Most of us do not have to go to jail to find out that the way of a transgressor is hard. Prov. 13:15 Good understanding gives favour: but the way of transgressors is hard. However, this is not true for a lot of people in jail. I realise that there are a lot of mitigating circumstances for people that are incarcerated; however, most of them were not able to learn through the observation of other people’s experiences and mistakes.
It seems like they had to fall to the lowest of lows until they could see the fact that they were not as smart as they thought they were. They found out much too late that they did not have all the answers to their drug, alcohol, gambling and the many problems that overwhelm. Many found out while sitting in a jail cell or cleaning themselves off after vomiting in an ally that they did not have all the answers.
Now, these same people are living in despair, wanting an immediate cure to the dysfunction that took years to establish in their hearts. They ask, “Why me, what did I ever do to deserve this?”John Maxwell says, “You win some and you learn some.” Our hope is that if we did not win a battle, then at least we are learning so that we do not become a failure.
The Proverb is clear when it says, “He that handles a matter wisely shall find good.” Handling something wisely takes wisdom and there is the rub. Wisdom comes from God. Prov. 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom: out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.
If the general population does not believe in God, or His instruction, then how can they handle a matter wisely? No wonder God asks us to pray for those who are in governmental authority. 1 Tim. 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
I was asked by a brother at church, “Does everything we are doing on this project have to be so hard? If God is asking us to head in this direction, why then is it such a grind?” Good question I thought. I knew what this man was referring to because I had been thinking the same thing about the same situation. After some discussion, we had come to the conclusion that we had not asked for God’s wisdom for the plan God gave us. We simply went forward in our own wisdom without prayer or conferring with God as to how He wanted the vision to go forward.
Could it be that simple? James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him. Is that what is meant by handling a matter wisely? Ask God for His wisdom on the matter. Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Why do we wait until everything is falling apart before we approach God for His wisdom? Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Most of life’s warning signals are clear and mark out the road clearly. However, similar to driving the main highway, we ignore a lot of the road signs until we are giving a lame excuse to an officer in a speed trap somewhere. The point is that wisdom is crying out to us at all times, wanting our attention. Prov. 8:1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
I recently asked God for His help on something I was working on at the office. I did not like what was suggested and I started arguing. I noticed it got real quiet. I then thought out loud, “Why are you asking for help if you are not going to comply with God’s advice?” After all, He does know the beginning from the end.
I then repented and did as He said. Low and behold, it worked out better than I thought possible. Eph. 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Let us go to God first with a clear conscience and ask what He would and could do to bring victory to the situation we find ourselves in.