1 Thessalonians 3:9-10 “For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?”
We like to think the best of ourselves. Often, to our detriment, we overlook those flaws in our character, weaknesses we possess, or failings where we lack the strength, talent, or intellect to overcome.
All too often, pride is at the root of it.
In the best relationships, they can see things for what they indeed are and process through objectively. Those who succeed possess the humility to recognize where they fail and desire to learn how to overcome their flaws and failures.
We can take a lesson from those whose eyes God opened to their flaws and failings. Balaam was one such man. It took a donkey speaking for him to realize God was trying to get his attention.
Numbers 22:31 “Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.”
Elisha’s servant thought all was lost. Surrounded by the enemy, he felt they would not last through the day. Yet, Elisha was calm, knowing that God had things in hand.
2 Kings 6:17 “And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”
Faith is the ability to believe without seeing tangible evidence. In the case of Balaam, the donkey had more faith than he did. In Elisha’s servant’s case, his faith increased that day when he witnessed God’s deliverance.
Not one of us has the Christian life perfected. We all lack in some way, shape, or form. There are things we face every day that we need to see differently. We need to see things as God sees them. That is a practical definition of wisdom and understanding.
Wisdom is the proper use or exercise of knowledge or learning. Understanding is comprehending things the way God wants us to see them. Knowledge for knowledge’s sake is vanity and leads to pride.
1 Corinthians 8:1 “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.”
Taking what we know and applying it the way God designed it is understanding in its purest form.
The word “lack” or “lacking” is often used to describe things or possessions.
But there are those times when God tells us that He will supply in all areas that we lack. Like the inability to comprehend the consequences of our actions before plunging headlong into sin.
Proverbs 6:32 “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.”
What we don’t know can and will kill us.
Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”
Our loving Heavenly Father has given us every provision to succeed in this life. It becomes our responsibility to read and heed what we learn.
A young man came to Jesus seeking to justify himself and his religion. He asked Jesus what he needs to do to obtain eternal life. Jesus responds, “Keep the commandments.” The young man presses Jesus further, saying he has kept all he knew until now. The response Jesus gives reveals to us the difference between the Old and New Testament.
Matthew 19:21-22 “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”
What stood in the way or what lacked in this young man’s life was his love of possessions. We must be willing to look honestly at ourselves and be transparent to truly see where it is we lack.
The stark reality that we face can be daunting. We may fear because we do not know how a thing will turn out. We doubt because God may have done it for others, but will He do it for us?
I have heard it said that the root behind every sin is unbelief. A lack of faith in any given situation means we must continually trust that God knows what is best, and if we lack in any area, He can and will provide.
James 1:5-6 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 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.”
The liberality of God comes when we ask in faith – nothing wavering. Our enemy plants seeds of doubt when we place expectations on God that He never promised to keep. If we find ourselves lacking, we must go to God for what we need.