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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Praying God’s Promises

In review of James 1:5 it says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking” (NLT).

In James 1:5-8, James tells me that if I need wisdom, I can ask God, who gives generously. He will not rebuke me for asking. But when I do ask, I need to be sure that my faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave in the ocean that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such a person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in all they do.

What I’m learning is that wisdom is more than just knowledge, it's also the ability to make wise decisions in difficult circumstances. When ever I need wisdom, I can pray to God, and will generously supply what I need.

The wisdom God provides will have three distinct characteristics:
1). It is practical. The wisdom from God relates to life even during the most trying times. It is not a wisdom isolated from suffering and trials. This wisdom is the tool by which trials are overcome. A wise person puts ideas into action. A wise person chooses the most likely reason and proceeds to take action.
2). It is divine. God's wisdom goes beyond common sense. Common sense does not lead us to choose joy in the middle of trials. The wisdom begins with respect for God, leads to living by God's direction, and results in the ability to tell right from wrong.
3). It is Christlike. Asking for wisdom is ultimately asking to be like Christ.

I must believe not only in the existence of God but also in his loving care. This includes relying on God and expecting that he will hear and answer when I pray. I must put away any critical attitudes when I come to him. God does not grant every thoughtless or selfish request. I must have confidence that God will align my desires with his purposes.

A person with divided loyalty is not completely convinced that God's way is best. That person treats God's Word like any human advice and retains the option to disobey. This person vacillates between allegiance to subjective feelings, the world's ideas, and God's commands. Rather I must trust God and be loyal to him. Stabilize any wavering or doubtfulness and commit wholeheartedly to God.

When I pray, I can claim the promises of God, because it helps me remember what God has promised. There are over 7,000 promises in the Bible. These promises provide the answer to all our needs and problems. Prayer focuses my attention on God and helps me to see that he is bigger and more powerful than any of my concerns. And as I see God answer my prayers, my faith will grow.

Also, my faith is the key that unlocks the door to God’s power. Listed below are just a few of God’s promises:

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14 NIV).
“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29 ESV).
“But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak” (Isaiah 40:31 GNT).
“Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. Don’t be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 GW).
“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).
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 ESV).
“It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8 AMP).
“But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 MEV).
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 NASB).
“You willingly forgive, and your love is always there for those who pray to you” (Psalm 86:5 CEV).

God’s Promise to me is “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).

Bottom Line:
If you need wisdom, don’t be afraid to ask God.

What this means to me:
If I need wisdom, I can simply ask God. He won’t get on me or ridicule me for asking.

This morning I pray, “Father, there are so many times I forget to ask for what I truly need, and wisdom is on top of the list. I’m so grateful for this Scripture and the promise it holds. Thank you for being so generous and willing to give me the wisdom I need in my everyday circumstances. God, I want to live by the promises and principles in your Word and not by the world’s standards. Teach me to boldly ask for wisdom today and daily so I can navigate life according to your will and for your glory. I ask this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.”

In summary, divided loyalty will only leave me as unsettled as restless waves. If I want to stop being tossed about, rely on God to show me what is best for me. Ask him for wisdom, and trust that he will give it to me. Then my decisions will be sure and solid.