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Thursday, May 16, 2019

If I Want to Know What to Do, Just Ask

In review of James 1:5-6, I'm reminded that “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you . . . But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you” (TLB).

Today’s passage comes from James 1. In these two verses are packed a tremendous amount of information and direction. James tells me that If I lacks wisdom, I should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault (or guilting me for always asking), and it will be given to me. But he also tells me that when I ask, I must believe and not doubt, because my doubt will make me like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

James is talking about wisdom that is not only knowledge but in the ability to make wise decisions. When I need wisdom, I can pray to God and He will supply me with what I need. I can ask for God's wisdom to guide my choices.

This wisdom is practical, it's a tool by which trials are overcome and one that allows me to put profound ideas into action. The wisdom to choose the most likely reason and proceed to take action.

This wisdom is divine. It goes beyond common sense. It leads me to choose joy in the middle of trials. It begins with respect for God, leads to living by God's direction, and results in the ability to tell right from wrong.

And lastly, this wisdom is Christlike. It's asking to be like Christ.

When I ask, I rely on God and expect that he will hear and answer when I pray. Therefore I must put away my critical attitude when I come to him. I must also have confidence that God will align my desires with his purposes.

If I have any divided loyalty to what he provides, then I'm not convinced that His way is best. It's much like treating it like human advice, retaining the option to disobey. Divided loyalty on my part will leave me as unsettled as the restless waves of the ocean. If I want to stop being tossed about, I need to rely on God to show me what is best for me. When I ask, my decisions will be sure and solid.

As today’s verse says, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you” (James 1:5 TLB).

But why do I have to ask before he answers? I’m learning that it’s because my relationship with God begins with faith. He doesn’t force things on me. He invites me into a relationship with him. So I ask.

In reality, many times I forget to ask. I’m just rushing through my day doing this, doing that, assuming it’s going to be okay. But I need to just stop once in a while and say, “God, I ask you, what is your direction?” He will gladly tell me.

How does he tell me? An answer will usually come through one of two main ways: through people that are following him and through his Word. Get together with a few people who I know seek after God, and ask them for their opinion. Look in their eyes, and get an honest answer. And, turn to God’s Word. Ask him, “God, what do you have to say about this?”

Some people think God is not interested in our relationships. After all, he’s got a universe to keep going. But he is interested. He made me! The Bible says, “But be sure in deciding these matters that you are living as God intended, marrying or not marrying in accordance with God’s direction and help, and accepting whatever situation God has put you into” (1 Corinthians 7:17).

Today is a great reminder and reinforcement for what I ask regularly when I ask for His wisdom and guidance for my day and actions. This morning I continue to ask for your wisdom and guidance for how I handle the activities and responsibilities I have. Help me to lead my team with wisdom. Help me in my interactions with others to be loving and of a service / help to them. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen.