If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
Sometimes studying the Bible can be confusing.
Sometimes LIFE can be confusing… and really really hard. Things happen that we just can’t understand.
Sometimes the pain and suffering can blur our vision.
Sometimes it feels like we are working so hard and doing all the right things, but nothing seems to be happening for us.
Sometimes we are at a fork in the road and we just don’t know which way to go or how to even move forward.
Sometimes we tend to be so critical of ourselves that it is hard to see ourselves as God sees us.
Sometimes we know a lot of things, but still don’t understand.
While God doesn't reveal everything to us, He doesn’t leave us stuck in a pit of confusion either. God promises to give us the wisdom we need if we ask Him for it and believe He will give it to us.
And not only does He give us a little wisdom, He gives it to us generously and without reproach, meaning He isn’t critical or hard on us because we ask Him to help us understand things. Actually, the opposite is true, He loves when we ask Him for things. He has so much He is wanting to show us and give us…but He wants us to be part of the process. He wants us to ask Him.
When you find yourself confused or unsure – which you will – remember that you can always ask God for wisdom!
Question: What is something you are struggling with that you can pray for God to give you wisdom about today?
The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:6-7
Cain doesn’t react so well to God’s lack of regard for his offering. It again reveals what is brewing in his heart and what God saw when Cain presented the offering. He has a heart full of anger and a focus on himself. God knows this is a recipe for disaster in our lives.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, tells us how these temptations from the devil grow in us. It starts with a desire that isn’t of God; a desire to focus on ourselves and/or to do wrong. If it is not addressed, it gives birth to sin. And sin grows and grows and gets easily out of control. (James 1:14-15) This is why God warns us to see it and nip it in the bud.
A quote I often repeat when I am angry like Cain is, “the level of your irritation often reveals the depth of your idolatry.” Think about the things that tend to irritate you the most. They are likely tied to things you are clinging to over God. Your reputation, your social status, your security, things you think you deserve and don’t have, work you are doing or want to do. Not necessarily bad things, but they become problematic when we elevate them to a higher position than they should be and care about protecting them at all costs; when we love them more than we love God.
God warns Cain (and us!) that sin is crouching at the door. We must rule over it. Here is some good news…While temptation is never from God (James 1:13), God promises that with any temptation, He provides a way of escape so we can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). We have the power in God to rule over the sin crouching at the door.
Challenge: When you feel irritated this week, stop and examine the root of it. Is sin crouching at the door? Is an idol being revealed you need to address? Immediately pray about it and ask God to show you the path to overcome it.
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