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Summary: 4 ways that Godly wisdom can transform our lives

The Godly Wisdom We Need - Part 2

James 4:1-10

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - August 1, 2010

*In the late 70’s and early 80’s Mary and I were members of FBC in Macon, Georgia. There was a wonderful, wise, older couple there who helped us in a lot of ways. I remember visiting that lady in the hospital one night, and we were talking about my brother’s spiritual life. He had a whole lot of problems at the time, and they were mostly his own fault. As we talked the lady said, “I guess he hasn’t got through going up fool’s hill.” I had never heard it put that way before, but that was the spot-on truth for my brother back then.

*We don’t want to be going up fool’s hill, and the good news today is that we don’t have to! We can have all the Godly wisdom we need, and it will transform our lives. Let’s look into God’s Word and see how.

1. First: Godly wisdom leads us to make the right requests. (vs. 1-3)

*Last week James 3 warned us against the natural, wicked wisdom of this world.

13. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.

14. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.

15. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.

16. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing will be there.

*Now here in James 4, God’s Word begins to show us some of the worst ugliness that can come from worldly wisdom:

1. Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?

*Wars and fights among Christian brothers and sisters!? -- Sadly, sometimes the answer is yes. Look how ugly it can get in vs. 2:

2. You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.

*Does he literally mean that Christians can get to the point that they could kill each other? -- In the most extreme circumstances, yes. But remember that 1 John 3:15 says that whoever hates his brother is a murderer. In other words, he has the same spirit as a murderer. Our fussing and fighting may not kill someone’s body. But it can very easily kill friendships, dreams, opportunities and possibilities.

*This ugliness is the natural result of being led by the evil, selfish wisdom of this world. But there is more for us to see. In vs. 2&3 James talks about our prayer life and says:

2. . . . You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.

3. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

*In vs. 2, worldly wisdom puts an end to our prayer life. Then in vs. 3, worldly wisdom poisons our prayer life.

-But we don’t have to be led by the wisdom of this world.

-And Godly wisdom will put power in our prayer life!

-That’s because God’s wisdom will lead us to pray both regularly and righteously.

*Think of the wonderful prayers we find in the Word of God. One of many examples is Paul’s prayer in Eph 1:15-20. There Paul said:

15. Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

16. do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

17. that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

18. the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19. and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

20. which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

*These prayer requests are the result of Godly wisdom. It leads us to pray regularly and righteously.

-We can pray for everyday things and eternal things.

-We can pray for mundane things and miraculous things, trusting God to always do the right thing.

-Godly wisdom leads us to make the right requests.

2. And it puts the priority on our relationship with God. (vs. 4)

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