“If the ax is dull and the man does not whet the edge, he must put forth more strength; but wisdom helps him to succeed.” Ecclesiastes 10:10
Success is not accomplished in merely doing, but rather in going about achieving it in a proper and excellent manner. Over the years, the Lord has given me either knowledge of a future venture or instruction many times to only find myself frustrated due to a lack of momentum and results. I’ve discovered a common thread when seeking Him for understanding and guidance.
My lack of understanding was that He wanted me to seek Him before my pursuit. I would habitually shift over into my own knowledge of what was spoken to only build out of past experience rather than letting the new directions be a new idea or simply being a new thing. When a new thing is spoken it may be an old thing that requires a new approach. Or it may be something we already are or have but haven’t discovered it yet.
I had to learn that I needed insight into the Lord’s intention. What did He see and desire? What did He want me to know about this new thing? Am I viewing it properly? How did He want me to approach it? When does He want me to begin? What do I need to do to prepare? And these are just to begin! It’s inevitably a learning time as we pursue and gain clarity along the way as well.
I love how the Amplified Bible defines wisdom: “comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God”. Wisdom is also defined as “the ability or result of an ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight” according to the Collins English Dictionary.
In a very practical sense, wisdom is also strategy. How do I proceed? We must proceed according to insight using Holy Spirit wisdom. Exerting effort to move forward without wisdom is not only frustrating but also exhausting. If we do so, we must do so with strength and zeal alone. As we gain insight and apply wisdom, we’re also able to adjust and advance along the way.
If you find yourself running headlong into the proverbial wall and getting nowhere, you need wisdom. Are you exhausted doing something at the Lord’s direction? It’s time to sharpen the ax so it does the work rather than requiring so much extra strength losing its impact. Have you ever tried to cut a tomato with a dull knife? So what’s the answer? Don’t be dull. You have need of wisdom. Sharpen up!