Friday, September 23, 2011

Digging Deeper 3 (James 1:5-9)

Digging Deeper 3

James 1:5-9 (Another shovel full)
This week we are digging a little deeper to understand the character of God and how we relate to it. It is important to know why we believe what we believe about God and ourselves. This week James writes concerning wisdom which by definition: knowing how to know God.
           But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 Let’s define wisdom: Wisdom, “sophia” in the original language, in context here is the knowledge of how to regulate one’s relationship with God. This same word can mean the knowledge of how to regulate a relationship with anyone or anything but it is obvious considering that James just declared himself a bondservant to God and the Lord Jesus Christ that the question is, if any of you do not have the knowledge how to live in this relationship with God through Christ then you should ask.
          When James writes, ask for wisdom he clarifies who should ask. “If any of you lacks wisdom.”  That covers just about everyone. James makes it clear that everyone needs wisdom to relate to God. The word "ask" is bigger here than we might understand. Look at Acts 12:20 Now he was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and with one accord they came to him, and having won over Blastus the king’s chamberlain, they were asking for peace, because their country was fed by the king’s country. Same word ask is used here, these folks were desperate they were begging because without the king’s peace they would starve. One more instance, Acts 3:2  And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg (same oringinal word as ask) alms of those who were entering the temple. The word ask here is not used to acquire more knowledge, it is to petition for knowledge that is absent.
          Before we handle this phrase “who gives to all men generously and without reproach” let’s look at the last phrase of verse 5 “and it will be given to him” with this statement James is not talking about a possibility, this is a declaration, if knowledge of how to live in a relationship with God is asked for then that wisdom is given.
          Now let’s back up to that middle phrase. “who gives to all men generously and without reproach.” Understanding that God will give for the asking the knowledge of how to live in a relationship with Him is magnified by the statement that God will be generous and not give it begrudgingly.
          In the next three verses James exposes the conditions concerning receiving this wisdom from God.  But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:6-8 First there is to be no doubting, you cannot look to God for knowledge with the purpose of debate. You cannot expect to receive the wisdom of God so that you can compare it with what you all ready know. James says this is like being in the surf being tossed pulled back and forth without any real solid footing. James continues this thought in verse 7 by very bluntly saying “don’t expect anything from the Lord if you are double minded”. This is an interesting term, double minded. James uses it again in chapter 4 verse 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. The idea of having a double mind is that one is thinking that there is more than one truth. James declares that if you have such a thought process and not going to be singularly sold out to the wisdom of God then you will not receive it. The declaration is that if a man is trying to put his own spin on the wisdom of God then it is a mark of instability and an unstable, or double minded man is unqualified to receive the knowledge of God.
          Now having dug a little deeper what do we believe?
What do we believe about God?:
1.     God alone has the knowledge of how man is to relate to Him, he is the expert.
2.    God desires that we know Him.
3.    God has conditions that must be met to comprehend the wisdom that He desires to share with man.
4.    God’s ways are without compromise, God’s way is not a way rather it is the only way.
What do we believe about ourselves?
1.     We cannot relate to God unless we receive wisdom from God.
2.    Asking for knowledge from God first requires humility man must realize that he does not have the answers to how to know God.
3.    Receiving wisdom from God requires singleness of mind trusting only the precepts of God.
4.    Man left to his own knowledge will not hold fast to anything and will be tossed around with all kinds of ideas, precepts, concepts, and falseness.

n  In man’s infinite quest for knowledge he often misses out on the only truth, the wisdom that comes from God. To know God we must humbly seek God and trust His way as the only truth.

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