I really love when the Lord just drops a word into your spirit from scripture when you were not even looking for it.
One of the things that I have been praying for lately is wisdom and discernment. I wasn’t particularly praying that today, however today in my Bible reading in the book of James I came across the heading; ‘heavenly versus demonic wisdom.’ James 1:13-18 spells it out pretty straight forward. Starting with the question in verse 13 ‘who is wise and understanding among you?’ It continues by saying ‘let him show by good conduct that his works are done in meekness of wisdom.’
In the NIV it says, ‘show it by his good life, by deeds done in humility that come from wisdom.’ In contrast the next couple of verses describe something altogether different. It speaks of something that is self-seeking stirred by bitter envy, that lies against the truth. This is not spiritual wisdom but is earthly, sensual, carnal, and demonic. This wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earth born.
Therefore where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are present.
I see a present day application of this as we try to discern truth from lies. We really need spiritual wisdom; wisdom that comes from heaven, God given wisdom. Our world seems to be overflowing with the wrong kind of wisdom. The ways of Man are self-seeking and divisive. They bring forth confusion and distrust. They oftentimes don’t seem like truth and feel more like a lie. Proverbs 14:12 says, ‘there is a way that seems right to man, but its way is the way of death’. The Holy
Spirit gives us the discernment that we need. We should trust the Holy Spirit speaking to us and therefore recognize those things that are of the world and are man’s ways. When confusion and division and strife are present it certainly is not of God. The Lord always speaks truth and He does not shame, manipulate, or coerce.
Godly wisdom comes from heaven. It is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy, it is sincere. Real wisdom is sown in peace and brings forth righteousness. A good first test is if we have peace. If there is uneasiness, or harshness it probably is not from God. If it stirs strife and contention it probably is not from God. If it is pushing an agenda it is probably not from God. If it causes disorder and confusion it is not of God. When you recognize doublespeak, half-truths, and hypocrisy it is not of God.
As we navigate this time in which we live it is absolutely necessary to have godly wisdom. In 2 Timothy 1:7 it says, ‘for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’ I think that ‘sound mind’ speaks to understanding wisdom. It is rightly discerning the spirit of truth and having godly wisdom, God’s perspective on the world and our place in it. If we are to pray God’s will be done and God’s kingdom come to earth just as it is in heaven we must walk in heavenly wisdom. The world doesn’t need more of the world, it needs more of God and His will and His kingdom. Be careful of what you hear and see going on around you today. Beware that there is an earthly agenda that is warring against God’s plans and purposes. Be very cautious of where you are getting your marching orders from. Apply spiritual wisdom in all things. Your life, your eternal testimony, your family, your community and this nation is depending on it.
Press on in truth and wisdom.
The writer is the pastor of Christ the King Church near Jackson Center.