A Heart of Knowledge (Part 2)
A Heart of Knowledge (Part 2)
James 1:6, “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.”
In order to really endure trials in a godly and Christ-honoring manner one must really believe in God. That belief is being buttressed by an ever increasing knowledge of God and of His ways. This only comes, of course, through the studying of His Word. Far too many people ask God for things, in this context wisdom, and they don’t really believe He will answer. They don’t really believe He will answer because they really don’t know God.
Last time we learned that one of the means of withstanding trials in a Christ-honoring fashion is to have a heart of knowledge. We are to ask God for wisdom to endure these trials and we learned that when we ask, He will indeed answer in abundance and “without reproach.” But we must ask! In fact, we are being commanded here to ask for godly wisdom in trials.
James continues here in verse 6 and says, “But he must ask in faith without any doubting.” James is re-emphasizing the need, in fact the command to ask God for godly wisdom. Not only are we to ask but we are to “ask in faith.” We are to ask in the firm belief that the request we are making will be answered. We have all had the experience of asking someone for something knowing full well that they will not answer our request the way we may want it answered.
Some Christians, and I am guilty of this more times that I would like to admit, doubt God will grant them what they need. They rationalize this in several ways: First they believe that they are undeserving, which is true but irrelevant. Secondly, they think their needs are not worthy of God’s attention. They don’t understand that God chooses to take a great interest in things that might seem insignificant to us, but they are not to God. Some people argue with God: “Why did you let this happen to me in the first place?”
A request that does not take God at His Word, that doubts either His ability or trustworthiness is presumptuous, worthless and it is an affront to God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” 1 Timothy 2:8 says, “Therefore,, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.” Matthew 21:21-22 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.’” Paul wrote in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
James unpacks this need to have a heart that is really filled with the knowledge of the Lord when he writes here in verse 6, “for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” The person who is filled with doubt about whether God will or can answer is not making a request at all. They don’t really believe their prayer will be answered. This person is at best a terribly immature Christian, or at worst they are not saved at all. These types of people then become very susceptible to false teaching. We see this running rampant in the church today. Too many “Christians” don’t really know what they believe, they don’t really know the God of the Bible, so when they pray, they really in their heart of hearts don’t really believe He will answer. Ephesians 4:14 says, “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.”
Time and time again James, and others, confront the issue of people in the church who may not really be saved. This is the great crisis in the church today, I believe. Too many people are in the church but are just as lost as the drug addicted man or woman who never attends church. They are lost because they do not have a heart of knowledge. They don’t really know the Lord and when trials come, which they inevitably do, that man or woman is not prepared, and they make shipwreck of their faith.