But the wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and teachable. It is filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any from and it always bears the beautiful harvest of righteousness! God’s seeds of wisdom’s fruit will be planted with peaceful acts of those who cherish making peace.James 3: 17 – 18 The Passion Translation
Reaping a good return from any endeavour requires applying wisdom. James says that the fruit of wisdom starts in a seed – a seed that we need to plant and nurture. Therefore the wisdom that comes from God must be sown and sustained by us in obedience in order to produce the intended harvest. I also believe that, just like plant seeds are intended for certain soils and climates, God entrusts us with different seeds depending on where He places us and how He equips us. If we then fail to nurture these seeds, we fail God. James puts in this way: “So, if you know of an opportunity to do the right thing today, yet you refrain from doing it, you are guilty of sin” (James 4:17 TPT). Yet, if we put our faith in Him, he promises to give us wisdom and “overwhelm our failures with his generous grace” (James 1:5 TPT).
Don’t just listen to the Word of Truth and not respond to it, for that is the essence of self-deception. So always let his Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life.James 1:22 The Passion Translation
So why do we let so many opportunities go by? Yes, we are often selfish and preoccupied, but I think this neglect has a deeper root. The excuse goes as far back as Moses when he told God that sending him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt is a mistake. Jesus also touches on this when he tells the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25: 14 – 30). Because the servant with one coin was too afraid to use what he was entrusted with, he reaped no return. And again, his master was not pleased. The parable is also clear on the fact that the servant knew his master well (he had the necessary wisdom), yet he failed to do what he knew was expected because he felt inadequate. James describes it beautifully when he says: “You perceive how God sees you in the mirror of the Word, but then you go out and forget your divine origin” (James 1:24).
My fellow believers, when it seems like you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And when your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.James 1: 2 – 4 The Passion Translation
I find it fascinating how God’s ways are often the reverse of what seems logical to us. Just like we have to believe before we see, we often have to be obedient before he equips us. I am reminded of the quote by Mark Batterson “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called” which has been linked to 1 Corinthians 1:27 – 29 where it says that God chooses “the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.” C.S Lewis captures the essence of this when he says: “It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.” James 3:17 also says that wisdom from above is teachable – and that’s the whole point. If we obediently step out in faith, God not only equips us, but reveals himself to us even more.
God was delighted to give us birth by the truth of his infallible Word so that we would fulfill his chosen destiny for us and become the favorite ones out of all his creation.James 1: 18 The Passion Translation
Even though we often feel inadequate, the relationship between faith and action (obedience) is non-negotiable. James uses Abraham as an example when he says: “Can’t you see how his action cooperated with his faith and by his action faith found its full expression?” (James 2:22 TPT). God’s Word gives birth to the new person we are in faith – but this Word, this Wisdom, has a destiny to fulfill through us and that is the full expression of our faith. Jesus is without a doubt the best example: If He hadn’t trusted and obeyed God in walking the path of the cross, there would be no harvest at all.
There is beautiful poetry in the fact that when we step out in faith, faith comes to life. When we plant the seed of wisdom in the fertile ground of faith, and nurture it in obedience, we reap the harvest that God intended. But God does not give us only his Word, he also gives us his Spirit to remind us of his promises and strengthen our faith. Faith also means that we need never do anything on our own.
Your spirit is a whispering
When all the lies are deafening
You speak to the very heart of me
And fear cannot remain
Your spirit is the light aheadSource: LyricFind
Calling me into the depths
And daring me to take a step
And let you lead the way
Songwriters: Mark Hall / Jason Ingram
The Change in Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC