When is the last time you did something kind for someone without expecting anything in return? Have you thought about what motivates you to reach out to help others? Do you know for certain where your wisdom to serve others is coming from?
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, and demonic.” (James 3:14, 15)
Through the book of James, God gives us a warning that wisdom can come from three different sources other than from Himself! As we examine ourselves, I thought it would be appropriate to point out these different sources of wisdom that would like to change us in ways that don’t line up with God.
*Earthly wisdom is plentiful and quite easy to acquire. We receive earthly wisdom from each other, the media, and many various outside sources that are separate from God’s Word. We’ve adopted the mentality that if it has been printed in the paper or announced on the television or broad casted on the radio, it must be the gospel. How have many of us come to be so gullible? The answer lies in our unwillingness to read God’s Word and place His wisdom in our hearts. With this lack of spiritual discipline, earthly wisdom molds us and changes us into a being that doesn’t line up with God. The sad reality here is that we are being changed without knowing it’s in the wrong way!
*Natural wisdom or sensual wisdom is that wisdom that comes from within us. In (Proverbs 12:15) God says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.” Jesus tells us plainly in (Mark 7: 23), “All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”
Brethren, how easy it is to be deceived in our own thinking that we know what is best for ourselves. Scripture challenges us to think, and often times after reading scripture we are left with nothing more than questions. Instead of seeing the chance to grow by searching deeper into the scriptures for answers, we choose to rely on what we think the answers might be and therefore become molded and shaped by natural wisdom instead of God’s wisdom. What a tragedy! This is the reason many Christians don’t grow in faith!
*Demonic wisdom can also change you in ways that don’t line up with God. Do you experience dark confusion or fear? Are you still experiencing feelings of bitterness or even anger in your life? Have you ever thought about how these feelings invaded your thoughts and actions? God tells us in the book of (2 Timothy 1:7), “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” This verse alone gives us evidence as to who is shaping our lives. The contrast couldn’t be any clearer!
*Godly wisdom comes to those that practice spiritual disciplines such as Bible reading and earnest prayer; we witness this in the life of Jesus Christ. He spent a lot of time in prayer and spoke the words His Father gave Him to speak. He tells us in the book of (John 14:10), “The words that I speak to you I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwells in Me, He does the works.” Jesus did nothing apart from God’s endorsement. To make His point quite clear, Jesus prayed to His Father for divine guidance in the Garden showing us that the only true way forward is not by our will, the world’s will, or Satan’s will, but by God’s will. Not my will Father but Thine be done.