An analytical brain is a great thing to have . . . some of the time. I have one of those, and it has been a great asset to me in many situations. It’s prompted me to think through decisions rather than jumping at the first good option. When it comes to researching out possibilities, Google is my best friend. Asking questions of those wiser than I has been essential. I have found, however, that even the best of information comes up short sometimes. No one is perfect, and some information is just incomplete.
That’s when the wisdom of God is so indispensable. It’s more than a crutch to fall back on should everything else fail. It should be the first thing we run to as we’re facing choices – big or small.
James 1:2-5 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 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.”
That word “perfect” means “mature.” We’d all loved to be considered mature! But when we depend on our limited faculties to make our decisions, to work our way through our “trials,” that is the last thing we are. Every scheme would work and every ounce of human effort would come together for our benefit if we knew how we were supposed to do everything. We fail sometimes – a good indication that we’re lacking something.
That “something” is wisdom. God considers the wisdom of this world “foolishness” (I Corinthians 3:19), so it would be smart of us not to rely on it. The true source of pure wisdom comes from God (James 3:17). He’s the only one who is truly a “know it all.” In decision-making, any intelligent person should consult God first. The key word is “ask”! It’s not just any kind of asking, though. It’s asking “in faith,” believing that God desires to give it to us – without making fun of us for asking! (James 1:5, 6)
Asking is a simple thing, but staying free of the “brain” afterward is quite another story! I believe God knew we’d be challenged with the temptation to go back to our reasoning, so He gave us this:
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)
If we don’t keep our guard up, doubt will creep in, challenging our believing that God will give just what He told us to ask for. Our mind will go back and forth, “tossed” between believing and doubting. Then fear will appear, telling us that we won’t be able to hear God’s voice and make the right decision. Faith slips away . . . and so does God’s ability to answer our prayer.
Verse 5 says “it will be given to him.” It will! It’s a promise! The key is shutting off the doubting brain, so stuck in its analytical ways, and being confident that God will do just as He promised. We can relax, knowing the ultimate “wise guy” has got all the brains necessary to show us the way.
Suggested Reading: Psalm 18:28, Psalm 48:18, John 16:13