James 1:5-8 "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. 6)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. 7)For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8)being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.."
This passage of scripture has always challenged me, from being a new believer to even now some 30 years later. I believe that this scripture should always be in the forefront and pillar of our Christian faith, as it is a catalyst to our faith and understanding of how we should walk and keep our minds and heart intentionally relying upon the wisdom and counsel of our heavenly Father.
First, we see that if we lack wisdom ( the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.) I would say we can all say that we lack wisdom in different areas of our lives on a daily basis and this is why Proverbs tells us that we should not lean to our own understanding ( our own human nature of doing things) but to acknowledge God in all of our ways (placing his purpose and direction in place of our own) and then He will make our path straight. Easier said than done right?
God does not just give us bits and pieces of wisdom, but He gives it to us generously, great portions, if you will. and without reproach..What does that mean, without reproach? Meaning, that He is not disappointed or rebuke us for asking, for it is such as a child that is asking for guidance, I know none of us as parents would rebuke our children for asking specific direction or counsel to help them in their ways. God will and desires for us to ask, but not just ask, but to recieve and then walk therein.
James goes on to say, BUT, it is contingent, linked to and depended on, that we MUST ask in faith. Now this is where the waters get a little muddy for most of us, even myself. We must completely surrender to trusting in the direction that God will give us here, the wisdom that He is so generously giving to us. We must acknowledge it, surrender to it and then abide in it. Not wavering, no doubt, no fear but accepting it in power, in love and then having a sound mind to it.
How do we know how to hear and gain this wisdom from God? It comes directly from knowing God's Word, the scriptures. Scripture has an answer to every question, small or large, difficult or easy. But we must know it. The Holy Spirit will begin to lead and guide us into all truth and point us to certain parts of this wonderful love letter that God has written to us, this perfect map that points and walks us through the valleys. It means a relationship must be in place, built on prayer (communicating with our Father) without doubting, second guessing if you will, what may seem right in our own eyes, to holding to and having trust in this wonderful everyday direction that He will give us. This is why he has placed The Holy Spirit within us, to lead and guide us, to pray when we don't know how to (which is most of the time). We will know it is God's wisdom because it will bring peace and contentment, in our hearts and yes, our minds (it establishes a sound mind)
If we doubt, James tells us we are like the wave of the ocean, tossed about by the winds of the air, we tune our ears into everything that is being said around us. "Oh, you can't do that" "That can't be God" "We've never done it that way" and so many others voices. Kind of like "Go and take your son and sacrifice him on the mountain" You see the wisdom of God is foolishness to those who do not believe or that walk in a carnal state of mind, they are not hearing what the Spirit of God is saying. Also the wisdom that God has for you, others are not meant to understand. Now, with that being said, God will bring confirmation to you from the mouth of one or two or maybe even more witnesses. This does not mean that you go about asking people if this makes sense what God has told you, that is where the doubt comes in. You just simply begin to walk in the way He has given and some will come along you during the journey and just simply, without asking, will show a thumbs up. Remember though, there will be the more who will doubt and criticize the efforts.
Now, if we question the wisdom and direction being given to us, this is where the scary part of all of this comes into play. This is where the implosion occurs. James tells us that in being "Double Minded" we can then know and expect "Not to recieve anything from Him, from God." Is it because God does not want to give it to us because we are doubting or fearing? NO...God wants to give us direction for our lives. He knows the plans He has for us, He desires to give this wonderful wisdom, just as parents, we do. It is because you CAN NOT Recieve, you are not prepared to recieve His counsel, your mind is not in a place to recieve the wisdom of God and then so, we began to allow that web through out all the other parts of our lives, we become unstable. Trying to listen to our natural voice, other voices and fears. Ps Ch. 1 tells us "Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly" even our own minds can be ungodly, the ways of the world are ungodly, even close friends can be to also.
In summation: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Serve Him with your whole heart, soul and body. You will hear his voice, you can know His counsel. Trust and do not waver. Hold fast to the calling. Do not put your hand to the plow and then turn again. All of our ways will become unstable, fearful, confused if we are double minded. Stay the course, run the race and forgetting those things that are behind..Press toward that mark of the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus. Blessings.