More Than Experience

“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). Experience is not enough. As we make choices about our future, it’s nice to have “hindsight” and years of experience. However, there’s a subtle danger. We can trust in our experience more than trusting in the Lord. For example, let’s say you are wrestling with the options of a new job. If you have worked for many years and gone through job transitions before, you have the benefit of experience. You have acquired insights about the various paths available to you. However, the particular choice at the present time requires more than the past. We need the present guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit. What may “seem good” may not “be good” for us. God’s Word is clear: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). God’s will for us may lead us into areas that we can’t “figure out” from past experience. Having served as a pastor for over 40 years, I continually find myself in circumstances where I cry out to Him saying, “Lord, I need your wisdom for right nowthis time.” Without a healthy sense of dependence on the Lord, we start to think, I can figure this thing out on my own. Think of Solomon. The Bible refers to him as the wisest man on earth. Yet, with all his wisdom and experience, he chose to compromise with idolatry and money. In the end, he suffered from unwanted drama and difficulty…from unwise choices! If this could happen to Solomon, who wrote many chapters of the Bible, we all better take heed. Asking for wisdom is not simply a polite way of letting God know about our choices. Seeking His wisdom is expressing childlike dependence on Him in the present moment. While we appreciate what God teaches us through the experiences of life, our ultimate faith and trust is in the Lord himself. As the songwriter expressed, “I need Thee every hour.” May the God who “gives generously to all” grant you wisdom and discernment for the paths you must choose.

Pastor Mark Boucher