Just ask

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James 1:5-8; 3:13-18

The first verse of our reading, James 1:5, says it all for me. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him." Pretty clear, don't you think? Yet, I find myself falling short in this area time and again and I'm guessing you do to.

So why is it we don't ask God for wisdom more often? How can we fix that? How about an example of a time when you asked and God answered mightily? Tami W.

P.S. Sorry today's blog didn't post this morning. I'd still love to hear from you.

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I think that we don't ask God for wisdom more often because certain things we "think" we already "know". We have it and don't need His help is our thought. However, when we fail, we realize we should have asked God before we got started. We ask God to get us out of our mess.

We can fix that by seeking God's wisdom first in everything that we do. We have to know that God's guidance is what we need without question.

I asked God for guidance in my relationship and 1 Corinthians 7:15 became so clear to me. God showed me that there are biblical grounds for divorce. My eyes were opened by Our Father. I was happy to know the truth that I didn't have time to sulk. He showed me what He wanted me to know in His own time. I am so thankful that God gives you what you need when you need it.

It was hard to think of one particular example because God has delivered me through a lot of trials over the past few years. It seems to me that as I build a better relationship with the Lord, the more I am shown that I have to trust Him. He has provided for me when I didn't see a way out. God has pulled me through some of the most negative situations in my life. He is my Rock!

It says if we ask (for wisdom) He will give it to us without reproach (or reprimand right?) So why then do the next verses sound like a reprimand ?

(Amplified Bible)

Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.



Tami asked me to comment on your question.

Yes, a "reproach" is a reprimand or rebuke. In other words, according to James 1:5, God is not going to "put us down" for asking for wisdom about a particular situation. Verses 6-7 are not a reprimand but rather the conditions for asking. And they're for our benefit. It's not that God isn't willing to give us wisdom, but if we question it (waver) or really aren't sure we really want it (especially if it doesn't fit our preconceived notion of what we think it should be), then this will prevent us from receiving or accepting it.

Allen, Biblical Correspondent at Back to the Bible

Hi Allen,

I always enjoy your answers - very insightful.

I know some people who seem to have a natural ability towards faith, or a gift of faith if you will. I am not one of these people.

I know a lot of people (myself included) who often struggle to be sure that 1) it is really God they have heard and 2) they are hearing correctly. So how does one keep themselves from "wavering" with this confusion and turmoil in their head/heart especially when it is such a big decision they are seeking God about ?


Thank you, Melissa. In a day when so much deception is taking place, you have every reason to be concerned about finding the truth about God's will. The good news is God has given us the tools to do that.

The most important tool is God's Word itself. God's Word contains principles (moral principles come to mind first: honesty, purity, compassion) that He will never violate. The better you know the Bible, the less likely you will be misled.

Accompanying God's Word should be prayer. Ask God to impress upon you those scriptures that would reveal His will for you. That's where James 1:5 comes in ("If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God...").

Another important tool is the input from fellow believers. That's why God warns us "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as is the habit of some" (Hebrews 10:25). I'm not suggesting God tells others what His will for you is (as some claim), but others can recognize our gifts and talents or even, perhaps, be aware of scriptural principles we don't know about yet.

And, of course, there is the Holy Spirit. Typically the Holy Spirit gives a sense of peace when we've chosen to follow God's will. While this sense of peace is not something we want to rely on alone (we can delude ourselves into having a sense of peace as well), still, when all of these tools line up, we can pretty much count on the fact that we've discovered God's will.

But here's the other side of the coin; God uses even our mistakes. If we use all these tools, I believe our mistakes will be few and far between, but if they happen, we have the assurance God is not going to abandon us or that our "lives are over." Don't let the fear of missing God's will paralyze you. Romans 8:28 says, "For all things work for good...," and that includes our mistakes. If we're mistaken, we repent, receive forgiveness and move on. Just as a child learns from his or her mistakes, so do we.

Allen, Biblical Correspondent at Back to the Bible

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Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

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This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on January 17, 2010 5:59 PM.

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