Devotion from Pastor Gary
GREEN VALLEY CHURCH OF GOD
304-727-7940 or 220-201-4968
Pastors, Gary and Martha Bennett
August 12, 2022
“SHOULD WE ASK GOD FOR AN EXPLANATION?”
When your children were younger, and you would ask of them to do a particular chore or chores or responsibilities, that they really did not want to do; you would expect them to go ahead and do them. Obedience was the norm. Were you ever offended if they sincerely asked you why you wanted them to do it?
Whether or not you could answer to your children’s satisfaction---or whether or not they were sufficiently experienced in life to understand the reason behind the request---you still expected them to trust you to obey what you had asked of them.
You knew your children knew that you loved them and that you had more experience than they did. That knowledge for them warranted enough for their complete trust in you. Your children understood as they were growing up you’d only demand of them what you knew was ultimately good for them. Their close relationship with you caused them to know that they could trust you implicitly, even when they didn’t understand fully what you were telling them!
Likewise, GOD is never offended when you ask HIM for an explanation. You may not understand HIS answer, you may not like HIS answer; or you may not be spiritually mature to fully understand it. But, as your Heavenly Father, HE is not offended by your desire to have clarification.
The word ‘IF’ found in our main text assumes that there are times when you need an answer from GOD. The word, “LACKS” is a form of the Greek word which describes ‘deficiency.’ In the Old Testament Septuagint, it describes possessing something “only in measure.” Which, of course, means you were lacking the rest. Or, maybe you possessed a little bit of something, but it was just a ‘remnant’ of what you really needed.
In our main verse, it means “to be without.” Or, to “be in need of.” In our verse it means “IF YOU ARE SHORT ON WISDOM…”LACKING WISDOM.” But, what did James mean by “WISDOM?” The word “wisdom” comes from the Greek word, “SOPHOS.” This word describes “SPECIAL INSIGHT or UNDERSTANDING.” Hence, the verse could be interpreted, “IF ANY ONE OF AMONG YOU LACKS SPECIAL UNDERSTANDING [regarding an issue]…” This word denoted special insight and understanding that could be worked out in real-life practice. It was an answer, an insight, or an enlightenment that had some type of practical application.
Next, James told us what to do… ask of GOD… The word “ask” in the Greek which means to be “ADAMANT IN REQUESTING AND DEMANDING ASSISTANCE TO MEET TANGIBLE NEEDS.” Additionally, it expresses the idea that one can possess a “full expectation” to receive what has been “firmly requested.”
But, GOD gives us one condition that we must fulfill before HE will answer our petitions for wisdom. We are to ask “OF” GOD. “OF” in the Greek is the word “PARA” meaning to “come alongside.” This word provides what it is that is the condition we must meet. To qualify, we must be side-by-side in position with HIM.
GOD, our Father, truly desires to answer our questions clearly and abundantly. HE will not refrain from answering us --- as long as we get in the right position to ask HIM. Please realize, GOD just doesn’t want to answer our request for wisdom. HE wants us to come alongside HIM, close to HIS heart. In this position, HE will not only answer our question, BUT HE’LL ALSO … embrace us, cleanse us, and change us.
Hence, the Heavenly Father, first beckons us to draw near to HIM as possible. Then, once we are in that close, side-by-side position, GOD opens HIS hand to show us the wisdom we lack and are seeking to gain.
We’re just a prayer away from assuming that close, side-by-side position with GOD! Therefore, I hope you see the point of wisdom ‘shortfall’, GOD invites us to ask HIM for insight. Thus, our asking for an explanation does not offend GOD. HE ENCOURAGES US TO ASK!
When GOD answers, you may not enjoy how he answers, yet, one thing is clear, in our need of clarification, HE wants to give to us. So, draw near to the LORD, and ask for the wisdom you lack. HE is utterly faithful and true to HIS Promises. HE will give liberally and without reproach!
In View of Eternity,