Grapes on a Fig Tree

Friday, June 3                              

James introduces wisdom right near the beginning of his epistle.  James 1:5.  “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him.”  And then he says that the prayer for wisdom has to be made in faith.  He uses the term “double-minded for one who lacks faith. Going back to James 3:13-14, we learn that a wise man will demonstrate his wisdom by living a godly life in meekness (humility).  This is contrasted by “jealousy and selfish ambition (v. 14).  Humility and selfishness just don’t fit; they are opposites.  The previous two verses paint the same picture.  “Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water and brackish?  Can a fig tree . . . yield olives, or a grapevine figs?  No more can salt water yield fresh.”  Putting all this together means that I can’t live a double standard and at the same time expect God to give me more wisdom.  As expressed in James 1:8 “For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.”  There’s a promise along with the prayer—“it will be given him.”  But as with many promises, there is a caveat, strings attached.  This one is “Don’t be double-minded.”  Make sure you know what you want.  Better yet, determine what God wants—and go for it.  That way, you can’t lose.

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