Gifts

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8 NASB

 

Have you ever noticed how children love gifts? By the way, it is not just children that love gifts.

I love gifts. I love giving them and I love receiving them.

In my possession I have some very precious gifts that have been given to me, over the years, by my children, husband, and friends. I have also in my possession a number of treasured drawings given to me by my children, and I have every card my husband has ever given me. I not only have them, I hold them and have taken them into my heart. Even if I no longer had those as physical items, I would have them in my heart. I have received them fully and gratefully.

I want you to image something……

God has send you something. I arrived just when you needed it.

It arrives on your doorstep and you place it on the table in front of you. You know what is in the box because you asked for it. You know it is from God, because it has all the markings of something that comes from God. But you have concerns and doubts.

That afternoon, a friend drops by to see you. They point to the package on the table and the conversation goes like this –

 

“What is that?”

“It is what I asked for, God sent it.”

“Well, why is it sitting on the table. Open it.”

“Yeah..um… you see I am not really sure it is for me. I am not really sure that it is what I asked for. In fact,

I don’t think I should have asked for it.”

“Oh, so you don’t like it.”

“No.. it is more like I really wasn’t expecting God to answer.”

“Oh. (silence for a few minutes) But you have it now, and He did answer.”

“Yeah, I think I might sent it back.”

Would you think that this conversation is weird? The interesting part is that we probably do this to God all the time, we ask for something and then we either question it or don’t receive it because we don’t believe.

I was reading James Chapter one, the other day, and I felt to look up what a couple of words in what they mean in the Greek language. Now please understand that I am not a Greek scholar, but I can read what someone else says about a word.

The scripture I was reading was this –

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8 NASB

The two words I looked up were “wisdom” and “receive”.

According to Strong’s Concordance wisdom means “wisdom (higher or lower, worldly or spiritual)” Receive means “to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it. To take what is one’s own, to take to one’s self, to make one’s own” The Greek word that is translated into “receive” is the same word that is translated into “receive” in Mathew 7:8, “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

We have a generous God who gives us the wisdom not only for big spiritual things we don’t understand, but for both daily life and living.  We not only have to ask for it, but we have to take a hold of it as if it is yours.

King Solomon asked for wisdom, and God gave Him wisdom. People knew that the wisdom that he had was from God. In fact, the Queen of Sheba acknowledged that it was from God. 1 Kings 10:6-9

God is about giving His children good things, and I am not talking about money and possessions. I am talking about a life, a heart, a mind and a spirit that is different from what is in this world. This is why Jesus died on the cross, not only that we accept His salvation, but become new and constantly renewed with the Holy Spirit counsel and power.

It is not only wisdom we should ask for, we should ask for healing, understanding, fruits and gifts of the Spirit etc. We should eagerly and expectantly know of it’s arrival and receive it with open and grateful hearts, moving with faith into the character of person God knows we can become.

My questions are these-

How many times do you ask God for something and then do not believe?

How many times do you ask God to change you and then reject the change?

How many times do you receive from God, only to wonder if you are worth what He has sent?

How many times does He keep giving us His everything and we accept nothing?

God remains generous, giving, faithful and loving. He knows you and He knows me. Even after this life He offers us eternity but understand this… it is a gift that is only there to accept receive and take a hold of, before death.

When we need help it is all about the asking. When God gives, it is all about our ability to receive, to take in, to hold. It is about our unwavering faith in the One who sent it.

A little bit further down in James chapter 1 is this verse.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV

Not only every good gift, but every perfect gift as well. God is not like the shifting shadows, and we can trust Him.

Many times, I have asked Him for wisdom, and many times I have been grateful of what He has given to me and shown me. As a mum of teenage boys, wife, women’s ministry leader, author, and friend I find that my own wisdom is lacking, but God gives insight (and sometimes the ability to say sorry) to help me through.

I had an incident the other day that really upset me. I had approached someone to speak to them on a matter, and before I had finished the person got very angry. The person presumed that I has talking about something entirely different, and no matter how much I protested and tried to finish what I was trying to say, the person just kept talking over me. I sat there shaking and trying to figure out what I was going to say to help the situation. Finally, when he stopped speaking, I told him I was sorry for upsetting him, because I realized that even though I had not done what he was mad about, he was obviously very emotional about what he thought I was going to say. He was hurting, defensive and unable to have the amount of self control that he usually had. Wisdom required that I walk away after that and leave it be.

In the days following, the rippling effects from his outburst has filtered through to me. Many people heard his words, but not mine. I have felt the pain of the gossip and presumption that often goes with a small community. For this I pray for wisdom, as there is nothing I can do about what others think. There is something that I can do about how I feel. Pray. I am not sure why this is happening, but it did. At the moment wisdom would seem to be that I let it go. Yet every part of me is wanting to defend myself. When we ask for wisdom, it is not about God seeing it our way, it is about what God sees and He wants to do with something. God will defend me, or give me the words to defend myself.

Later that day, another scripture came to mind. “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 no favoritism and is always sincere.” James 3:17 NLT

Sometimes we receive what we don’t understand, and the words we speak seem to be not the way we would usually do something. Other times it is the ability to see something more and knowledge that we know is not ours. Whatever He places in your heart to say or do, just know that God is faithful to His promises.

I am so grateful that I have personally found Him faithful. Even when He didn’t answer my requests as I thought He would. Every time I have ever told God that He didn’t answer my prayer the way I thought He should have, I have later found He was right…of course.

My prayer for you is that you will know Him as the perfect gift giver and the one who knows you to give you what you need (even if it is not what you asked for). Don’t be afraid to both ask and receive. Receive in faith. Pick it up, take a hold of it and cherish the Gift Giver and the gift.

 

Be blessed. (Please read editor note below)

 

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Hi everyone, I want to thank you for taking time to read what God has laid upon my heart to write in these blogs. I apologize that the blogs are less regular then previously.

This year have revealed itself to be a new season of growth and change. The end of last year saw a lot of changes in so many areas of my life and to add to this I have found myself with a lot more writing and ministry. My life as a wife and mum has been so very busy as my teenagers take on work and extra sport and schooling and as my husband’s life has become busier. It has  been necessary to personally take on some part time work to help pay for the cost associated with both ministry and personal. Unfortunately this means that something in my life has had to be reduced.

My blog page and the writings will still happen, just not every week. At the moment it is once every two to three weeks.

Thank you for your continued support. I really appreciate hearing from the people who read this blog. I love to hear your comments and things you share about your life. I have had a lot of people ask for prayer, please do know that I do pray for you. Our God is a good God, and for this I am so very grateful. Be blessed and stand strong.

Ruth