It is very obvious that all that is happening in today’s world, both personally and corporately, may pose great challenges to our faith and trust in our Heavenly Father and His Messiah. At the same time the scriptures encourage us to: “Consider it all joy…when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”, (James 1:2-4). These words happen to address “the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad” - in other words both houses of Israel. It is interesting that right after stating “that you may be… lacking in nothing” the writer (James) points to one thing that most likely they (and us) were missing, and that is “wisdom”. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Elohim… in faith without doubting” (verses 5&6).
James elaborates on the nature or character of the “wisdom from above”: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:17-18).
We just read that our faith is tested in the midst of trials. We may perceive our trials to be financial, physical, or the results of governmental decisions, but when it comes to the need for the “wisdom from Elohim”, the testing seems to be more in regards to our relationships within the family of Jacob.
“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder [with the tongue]. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3). Here the writer presents the nature and character of the world’s wisdom that is waging war against the wisdom from above, and obstructs having sound and loving relationships. “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing” (James 3:14-16).
The warfare that goes on between the flesh and the spirit is not new, it is a daily battle for all of us who are striving after the wisdom and righteousness in Messiah Yeshua. We all need the Father to impart His wisdom that can overcome the wisdom of the world, but it does not come without another condition and that is, asking with the right motives (ref. 4:3).
Obtaining this wisdom, as we saw above, is based upon asking with faith and without doubting. The apostle reminds us of our father Abraham’s faith, of which there was living evidence when he offered up his only son (and in a way, his own life) (ref. 2:21-22). Likewise, we too should be offering up… ourselves, in faith as a “living sacrifice” (ref Romans 12:1). It is only then that we will begin to see the evidence of the wisdom from above, and demonstrate the fruit of righteousness with which we may nourish others and brings about the oneness that unites the two families of Israel.
“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom” (James 3:13). “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of Elohim above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14-15).
“Now may the Elohim of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the Father of glory, give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him… and that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 1:9).