If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:5-7 NIV
“The only stupid question is the one that you don’t ask.” I can recall hearing that expression repeatedly as a student in elementary and high school. That phrase was supposed to encourage those of us who were too timid or embarrassed to speak up. Nothing that we could ask was deemed too silly. In fact, withholding the question meant possibly not having pertinent information and that was silly. I fully understood the logic, but that still didn’t motivate me to ask my questions. I’m not sure if I feared that people would think that I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was or if I felt that I was too smart to even have questions. Honestly, it was probably a combination of both! That fear and pride often resulted in me having to do extra work because instead of asking questions when I was unsure, I just carried on as if I knew. After I realized that I truly didn’t have a clue what I was doing, I asked the question and had to re-do all of my work. It took me a while to realize how ridiculous my antics were. Why not just inquire in the first place? How much time and energy could I have saved if I just asked the questions to begin with?
It wasn’t until I got to college that I truly changed my way of thinking. I was determined to graduate with honors and knew that asking the right questions was going to be critical to my success. Although I was doing better in school with asking questions before I acted, my personal life wasn’t mirroring the same. Many of the bad decisions and wrong turns were a result of me failing to ask any questions before I acted. Maybe I could’ve avoided unnecessary heartbreak if I asked God, “Is he a part of Your plan for my life?” Wasted efforts and energy on fruitless projects could have been avoided if my line of questioning included, “God, is this venture a part of my destiny?” Should I do this or should I do that instead? Do I accept this employment offer? Is this really a great deal? There are so many answers that could have been beneficial to my life if I only asked them before I acted.
Let’s face it; we don’t have all of the answers in life. Being fully aware of our ignorance and need for knowledge, God promised to supply us with pertinent information. The only conditions for receiving wise answers are that we have to (1) ask and (2) believe the answer. The Word consistently reminds us that receiving an answer is contingent upon the question being asked.“Ask and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7 NKJV) “Yet you do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2 NIV) Yet we often find ourselves in similar situations to the 7th grade version of me. We won’t ask because we think we know exactly what needs to be done in our life. Even worse, we are not really interested in getting His opinion on the affairs of our life because we want to do it our way! That seems like a great idea until we are struggling and in despair based on what we chose to do. Life could be so much easier if we consulted Him first.
The other important aspect is that when we ask Him, we have to believe and not doubt. Believing God’s answer is much more than simply thinking that His answer is truth; it’s doing what He tells us to do. If we ask God if we are supposed to be in relationship with a certain guy and He answers “no”, believing Him means that we move on. There is no room for trying to make it work or sticking around and waiting for things to change. Disobedience proves that we don’t believe God’s answer and that makes us double-minded and unstable in all of our ways.
Asking before you act doesn’t guarantee a life without hiccups along the way, but it does promise that you will always be journeying inside His perfect will. And as the song goes, “The safest place in the whole wide world is in the will of God!”
I am sorry for all of the times in the past where I acted first before considering what You would have me to do. Please remind me to seek You before I make any life-altering decisions. Help me to act according to Your answer and not according to my desires. I know that You have my best interest in mind and I want my actions to reflect that. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Today I EMPOWER you to ask before you act! Engaging God in your affairs before you take any big leaps can save you wasted time, unnecessary heartaches, useless energy, pointless pain and so much more! I EMPOWER you to act according to His answer! Show that you believe what God says by obeying His word.
Do you have an experience where you acted first before consulting God? What were the consequences? Share your story below.
Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur and a dedicated servant-leader. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.