If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. — James 1:5
Yesterday we learned from James 1:5 that if you and I lack wisdom, we have the right to go to God and insist that He give us the answers we need. In fact, the Greek tense used in that verse tells us that God actually commands us to come to Him when we need wisdom. Furthermore, the Greek word used to describe us asking God for wisdom indicates that God wants us to be firm and resolute when we request wisdom from Him.
But before God will open His hand and give us the wisdom we need, there is a condition we must meet. That condition is spelled out very clearly in James 1:5, where the Bible says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.…”
The condition we must meet to receive wisdom from God is found in the phrase “of God.” In Greek, these are the words para theou. The word para means alongside of, and it depicts a very close, side-by-side, intimate position next to someone else. The word theou is the Greek word for God. When these words are placed together in a phrase, as in this verse, it pictures a person who comes right alongside of God, who comes as close to God as possible, who stands side-by-side with Him. In this statement, we discover God’s requirement of us before He will give us the wisdom we need. If we want wisdom, we must come right up alongside of God in order to obtain it.
You see, God wants a relationship with us. He doesn’t want to just freely hand out answers to our problems. He wants us to come to Him. And the moment we get side-by-side with God, He opens His hand and reveals everything we need to know and understand about the situations we are facing.
So often, however, believers allow themselves to become too busy with the affairs of life, and they fail to take time out of their hectic schedules to get into the intimate Presence of God. They want God to meet their need “on demand,” but they don’t want to fulfill God’s need to be close to His people.
Rushing into the Presence of the Lord, these believers stay only long enough to make their requests known to Him before they rush out again to resume their busy schedules. They don’t stay long enough for God to enjoy them and to speak to their hearts about the deeper subjects of life that may be the real root of their problems and shortfalls.
When James tells us to “ask” God for the wisdom we need, the word “ask” means we can be very bold and insistent. But for us to get what we request, we must ask “of God.” In other words, we must come right up alongside of God, getting as close to Him as possible, and then make our request. If we will fulfill this requirement of coming close to God and opening our hearts to Him and to His touch, He will then gladly open His hand and show us every answer we need.
But be prepared for God to show you additional things you weren’t expecting to see! When you come into His glorious light, that light penetrates you and reveals defects and dark places in your soul and behavior patterns that need to be changed. But if you stay out of God’s Presence, it is very possible that these defects may never become apparent to your own eyes, for many things can only be revealed by getting into His Presence. Could it be that you have avoided the Presence of God because you are afraid of what you might see in yourself if you came into His glorious light?
Once you fulfill this requirement of getting right alongside of God, He is obligated to give you the wisdom you seek from Him. That is why James says that God “…giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not….” The word “giveth” is the Greek word didontos, which comes from the word didomi. The word didomi means to give, but the form used here is didontos, which describes one who is in the habit of constantly giving. This assuredly tells us that God is not one who holds out on His people or who refrains from giving them wisdom when they need it. Instead, James tells us that God is in the habit of giving wisdom to His people when they need it. He is “the giving God.”
Not only does God give us the wisdom we need when we meet His requirement to come close to Him, but James 1:5 promises that He gives it “…liberally, and upbraideth not….” The word “liberally” is the Greek word haploos. It depicts something that is given generously, abundantly, plentifully, bountifully, and open-handedly. You see, if we’ll meet God’s requirement to come close to Him, He will profusely answer the questions we have and impart the wisdom we need.
The words “upbraideth not” are from the Greek word oneididzo, which means to rebuke or to reprove. However, in this case, the word me is used in front of this word, making the entire Greek phrase me oneididzontes, which means to not rebuke or to not reprove.
In other words, God will not rebuke you or reprove you for asking anything of Him. You are His child, and He wants you to have the wisdom you need for life. You’ll find God to be open-hearted and ready to answer any question you ever put to Him. But before He gives you those answers, He first wants you to fulfill His requirement of coming alongside of Him, where He can love you and fellowship with you and where you can feel and experience His love.
In that up-close, side-by-side encounter with God, you will also become aware of all the other areas of your life that need attention. And here’s the good news: In His glorious Presence, God will not only make you aware of these areas that need adjustment, He will also give you the power and ability to change!
James 1:5 says that if you will meet God’s requirement to come close to Him, “the giving God” will give you the wisdom and answers you need. So don’t let yourself rush in and out of the Presence of God too quickly any longer. It’s time for you to learn how to spend time in the Presence of the Lord so He can shine His glorious light upon your life! Let Him bathe you in His glory. Let His glory shine on you and reveal the dark areas in your life that need to be changed. Stay in His Presence long enough to let the wisdom you are seeking sink into your spirit and soul.
Never forget that God is “the giving God” who wants to meet your need. But for that need to be met, you have to come right up alongside Him — and you can only do that by making room in your daily schedule for spending time in His Presence. Are you ready to include God in your schedule today?
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I know that You are a giving God who wants to meet my needs and answer my questions. But I understand now that I have a condition to meet first: You require me to come close to You so You can reveal to me those things I need to know. Please forgive me for rushing in and out of your Presence so quickly in the past — making my demands and insisting on those things I need, but not taking enough time to fellowship with You and meet Your need to be with me. I am so sorry for the times I’ve been in such a hurry that I neglected spending time with You. Starting today, I want to change my daily schedule so I can spend time in Your Presence and come closer to You than ever before!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that spending time with God is the highest priority in my life. This time with Him is not an option in my life. He wants to give me all the wisdom and answers I need, but first I must meet His requirement to come close to Him. When I get right next to God, He is obliged to open His hand and show me everything I need to see. I live continually in His Presence; therefore, no form of darkness or ignorance nor any defect in my character can remain in my life!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Do you spend time in the Presence of God each day? If a friend asked you to describe the quiet time you spend with the Lord every day, how would you go about describing it?
2. How much time do you spend alone with God each day? What do you do during this time? What results have you experienced in your life because of the daily quiet time you spend with the Lord?
3. What is the best time of the day for you to spend with God in order to avoid being interrupted by other people or by the constant ringing of the telephone?