What makes the difference between believers? It is what they have learned to receive. God has given us all things; we must learn to receive. All things are already yours. Whatever you are waiting for is already waiting for you! It is a matter of receiving it. You could be struggling with sin consciousness, condemnation, and guilt complexes, meanwhile, in the eyes of God, you are His righteousness. So, although you have been justified freely by grace, you have not fully received it. You could struggle with symptoms in your body not because healing does not belong to you, but you have not yet received it. You could observe the state of the world and live with the lack of peace, the lack of a sense of security and stability, not because Christ is not your peace, but you have not received His peace. The only thing you can practically ask God for is wisdom because everything else has already been given.
“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” 1 Corinthians 3:18-20
The quality of your thoughts determines whether you are spiritual or carnal, whether you embrace truth or error. There are two kinds of knowledge: God’s unchanging truth and your changing opinion. God’s wisdom cannot be added to what you already know. You must first empty yourself and unlearn what you think you know before you can receive the instruction of God’s wisdom. Paul spoke of the wisdom of the Jewish age prevalent in his time, which was a meritocracy, the idea that we must do in order to be. He said the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. The very thing that you think is the knowledge of God can hinder you; your opinion can be the greatest obstacle that you are facing.
21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your’s 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours 23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. 1 Corinthians 3:21-23
There is no way to brag in human accomplishments because all things already belong to you in Christ. There is no ground for boasting. When you operate according to a system of thought by which you seek attainment or seek to be fulfilled to show that you are greater than another, you are operating with the wisdom of the world. Comparison and competition are the wisdom of the world. It is foolish to judge a fish for its inability to climb a tree. And if a fish only observes the world of monkeys, it would think it is a non-accomplished being for its inability to climb a tree. Until you know who you are and the vocation to which God called you, you will be comparing yourself with what has nothing to do with your world. You are called to lead; you were not called to tread where others have trod. You are called to pioneer, to go where none has gone before. We live sent!
All things already belong to you. Even the apostolic ministries within the Church are for the purpose of the saints. This present time, this system of things belongs to you; you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s. Whatever belongs to Christ belongs to you because Christ belongs to God. There is therefore nothing that is not already yours. Why then would it seem that this is not the experience in the lives of many?
Technically, wisdom is the only thing you can lack. God has given you all things in Christ. Christ Himself is your wisdom. The believer’s only need is his need to know. Your need to have all your needs met is the need to know what is yours in Christ.
In your progression in Christ, there should be corresponding wisdom in each phase. In the Tanakh, God instructed the Israelites under Moses to pick up fresh manna for each day. They could not eat the manna of the previous day. As you progress in the things of God, it would be foolish to presume that what you heard in the past or what you have known in the past is sufficient wisdom to sustain you on your journey. You are going where none has gone before. In your progression, therefore, it is possible to come short, to be deficient in wisdom. Unfortunately, those lacking in wisdom seldom realize that they are lacking; one of the qualities of wisdom is humility. Pride is an indicator that you lack wisdom.
Within the realm of our souls, we are all catching up with what is already true of us in Christ. In Him, we were apprehended before we became aware of it. Before our awakening to the Gospel, we were already included in Christ, in His crucifixion, death, burial, quickening, raising, and seating. Now, we need the wisdom to catch up with what has already caught us. As the Apostle Paul would say, to apprehend that which has apprehended us (Philippians 3:12). It is such good news to know that God gives to all liberally (James 1:5). The nuance here is not that God gives, but that He is the Giving-God. God is philanthropic; He is generous. Lack is not due to the fact that He has not given but because you lack the wisdom pertaining to what He has given. God does not withhold. He is not looking for things that would disqualify you from His blessing. If He did, no one would be alive. He gives without reproach. We need to equally become Godly in our way of helping – help someone without considering whether they qualify for it or not.
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:6-8
Seeking wisdom is the way of life for the sons of God. Apostle James says that if a man lacks wisdom, let him ask the Giving-God. We are to ask in faith, “nothing wavering.” This speaks of confidence. The vacillating, irresolute, uncertain, double-minded man shall receive nothing of the Lord because he is half-hearted in all he does. The reason why believers do not have is that they are irresolute, double-minded, and unstable regarding their convictions in Christ.
Paul gives the mission of the Church and the description of God’s purpose for the “domata” offices. He says it is for the perfecting of the saints for the task of ministry (Ephesians 4:12-13). What you are taught in Church, what is dispensed to you, is to equip you to go and reach others in the divine service of the ministry of reconciliation. You are not sent to stand in for yourself and your interest. You are not just in church to make your life better and improve your family. That is the wisdom of the world. If that is your objective, you are tainted with the wisdom of the world; you lack the wisdom of God.
Christ instituted His own faith in the Church. Once and for all, He deposited the faith in the safekeeping of the saints. Once we realize what that faith is, we unite in association with the faith. Once you recognize that Christ has entrusted you with what is His, it will change your disposition in life. We are not to be like children, tossed to and fro (Ephesians 4:14-). This is an analogy of an immature focus, broken by divided loyalties. It means you have lost sight of the “telos,” the end goal, which is Christ’s mission. When you are moved by the ups and downs of the natural occurrences in this world, by the vacillating economy and politics, it is an indicator of your immaturity and a sure sign that you are fallen behind concerning wisdom. All things in the visible realm are subject to change. When you live according to the wisdom of the world, you prepare according to those changing cycles. The wisdom of God, which is by faith, is built on certainties irrespective of what is seen.
This article is an extract from Dr. Shawn Smith’s message titled “Transcending Dualism”. Order the complete message on gcmonlinestore.com