Based on the promise of God to give wisdom, the first point that can be made is that wisdom begins by fearing God. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). One person who received wisdom from God was James, the half-brother of the humanity of Christ. “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting” (James 1:1). Rather than set forth his human credentials to speak with authority to the Church as the brother of Jesus, James understands his true place in the plan of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a servant. Humility is a great virtue. Wisdom tells us that he who would be first, must be last. “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen” (Matt. 20:16). James was a humble man. He was also a man with wisdom, because James believed God. That is what the fear of God means. To fear God is to believe Him.
Believe God when He says He is the only God, and there are no others. Believe God when He says He is a holy God. Believe God when He says He is a jealous God. Believe God when He says He will render justice to all.
When God speaks, the humble and wise response is to say, “I believe.” Believe this promise. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).
While the heart of the Christian believes what God has promised, the lips of the believer must do something to receive wisdom. A Christian must ask. “Let him ask of God.” It is not enough to believe God. Faith puts on shoes and goes to work. Specific instruction is given. “Let him ask.”
Time and again in the Bible, Christians are told to ask.
Christians are to ask God for their spiritual inheritance in Christ. “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Psalms 2:8).
Christians are to ask God for the old paths, the right paths to walk. “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jer. 6:16).
Christians are to ask God for their needs. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8).
When the request is made for wisdom, the request must be specific. Ask the Lord how to overcome a besetting sin. Ask the Lord how to handle a difficult child. Ask the Lord how to gain self-control. Ask the Lord what He would have you to say, or not say to someone. Ask the Lord for what He would have you to do. Be specific. Ask, “What would Jesus have me to do?”
Notice that we are to ask wisdom of God. It is amazing where people seek wisdom when they do not believe God exists, or they do not trust Him, or His Word.
People will seek for wisdom in the philosophers of this world. Many people seek wisdom by studying the philosophies of Aristotle, Plato, and Friedrich Nietzsche. These people are inevitably disappointed, for life is found to be without purpose, definition, or meaning. The German philosopher, Nietzsche, who taught people that God is dead, often contemplated suicide. “The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.” After a stay in an asylum, on August 25, 1900, Nietzsche died in Weimar, Germany in the home of his sister.
Many seek wisdom in government, only to become socially enslaved, based on the ideas of Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin, and Karl Marx.
Still others have looked to science, only to be told that the universe and all that is in it, is the result of space, plus time, plus chance. Moreover, man has a common ancestor with the chimpanzee, so he is not unique in creation. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
When a person asks God for specific wisdom, the promise is that it will be given, liberally. It is at this point that the fallen human heart is tempted to look for “weasel words”, a marketing term which refers to words that negate what is promised. Qualifying words are used in marketing products so that if the product is not the greatest, the best, the most effective, the promoter is not sued.
In like manner, the temptation comes to assume God uses “weasel words” with His promises, so that He does not have to honor what seems to be plainly stated. Will God give wisdom to those who ask? Will He give wisdom liberally, or bountifully?” “Will God give wisdom without upbraiding a person for needing wisdom, or for asking?” “Will God give wisdom without defaming a person, railing against him, or using chiding, or taunting words?” The answer to all such inquires, is that God is faithful to honor His word. God does not use weasel words for plausible deniability.
With that truth noted and affirmed, there is a provision when asking for wisdom. The heart must ask in faith, nothing doubting (James 1:6). When the words of verse 6 are read, the heart might despair. “Is the text now saying that wisdom cannot be received simply by asking? Is there a condition after all?” “Can a person ask without doubting?” The answer is this. God will give wisdom to a person who asks for it, even if there are doubts, provided God the Father is also asked to remove all doubts. “Lord I believe, help Thou my unbelief.”
A person must not despair. God will give wisdom to those who need it, to those who ask for it, to those who pray in faith to Him. God will give wisdom because He desires to give what is best to His children. Wisdom is a good gift of God. Therefore, Christian, seek wisdom. “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding” (Prov. 2:6). God delights to give wisdom to those who ask. God knows the value of wisdom. It is more valuable than jewels. “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.” Therefore, Christian, seek wisdom.