Bible insights from your friends at La Jolla Lutheran Church
Ask For God's Wisdom
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You can ask God for wisdom -- a smart move, since God's wisdom will lead you to conclusions you would not come to on your own. Without God's wisdom, you can stare at some things and still not see them.
Monday Isaiah 60:1-3 (NRSV)
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Isaiah’s promise sounds wonderful – and its fulfillment will be, to all who can see it. But one of the amazing things about the story of God’s interaction with people is that people are often blind to God’s light. Israel saw firsthand the miracles of their escape from Egypt, but many wanted to go back to slavery rather than follow God who delivered them. The Pharisees and scribes studied the promises of God day and night but did not recognize Jesus when he appeared. It would be smart to ask God to help you recognize God’s light when it appears.
Who else do you need to pray that they recognize God’s light?
Tuesday Psalm 30:3-5 (NRSV)
O LORD, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit. Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
The Psalm says “weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
What are some instances in your life where you’ve seen joy come in the morning?
What are some instances where you are still waiting?
Wednesday Ephesians 1:17-23 (NRSV)
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Paul prays that the Ephesians receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation from God. This will help them recognize the greatness of God’s power for us who believe – the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
It would be worth asking God for the spirit of wisdom and revelation so you can recognize all God has for you!
Thursday Luke 22:66-69 (NRSV)
When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought [Jesus] to their council. They said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us." He replied, "If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God."
The chief priests and scribes had studied the scriptures and the promises of God. They were the ones who correctly told Herod 33 years earlier that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. But looking directly at the person of Jesus, they didn’t recognize who he was.
It’s possible to stare at something and not see its true value. It’s possible to stare at Jesus and not recognize him as the Son of God. It’s possible to stare at part of creation and not recognize it as beloved by God. It’s possible to stare at your life (or someone else’s) and not recognize its significance.
It would be worth asking God to help you to recognize what you see!
What are some things that you thought weren’t of much value that you later recognized as being far more significant?
Friday Revelation 3:16-19 (NRSV)
Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.
The people in the church in Laodicea were proud of their abundance. They didn’t recognize that from God’s perspective they were wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked.
It would be worth it to ask God to help you to see your life as God sees it!
Saturday Isaiah 55:8-9 (NRSV)
My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
You won’t be able to figure out God – or Jesus – or God’s purpose for your life – or any of the things that are ultimately important – without God’s insight and wisdom.
Fortunately, you can ask God for wisdom! James 1:5-7 says, “If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” It would be worth it to ask God for wisdom today, and the ability to understand God’s purposes in your life.
What do you see differently this week as a result of such requests?