwater. It looked harmless enough, but I got my first impression then. It was just a little extra thought past what was happening in the natural – kind of like when you’re reading a novel and a theme becomes apparent.
#1 When God warns you about something, even if it looks harmless, avoid it.
I thought of a recent song on the radio that I loved. The tune is great and there is nothing unbiblical about the lyrics. I played it a lot until I started praying for more wisdom. Now when it comes on or I think about it, there’s a little nudge that says, “Maybe listening to this song isn’t a good idea.” It’s still the same song with the same lyrics it was a few weeks ago. I have no idea what could be wrong with it, but I don’t have to know. If I have a check or a warning about anything, even a great Christian song that all the stations play, I’m going to avoid it. (The song is “In the House” by Crowder.)
Once I got my cup of ice, I went straight for the cooler with my favorite QT tea in a bottle: unsweetened black mango. I live in the south, so all but one or two of the many flavors of tea are sweetened. When I opened the cooler, I was disappointed to find sweet teas all across the row. I was about to check a different brand when I happened to notice it. Someone had put a sweetened tea in front of the row with my flavor. I thought there weren’t any, but there was actually plenty of the kind I like. I got another impression.
#2 Sometimes situations in life aren’t what they appear. We can’t get disappointed or discouraged in trials but must assume that God has a plan for us.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Life this side of Heaven isn’t always easy, and even children of God will face tough times. But when we do, if we’re living faithfully, we can know that God will use every bit of it for our good and His glory. Something that looks bad might just be a moment away from something wonderful if we will just continue to have faith in God and His plan.
I grabbed the first bottle of tea and reached for the second because they are 2 for $2. The second bottle had a bulge on the side. I thought it was probably fine and wouldn’t affect the tea. Plus, I already had my other hand full with the first bottle, so it would take a little effort to juggle the bottles to get a different one from higher in the chute. Then I had my third and final impression.
#3 God doesn’t appreciate inferior offerings. We must use effort to give Him our best.
During the time of the Law, Israelites sacrificed only perfect, blemish-free animals to atone for sins. A lamb that looked fine on one side but had a problem on the other wasn’t okay with God. For those of us who believe in Jesus Christ for atonement, our sin debt has been paid. Now the only offering for which we are responsible is the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). But how many of us are guilty of offering God less than our best? We had a long day. We’re tired. Surely God will understand if we cut our time with Him short tonight. Now, sometimes our best will be less than other times, for sure, but God is worthy. If we have time for phone scrolling, programs on TV/YouTube, or time to chat with friends, we have time to read the Bible and pray.
Prayer for Wisdom
Some people need a little wisdom, and some of us need a lot. Either way, God promises that He will give it to us if we ask. This week, God showed me three little bits of wisdom for living. I’m thankful and will do my best to learn the lessons to be pleasing to Him.
If you like messages from God through everyday objects, try The Waves of God’s Judgement and the Child of God. Please sign up to receive my blog in your email inbox. You can find that at the upper right of your screen (or at the bottom on a phone). Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.