Wisdom: Using the Creator’s Instruction Manual
Even though my undergrad degree is in engineering, I am not very handy at fixing anything unless it’s a psychological problem or something related to sports. I remember going though one of the rights-of-passage of fatherhood—putting together one of the girl’s bicycles on Christmas Eve. It was well past midnight, and I still wasn’t finished. I was frustrated because I just couldn’t get one pedal to rotate and stay on. A tired and bleary-eyed Martine came downstairs, wondering why I wasn’t in bed. She “encouraged” me to use the instruction manual so we could get some sleep. Wow! What a brainstorm. And 15 minutes later, we were snug in our bed.
If you look up the word “wisdom,” you will find this definition: “Having the ability to make sensible decisions and judgments.” Life is all about decisions, and your quality of life is based on the quality of your decisions. How many times have bad decisions put you in a downward spiral? Today’s scripture reading talks about God’s wisdom. (Think about that for a moment—God’s wisdom. Doesn’t that blow your mind? Because it should.) The Bible says that to receive His wisdom, all we have to do is ask. But there’s a condition. We must ask in faith—faith that He will give it and faith to use it instead of your own “wisdom.”
I look back every five years or so and say, “Wow, if only I knew then what I know now….” The problem is that I think I know everything now, especially what God should allow to happen in my life. However, in five years, I will again say, “Wow, if only I knew then what I know now, I would have never done this or asked for that.” It is always the same. We will never know enough to be totally in charge, calling all our own shots.
I am amazed by our enormous pride and stubbornness. We continually rely on our own understanding instead of His, even though we know our track record in certain areas is terrible. Reading the manufacturer’s instruction manual always, I repeat, always works. Winging it as I try to assemble my life on my own without using His instruction manual costs me time, energy, money, lots of stress, frustration, anguish and pain, just as it did when I tried to put that bike together. He is my creator. He made me for amazing activities and good works. He has given me the best Instruction Manual ever written. We’d have to be idiots not to follow it. But we chuck it to the side and use our own bogus manual that is co-written by Satan, the world and our flesh. Then, we are bewildered when the pedals don’t work, the wheels fall off and our lives spin out of control and crash.
Today, stop facing life’s challenges and storms in a half-witted way. Instead, ask for and receive from Him who “gives generously and without finding fault.” Why would we want to make decisions using any wisdom other than His? Isn’t it pretty arrogant to think that we know it all, especially in light of our own track record? He designed us and knows exactly how we function best. Be wise. Whose instruction manual are you using to assemble your life—yours or HIS? Whether you use God’s instruction manual to put your life back together or you use your own, it’s your decision, so choose well.
Father, I am learning that the battles I fight each day are not always fair. But I trust that through these battles, You are watching over me and that You have a plan for me and for all of us. I have challenges that are far too great for me to overcome. I thank You, Lord, for helping me endure these burdens through Your presence. During times of burdens and trials, I lack wisdom, Lord. I don’t know what to do or which way to go. But then I turn to the gift of faith that You have given me, and that faith leads me to believe that I will receive Your wisdom. You tell me in James 1:5-6 that if I lack wisdom, all I need to do is ask You and You will give Your wisdom generously. I am asking, Lord. Give me Your wisdom this day. I ask with faith and without doubt. Give all of us Your wisdom and peace, so that we, too, can be victorious in our battles and trials and weather the storms in our lives. I ask You, my Lord and God, to align my desires with Your purpose. I pray this in the name of the One Who used Your instruction manual when tempted by the evil one, Jesus Christ. And all God’s children say AMEN!
How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. Proverbs 16:16
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6
So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:4-6
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