| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 49 - Page 24 of 179 Index | Zoom | |
One of our great aims should be to "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II Pet. 3: 18). Let us see to it that we do not suffer from
arrested spiritual growth!
pp. 152 - 157
Having dealt with the testing of faith with a view to its growth, leading to endurance,
so that the believer may be `perfect and entire, lacking in nothing' (1: 2-4), the writer
"But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, Who giveth to all liberally and
upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (1: 5, R.V.).
Worldly cleverness and capability are of little use in the pilgrim pathway. Nothing
less than the wisdom of God is needed, giving the believer spiritual insight that will
preserve him from walking after the flesh and accepting the false standards of the world
around him. One of the great Biblical commentaries on wisdom is found in the early
chapters of I Corinthians where man's wisdom is contrasted with the wisdom of God.
What men deem to be wise is considered utter foolishness by God (I Cor. 3: 19). The
only wisdom that is worthwhile is found in Him Who is Himself the wisdom of God
(i.24). It is important to note how wisdom is stressed in the Prison Epistles of Paul,
where it occurs no less then 9 times (Eph. 1: 8, 17; 3: 10; Col. 1: 9, 28; 2: 3, 23; 3: 16;
4: 5). These verses make it abundantly clear that the `worthy walk' of Eph. 4: is
impossible without heavenly wisdom.
But how can we obtain this? James 1: 5, 6 is the answer. God Who alone possesses
it is ready to give it to all who realize their lack of it and moreover, we are encouraged to
read that He `giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not' ("without finding fault"). The
Lord always gives generously without reproaching the petitioner. Calvin remarks here
that the words `upbraideth not' are added `lest anyone should fear to come to God too
often . . . . . He is ready to add new blessings to the former ones without any end or
James however, warns that prayer for wisdom must be the prayer of faith, "without
doubting" (1: 6). Unbelief can never be tolerated by God, for it makes Him a liar
(I.John.v.10). It limits Him and cuts the believer off from blessing, leaving him with
disquiet in his mind, causing him to waver to and fro, and preventing him from leaning
upon God. James likens such a person to waves of the sea tossed about by the wind, the
very opposite of stability. Certain it is that that man will not receive anything of the Lord
(1: 7). He is a `double minded' person and thoroughly unstable or unreliable.
Real prayer involves turning the whole person to the Lord. We cannot face two ways
at once when we are praying along the lines of His will.