You Can Do This!
 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.James 1:5-8 NIV
Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the LORD in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.Proverbs 3:5-6 GNB
If we walk in the Spirit daily, surrendered to His power, we have the right to expect anything we need to hear from God. The Holy Spirit living within us and speaking to us ought to be the natural, normal lifestyle of believers.Charles Stanley
When I was in Bible School, I had a job working from 11 PM until 7 AM, then I would go home and change to go to class. That meant I slept about 4 hours then got up to do it all again. One memorable day after class, I was feeling flu-like symptoms. I prayed and believed I was healed, then went to bed. When the alarm went off, I expected to feel better. I didn’t. I was miserable. Being a faith person, I did what I always had done: I got up and started to do my exercises running on a machine and lifting weights. That was how I thought I should “act on my faith.” Thank God for my wife, who said, “Are you sure that’s wisdom?”
Judy’s questioning of my “faith behavior” led me to ask the Lord for wisdom according to James 1:5. I prayed, then started to get dressed for exercise. On the inside of me, there was a check, a little “ick” in the spirit. I knew that meant I was headed in the wrong direction. I talked with Judy, who suggested we agree in prayer, and then that I take a nap. We did exactly that. I awakened 2 hours later completely symptom free: no fever, no nausea, no cough. I ate dinner and went to work. It pays to stop, take time to pray, then follow the leading of the Spirit on the inside. He will always lead you into health.
For many, the question is, “How, exactly do I pray when I need wisdom?” James and Solomon gave us some great information on praying for divine wisdom. (James 1:5-8)
- Ask of God. Thank God for all the wonderful friends and advisors in your life. Ultimately, however, the decision on direction for your life will be your responsibility. Humble yourself, recognize that you may not know everything, and ask.
- When you ask, God will give you wisdom. There are no conditions on this promise. Even if you feel foolish, God will never reprimand you for asking. He gives to all, and that includes you.
- Ask in faith. Look back at our lesson on believing you receive when you pray (Mark 11:24). When you ask, God gives you wisdom. He said He would. It doesn’t mean that you know what it is or that you feel any different. You believe you have it and begin to thank Him for it. It’s done. He will get you the right info at the right time. He said He would, and He will. When the moment of decision comes, you will know what to do.
- God will make the right way clear to you. Re-read Proverbs 3: 5-6 above. Once you have prayed for wisdom, here is the pathway to victory:
- Trust in the Lord. That means that you can quit struggling and straining. Trust is a place of rest. Exhale slowly. God will guide you. Turn it loose.
- Don’t rely on your own thinking. I know this is counter to much of the so-called wisdom we hear in the world, but if you could have figured it out, or if you knew what to do, you would have already done it.
- Remember the Lord in everything. That means to recognize what He says in His Word about the situation and apply it. If He has spoken something to you, do it. If you are anxious about something, tell Him about it and let Him worry about it. Include Hm in your actual life, not just your devotional time.
- He will show you the right way. There’s no doubt about it. You prayed, you believed, and now He will guide you. The Psalmist said: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand (Psalms 37:23-24 NKJV). Your steps are ordered, and it makes Him happy to do it. Even if you mess up, He will grab you and put you back on track.
One translation of Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths (Proverbs 3:6 AMP).” He does this in several ways. He may just speak to you. He told me clearly to “quit drinking iced tea” when my kidneys were causing me pain. He may just give you that little “ick” on the inside concerning some behavior or some habit, or even some remedy you have tried. One common way that He helps us is by putting people or places or information in our path, then giving us a witness on the inside about it, that little push of the spirit on the inside that says, “yes, go that way.”
Several years ago, my wife was struggling with a thyroid issue for months. The physician she was seeing was not making any progress. We prayed for wisdom. I kept remembering a conversation with a friend who had worked for several doctors in town. She had mentioned a man who she said was the best she ever worked for. I got his name and called for an appointment. We went to see him together. When the guy sat down and started talking, we both had a “whoosh” of peace on the inside. We knew he was going to help her. And he did!
Here’s the point: When you’re in the middle of a trial, stay steady (James 1:2-4). If you’ve prayed and believed, but relief hasn’t come, ask God for wisdom. He always gives it. It’s not up to you to figure out what to do. Your task is to trust and ask Him, then rest and follow Him. He will direct your steps. Take a minute to look at the 2 verses that follow Proverb 3:5-6. “Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the LORD and refuse to do wrong. If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains (Proverbs 3:7-8 GNB).” Once you’ve prayed and received, your only job is to obey, not speculate. His aim is to move you to a place of healing.
In all the passages in this lesson, there is a warning to be careful of your own wisdom. In the area of healing, we hear this a lot, “Have a little wisdom, brother!” That usually means that they think our faith stance is crazy and that we should just go ahead and have the surgery, or whatever. Human wisdom is fine, as far as it goes, but in the battle for healing, humans don’t know everything. God can lead us in ways that don’t seem to make sense to our natural minds. (Review the story of my back injury.) That may include changing doctors, trying different treatments, or changing lifestyles. Natural things are not “unspiritual” if the Spirit leads you to do them.
Often, in our faith circles, we go just the other way in our thinking. We think it’s less spiritual if we go to a doctor, or use medicine, or have surgery. God uses all kinds of things to get healing to us, but we must be careful not to be so “wise in our own eyes” that we miss or discount His leading. Remember, He knows things about you that you don’t know: body chemistry, genetic make-up, the condition of your heart, etc. Relax and let Him move you to healing. After you ask for wisdom, continue walking forward. Be attentive to the things and the people you find along the way. Be sensitive to your spirit and obedient to His Word. Follow after peace in your heart and shy away from the “icky” things that come along. It will be “good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains (Proverbs 3:8).”
Next Steps: Keep doing the things that lead to spiritual sensitivity. God is moving you toward health.
- Obey your conscience. If there is some habit or attitude in your life that you don’t feel right about, take measures to stop it. Ask God’s forgiveness.
- Be quick to repent when you step out of love. Ask people to forgive you when you speak or act in a hurtful way. This will train you to be restrained by the love of God that’s in you.
- Wait for peace on the inside before you make decisions. It’s better to be slow than to charge ahead into chaos. Don’t let people pressure you into moving ahead of peace.
- Feed your heart on the Word of God. Review the passages in this lesson. As you read, take time to listen on the inside to how your spirit is responding. There will be places where your heart is stirred. Stop and meditate. Write down what the Spirit shows you.
- Pray much in other tongues. This is your spirit praying. Pray long enough that your mind begins to get quiet. Stop occasionally and listen on the inside. You will learn to hear your prayer language continuing in your heart after your physical voice has stopped. That is your human spirit speaking. Learn that voice. 1 Corinthians 14: 14-15
We have spent much time talking about learning our identity in Christ and learning to live out our faith as a relationship, not a rule book. We learned how to ask our Father for help and follow His lead. In our next series of lessons we’re going to see how God has set other Christians in our lives to help us receive all the will of God, including healing. You are not in this alone!
Pastor Virgil Stokes