Summary: The importance of acquiring and using wisdom
The Greatest Request
What is wisdom? It is knowledge with God’s assistance. You can have knowledge without wisdom, you can say great proverbs with out wisdom. Wisdom is what allows you to act on your beliefs and in what manner you act is based on your wisdom from God. When we think of wisdom who in the Bible comes to mind? Solomon. A man who becomes king of two nations Israel and Judah and God tells him to ask for anything he wants. Some of us would probably try to get a little creative: money, fame I want to be able to turn invisible at will, etc… Solomon shows that he already has a little bit of smarts asks for wisdom… The rest followed anyway.
And he got use that wisdom pretty quickly. You’ll remember that the Jerry Springer show came to Solomon. Two hookers living in what I call a brothel/whorehouse perhaps, both have a child and one rolls over on her child killing it, she gets up in the middle of the night switches the babies with the other woman and the fight is on. Whose child is it? Solomon says bring me my sword? What are you going to do with that? Cut it in half. One woman says, “Good plan”. The other woman says, “Not a good plan”. Problem solved. Wisdom allows us to take great knowledge and apply it wisely as Solomon did.
I want to talk to you about the greatest request you can make from God beside ask him to forgive you and be your savior. James continues to teach us today James 1:5-8.
The first thing we need to understand from this text is:
1) God knows that we lack wisdom and desires for you to have it
a) If any of you lacks wisdom…
i) If there was a time to ask for a show of hands from those who feel that they lack wisdom this would be it
ii) Wisdom is something that is lacking from our society. In politics who is asking for wisdom? In finances who is asking for wisdom? In relationships who is asking for wisdom?
iii) What we usually do is when the incident comes up we pray “Oh God I need wisdom.”
iv) Solomon was smart he asked for before anything began. Right from the start that way if there was ever an incident he was already prepared with wisdom from on High. He made the greatest request. He asked for the greatest gift.
v) An old Arab Proverb says about wisdom:
(1) He that knows not and knows not that he knows not;
He is a fool—shun him!
(2) He that knows not and knows that he knows not;
He is simple—teach him!
(3) He that knows and knows not that he knows;
He is asleep—wake him!
(4) He that knows and knows that he knows;
He is a wise man—follow him!
vi) We are a people that need wisdom… because we need leaders…
vii) Wisdom is efficient:
(1) An intelligent person may have profound ideas but the wise person knows how to put profound ideas into action
(2) When we ask for wisdom we are asking God to speak action into our knowledge.
viii) Wisdom is divine:
(1) We have knowledge, but we do not know how to use it.
(2) Wisdom gives us comfort to live by His direction, Wisdom enables discernment between right and wrong
(3) In asking we say “God we need your input on the correct task to take.”
ix) It is Christ-like:
(1) 1 Corinthians 1:25-30 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
(2) Jesus is the essence of wisdom and encompasses all wisdom
x) Many people are asking God for gifts of the Spirit but they are not asking for wisdom. Not a Word of Wisdom (I Cor 12) but a lifestyle of Wisdom
b) Let him Ask of God
i) This is where we must start. If you don’t ask it must not be that important to you