The fridge was bare except for a few broccoli spears and a near empty bottle of salad dressing, standing upside down so what little was left in the bottle would collect in the lid, making my last few bites of veggies a little more desirable.
Sure, I had some mac’n cheese in the cupboard, some stale crackers and peanut butter on the shelf, and a few other condiments, some of which hadn’t been touched in years, that now looked tempting.
I wasn’t begging for bread, but thought about it!
Fears were nagging me like a swarm of mosquitos swirling around my head, each one wanting to suck a little of my life blood from me.
How did I, a man living in a nice neighborhood and driving a Mercedes in the summer of ’88 get into such a tight spot? And more to the point, how would I get out of it?
Ever been there?
You see, about six months earlier, I had resigned from my sales manager position and went into business with a good idea. You should know that there’s a difference between a “good” idea and a “God” idea.
And maybe my good idea would have worked, had I only known that excelling in sales, doesn’t by itself qualify you to be a successful business person.
Sure, it’s needed and profoundly helpful, but it’s only one of seven requirements for successful entrepreneurship as modeled in nature. (You can learn about that in Book 4 of God’s Best Kept Secrets.)
So, one Sunday night at church, the pastor was preaching and dropped a truth bomb that I suspect went unnoticed by most, but profoundly disrupted and altered my life in a powerful way.
“Instead of asking God to bless what you’re doing” he said, “Why don’t you ask God what He’s blessing, and do that?!”
Right then and there, I asked God what He was blessing and immediately He directed me to look up a verse of Scripture I was unfamiliar with. He said, “Psalm 68:11”.
God often speaks to me by directing me to Scripture that answers specifically the question I may be asking. I learned that as a new Christian at age 18, when one night I asked God what to do with temptation.
He simply said… “1 Corinthians 10:13” to me. Having never read the Bible for myself and not owning one, I went into the guest bedroom where I found my mother’s dust covered Bible from her college days, and looked to see if it was a real Bible verse and what, if anything, it said about temptation.
It read… “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Needless to say, I was blown away that He heard and answered me so directly!
So hearing Him speak Psalm 68:11 was no surprise to me fifteen years later. What did surprise me was what it said… “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.”
I thought He meant it literally, so in bewilderment, I said, “You want me to PUBLISH Your Word?!?!?!? Give me an idea and I’ll do it!”
In the next few days, I got the idea for a book called, The Bible Incorporated – In Your Life, Job & Business. It’s a compilation of God’s Word, arranged conversationally on 101 work and business topics.
I painstakingly hand-wrote all 320 pages with over 2,000 Scriptures!
I had no publishing experience. Had never written a book. Had never even sold a book. I knew nothing about publishing.
When I called the printer in Grand Rapids to print the books, I told him I wanted 25,000 leather-bound copies with brass corners and gold-leafed pages.
That’s when he informed me that the average book in America by any publisher never sold more than 5000 copies… And they all have distribution channels set up and relationships with thousands of bookstores.
“You’re just a guy with a big basement. You have no means of distribution and no contacts in the industry. You’ve never been in the publishing business. Are you SURE you want 25,000 copies?”
Well, yesterday I told you about one of Solomon’s cords in this threefold cord called KNOWLEDGE. The blog before that talked about the first of those cords called UNDERSTANDING. They align with two of the three characteristics of God’s Word mentioned in Hebrews 4:12 that states the Word of God is LIVING and SHARPER.
Today, I’m going to introduce you to the final cord in Solomon’s treasure trove, called WISDOM which aligns with the final characteristic of God’s Word mentioned in Hebrews 4:12… POWERFUL!
It knows how to demolish the so-called wisdom of man!
James 3 lets us know that there is wisdom from below (earthly wisdom) and wisdom from above (Godly wisdom) with the latter being the one that is truly POWERFUL.
You don’t want man’s wisdom, even though that is what is most commonly offered by men preying on the naïve and/or desperate.
What you need in difficult times, indeed at all times, is the wisdom that comes from above. 1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us that “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us WISDOM from God…”
Paul goes on to tell us that we have been given the very mind of Christ, (1 Corinthians 2:16) who is the possessor of God’s wisdom, the revealer of secrets and the repository of all knowledge.
So when the printer told me facts about the industry that I was unaware of, with the intent of convincing me to downsize my initial order, I put my hand over the phone and asked the Lord for His wisdom.
Surprisingly, He was onboard with it, so I placed the order. I just needed to come up with $100,000 within 30 days after the books were delivered.
But first, I had to find money for groceries!
Some friends who caught the vision of this book, invested some seed capital to cover our living expenses which allowed me to travel to the largest distributor of Christian books in America.
My plan was to pre-sell enough books to pay for the entire print run by the time the bill came due. When I got to the distributor’s office in Michigan, he looked at me and wondered how in the world I got an appointment with him. I was just a guy with a mock-up of a book to show him.
When I told him he needed to order 1,000 books as a minimum order or 5,000 books to get the maximum discount, he firmly told me that they buy from the biggest Christian publishers in the world, and only order one or two cases of books at most, until they see whether the books are going to sell well.
Furthermore, he told me that they never do business with an individual with a book to sell. They only dealt with established book publishers, which I was not.
He was operating on earthly wisdom, but I was counting on God’s wisdom, so I informed him that my new book was going to be a best seller and that I would be on television across America and stores all over would want this book, so he had better order at least 1,000 to keep up with the demand.
And so did the next distributor on that trip.
And the one after that, bought 5,000 books.
All of this took place before I had books in hand.
It seemed foolish for me, a 33-year-old man with a failed business and no money, to order so many books to my house with no distribution channels. This was pre-internet days!
But, eight months later, after numerous television interviews, we were sold out and ordered another 25,000 copies. This happened again and again until we sold the company to World Bible in 1992. The Bible Incorporated has gone on to become one of the best-selling Christian business books of all time!
If I had relied on earthly wisdom, the book would likely have never seen the light of day. But having access to the mind of Christ and asking what He wants to do will always yield true WISDOM. The kind that is POWERFUL and bulldozes through obstacles like a freight train through mist!
As Jesus Himself said, “wisdom is justified by her children.” (Matthew 11:19) So while it may look foolish, the proof is in the pudding as they say.
When you think about it, wisdom is like money. It accomplishes what money can do, (and more). Solomon said, “Wisdom is a defense as money is a defense.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12)
By me relying on God’s wisdom, who gave me the strategy to move forward, it materialized the necessary funds in the needed timeframe.
Wisdom is not some stored up suite of information.
It is inseparable from God’s Word, who is a person – the Lord Jesus Christ, who became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14) When you have Jesus living in you, you have at your request all the wisdom you need for any situation.
If you seem to lack it, ask God who gives to all men liberally, without shaming you, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
Accessing this kind of wisdom is just one of the secrets of God that will propel you past (or through) any obstacle.
I’ve chronicled 101 of what I call, God’s Best Kept Secrets, and Thursday night, I’m inviting you to the world premiere of this amazing book series that has taken me over 40 years to learn and collate.
I’ll be talking about Solomon’s threefold cord of knowledge, wisdom & understanding, along with other, even more profound secrets God has given me over the years.
So make plans to join me Thursday night at 8 PM Eastern for a revelation of God’s Word for your life, job and business, unlike anything you’ve ever heard.
Spoiler Alert: I put them all in a 4-book series called, God’s Best Kept Secrets which you can order from me HERE now at a 40% discount from the price on Amazon, if you can’t wait until Thursday night.
But I want to INVITE YOU to come Thursday night’s special world premiere online event anyway where I can share face to face with you, not only what God has shared with me, but what it could mean for you! We start at 8 PM Eastern!
And in case you’re wondering, there will NOT be a pitch for some expensive program. You will learn however, how anyone getting those books at a 40% discount, qualifies them to invest $1 dollar more and get on a path to change the trajectory of their life forever.
Register Below and keep a look out for my email tomorrow as I share another mystery from God’s Word that defies any natural explanation. I think I’ll make the subject line read… Now faith is…
very much look forward to.
Thanks Jon. Me too!