Hey friend! Welcome to episode 10 of the Tending your Soul Podcast. Wow, 10 whole episodes of tending our soul by the Word!!
I’m excited to have you join me here in my little backyard salsa garden again today, as we invite God to tend the seed of His Word into the soil of our hearts.
I developed the TEND method of unfolding God’s Word, years ago after many hours in my garden. Here I pull weeds, fertilize the plants, water and prune. I spend time talking to the Lord here about my own heart and I began to see that just as I tend to my garden, He tends to my soul.
Thus the TEND method was born.
The acronym TEND begins with T for take time to pray. So join me as we ask the Gardener to tend our soul by His Word today.
Lord, would you tend to my soul and the soul of my listening friend today? Thank you for the seed of your word that you press into the soil of our heart. Refresh us, prune us and do what is needed as we come near to you seeking to know you better through your word. Speak Lord, your servant is listening. Amen.
In our TEND acronym, the next letter is E for Examine the Scripture. We are unpacking the book of James little by little and today we are in James 1:5-8. So let’s examine at what our next verses are and then let’s summarize what’s going on here.
James 1:5-8 says
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Isn’t it interesting that James phrases this as an “if” type of statement? I mean who DOESN”T lack wisdom? Honestly. The more you think you know, the more you actually need wisdom, right?!
But it’s as if James is saying, you gotta first recognize that you need wisdom. THEN you can get it from God. “IF any of you lacks wisdom…”
Wisdom, as defined in Scripture, is always based on God and His Word. Wisdom is based on God’s discernment and the insight we gain from the Bible. Wisdom is acting on Biblical knowledge. Knowing the Word of God is great but without acting on it, we are still in the same place we were before the knowledge. James himself will say in just a few verses how we are called to be doers of the Word not hearers only, lest we deceive ourselves.
So in these verses, James is inviting us to recognize our need for acting wise and then a straight forward how to for gaining it. Ask God.
As I said, God is the source of true wisdom so clearly our obvious response should be to ask Him for wisdom, but James warns us against double mindedness when we do go to God. He’s saying, “If your gonna do it your own way anyway, then don’t even bother going to God about it.”
These verses tell us God will give us what we need without finding fault or calling us stupid for needing Him, it’s what we are made for—to need Him! He invites us to come, but come fully, wholeheartedly, completely empty and deplete of our own ways. Letting Him be the Source of your wisdom instead.
As we move from examining these verses to noticing the lessons, let’s consider first what this is teaching us about God and His character.
As I mentioned, what seems to really stand out here about the character of God is that He alone is the Source of all wisdom.
But also I think God is revealing to us that He is a generous giver. He is offering His wisdom generously “without reproach” or finding fault in the one coming to Him. He lavishes us with the wisdom we need through the truth of His Word. What a gracious and generous God we serve!
So then what spiritual lesson is God imparting through James here?
First, when we recognize that we lack wisdom, we are invited to go to God without doubting. Also we are warned here that when we go to God for wisdom, do it open handed, empty of our own man-made wisdom ready to act on His Word not our own way of doing things.
So then as we consider this lesson, we can ask ourselves:
What area of my life do I feel I lack wisdom right now? What do I need to bring to God to gain His wisdom and respond His way? We might even consider: What area of my life do I need to repent of doing things my own way and instead need to pursue God’s wisdom on that?
For me, as a mom of 2 grown sons, it can be hard to find the balance between releasing my sons well and guiding them. This is an area I can tend to default into my own so called wisdom too. I am taking this afresh to God today and repenting for my own ways and asking God to guide me in my conversations with my sons and give me the wisdom to love each of them well today in the way they each need from me.
As we spend time in the garden and pause long enough to listen to the Truths of God’s Word, He never fails to guide us and train us up in godliness, just as a gardener gently trains the cucumber vine along the trellis.
So how about you, friend, what area of your life are you needing wisdom today?
What area might you be trying to make happen when really what you need is repent of doublemindedness and release it God? Then ask Him, who gives generously, for the wisdom to act on it His way?
Don’t you love how God supplies what we need? He doesn’t send us on our way with a “good luck figuring it all out” On the contrary, He says “Here we go, babe, I’ve got you, lean hard on me, it’s what you’re made to do”
Our own rebellion is what pushes against that, isn’t it?
Then like the cucumber vine that is too stiff to train, that area is pruned and new growth can then be shaped for our good and for His glory.
OH Lord, thank you for the gentle way You invite us to draw near to you again each day through your Word. Thank you for your generosity and grace as you train us along to bear much fruit. Forgive our stubborn ways and remind us afresh to come to you empty and receive your wisdom for our day. Amen.
Are you enjoying this time in the garden tending our soul by the Word?
Why not keep digging into the book of James this summer for yourself with a small group online?
I invite you to join us in Tending through James, beginning July 12, 2022. This is a weekly online bible study where we TEND through the verses and share together the lessons God is teaching. In this podcast we will tend through ch 1 but in our TEND Gathering we will unfold the truths through all of James and God is sure to cast the light we need on the path ahead. So you don’t want to miss out!
Link to sign up for Tending through James is in the show notes.
Also, If you are listening to this after July 2022, I invite you to keep tending your soul through James with my Tending through the Word journal that is available on Amazon. I’ll include that link in the show notes too.
Until next time, friend, Keep tending your soul by the Word!