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In Need of Wisdom

Friday, October 23, 2009

by Dr. Paul Chappell

"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."

James 1:5-6

The question to ask yourself isn't whether or not you need wisdom, but in what area of life you need it.

Henry Ford invented the automobile and built a giant auto company named after himself, Ford Motor Company. Ford was a pioneer in the automobile, beginning in 1908 with the Model T. He also is credited with inventing the assembly line method of production, a method that lowered costs drastically in not only the automotive industry, but several other companies. Ford is said to have been a tightfisted man, despite being worth over $188 billion. One time, a part broke in the electrical generators of his factory. Ford called Charlie Steinmetz, who built the mighty generators, to come fix the problem. Steinmetz came out to the factory, toyed with the generators for a couple hours, then had them up and running again. Ford was very pleased until he received Steinmetz's bill-$10,000. Shocked, Ford inquired of Steinmetz why his bill was so high for only a couple hours of tinkering. Steinmetz replied: "For tinkering with the generator: $10. For knowing where to tinker: $9,990." Ford paid Stenimetz the entire $10,000.

When we have problems, wouldn't it be nice to have someone who would "know where to tinker" in order to get things straightened out? Just as Ford knew the creator of the generators, we know the Creator of our lives, and we have direct access to Him anytime we need wisdom for a problem.

James 1 lays out some very clear "tips" for the Christian life. Yesterday we saw how trials work patience in us, and how we must allow God to mold us through trials. Today, James 1:5 gives us a promise that we can all grasp onto. God promises that if we lack wisdom, we can ask it of God and He will give it to us.

Who doesn't lack wisdom? There isn't a person on this earth who couldn't use some divine wisdom from God. From the President of the United States to a teenager in high school, everyone needs wisdom. We might differ in our levels of wisdom or in the situations in which we need wisdom, but one thing is certain-we need God's wisdom.

The good news is God promises to give us wisdom, but He gives us two conditions for receiving it. First, we must ask Him. How many times have we needed God's direction or guidance but failed to ask? Oftentimes our self-sufficient attitude dictates that we try our own options and seek our own guidance before seeking God's wisdom.

God's second condition for receiving wisdom is that we have faith that He will give it to us. Asking God for wisdom as part of a "three-part plan" for guidance doesn't work. God must be our one and only resource for wisdom. Only He can give us what we need and we must trust Him fully.

God promises us wisdom as we ask it from Him and trust that He will give it to us. God has promised it to us, just as He has promised us eternal salvation if we trust in His Son's sacrifice. Yet many times it is easier for us to trust Him for eternal life than for wisdom, because we don't have another alternative for eternal life. But Christian, we don't have another alternative for wisdom either. God is the only source of true wisdom and guidance.

The question to ask yourself isn't whether or not you need wisdom, but in what area of life you need it-work, school, family, etc. Where do you need God's divine wisdom to know what to do? God promises to give it to you! Take time now to first ask God for wisdom, and then to place your faith completely in Him for an answer. Don't rely on Plan B for guidance; make God your first and only plan today.

To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit,, or follow him on twitter.

Daily Bible Reading
Jeremiah 1-2 | I Timothy 3