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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nope, not that one. Maybe that one?

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5 NLT)
God would rather have us ask than to move ahead in blind abandon to whatever it is we are concerned about, my friends. The attitude of asking for wisdom is not an admit of defeat, but of trust. I don't ask for help from those I don't trust - simply because I don't know they can be counted on to have my best interest in mind. There are a whole lot of counselors in the world today, but not too many who speak with the wisdom of God. We need to be consistent in where it is we seek wisdom, and what it is we embrace as wisdom.
Thomas Jefferson said, "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." To admit we don't know what to do, how to do it, or even that something needs to be done in the first place is to seek wisdom. One thing I have observed over my years is how freely people give "wisdom" in the form of advice, but how hard it is for them to actually embrace it and live by it! It is very important we seek wisdom from "reliable sources" - those who have embraced it, live by it, and stand strong because of it. Not all advice is wise. Not all advisers are going to give you biblical counsel - but when you find the one who will - listen. After having listened - test it out! Don't just accept "wisdom" at face value - it needs to be tested. 
Does it align with scripture? Does it follow the principles we saw modeled in the life of Jesus? Does it violate our conscience? Does it hurt another or take advantage of them unfairly? These are some of the questions we ask when seeking true wisdom - before we act upon it. Why? It is easy to hear something that aligns more with what our feelings are demanding at the moment than it is to hear the wisdom that denies those feelings! Feelings are "situational" - they depend upon the circumstances and they are highly unreliable as a result.
Another warning about the multitude of counsel you may receive in this world - if it is unsolicited, you may not want to heed it! People give words of "wisdom" all the time - from telling us how to spend our money, what to wear, who to dump, who to pick up, etc. We cannot simply listen to every voice we hear. Wisdom is sought, it doesn't just get offered to you at every turn of the head. Read the Proverbs and you will see that wisdom is something you ask for, you seek, and you "find" because you were looking for it. But...we cannot be looking for just ANY answer either. We have to be aware of what it is we seek wisdom about, then ask the one who IS wisdom how it is we should move forward or stay put as it applies to the thing we have under consideration. Sure, he will often bring us someone with spiritual wisdom and sound judgment as a "sounding board" of sorts. That isn't wrong to rely upon them, but even then, test it out before you act upon it.
We don't go through life "doing all we feel", nor do we live so stifled by fear that we never take a step in any direction. We seek wisdom and then we act upon it in faith. Ask, seek, knock - he's listening. Are you? Just askin!