Scripture for Day 59—James 3:14–18
14c2;a0;But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15c2;a0;This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic…. 17c2;a0;But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18c2;a0;And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Counterfeit wisdom is "earthly, unspiritual, demonic." In other words, it is produced by the world, the flesh, and the devil. Genuine wisdom, on the other hand, is "from above
." True wisdom is from heaven
—from God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Surely this is why James 1:5 exhorts, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God
, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." You see, the struggle for true wisdom, the battle for holiness, is a battle that must be waged in ongoing dependence on the grace of God in Christ. It must be waged by prayer
The wisdom that comes from above must come from above!
It's not natural to us! What is
natural to us? Look at Ephesians 2:1–3—
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world [the world], following the prince of the power of the air [the devil], the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh [the flesh], carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."
The wisdom from below is precisely what we produce and embrace by nature. How we need our Lord Jesus to rescue us, to unite us savingly to himself, to put his Holy Spirit in our hearts, to deliver us from
the dominion of the world to
the dominion of heaven. It starts with new hearts that are born from above! And it continues with new lives that are transformed from the inside out!
And it doesn't come without conflict! The world, the flesh, and the devil gang up to fight back against the working of our Lord Jesus by his Spirit through his Word. It's a battle that you cannot win on your own. Our Lord says, "Apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Dedicate yourself to a life of dependence on the Lord by prayer. "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).