James, Chapter 3, Verses 9-18
October 9, 2016
Good morning, God.
My mind is reeling, Lord. I have so many things rattling around up there and I pray that I can find peace by coming into Your Presence. While I have so much in my own life that threatens my peace every single day, I find my focus being turned to something much bigger than myself…the nation for which you blessed me. Lord, our nation is in a perilous state. The politics are frightening. The unrest in society, the violence and the hate are terrifying. It’s as if satan himself is holding the threads of our nation between his gnarly fingers as we spin out of control and unravel ourselves. The worst part is that I can hear his demonic laughter in the background. He thinks he is winning and, quite frankly, sometimes it looks as if he is. We need you, God, more than ever before. Come close, Lord. We need you.
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes with wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows not favoritism and is always sincere. And, those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
1 Corinthians 2: 4-13
And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.
Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit) so we can know the wonderful things that God has freely given us.
When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.
As you just read, my prayer time this morning circled the struggle I am having with our nation’s current state of affairs and, most especially the upcoming presidential election. Truth be told, I had been trying to ignore it all and was planning to simply stay away from the polls this November. I have since, however, recognized that this is not the answer. That said, I can honestly say that I am still not sure who I will vote for at this time. That will be a decision that I will make only after spending much time in prayer and calling upon the Holy Spirit as I feel God so clearly directed this morning.
And, although I will continue to study the above Scriptures to which God led me, it also appears quite obvious that He wants me to understand the difference between the “wisdom of above” versus the wisdom of humans and that no matter what happens, His plan for my ultimate glory was set in stone before the world even began.
So, as of today, Lord, though I may not yet know what boxes I will check in the upcoming election, I do know that I will take Paul’s advice to the Corinthians and remember that true wisdom and discernment requires one to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Please, Father, grant us true wisdom and discernment in choosing the candidate whose heart is still fertile ground; the candidate that is most likely to turn to You for guidance as opposed to relying on human wisdom and selfish accord. We need you more than ever, Lord. Come close and lead us.
Amen and Ehmen.