The Principal Thing

The following is the transcript of my message delivered to the Georgia Senate at the invitation of Senator Chip Pearson. 

The Word of God says in Psalm 105:22, “and to teach his senators wisdom.” It is interesting for me to stand here before you, our state senators, and find in the Word of God that God had sent a man to teach the senators; the elder statesmen, the leaders of the country wisdom. The Bible says in Proverbs 4:7 that “wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding.” I want to challenge you today, because God has placed you in a position of leadership, to consider the importance of wisdom. The Bible says that wisdom is the “principal thing.” According to the Bible, wisdom has many inherent blessings. It will promote you and bring you honor. Wisdom will help you lead without partiality or selfishness. Wisdom will help you discern what is right and true. I want to give you three quick thoughts this morning that might help you understand how to get more wisdom. 

The Bible says that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6.) So, the first thought before you today, as you govern and make decisions about this great state of Georgia, is the fear of the Lord. Recognizing the fear of the Lord means that you will realize there is a God and you stand before Him in a place that He has allowed you to have. You must not take these decisions lightly. My first questions to you would be, “Do you believe there is a God?” “Do you understand that you are responsible before Him in the position of leadership He has placed you?” “Do you realize that God expects you to be a person who respects and honors Him, and knows He is there?” 

Be careful to live and act in such a way that you need never say as Abraham Lincoln did in 1863 “We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”   The second thought the Bible says is that you should cease from your own wisdom. Nobody likes a know-it-all. Many times when we come to place where God has given us a leadership position, it causes us to be haughty. Leadership sometimes causes us to think that we know things we don’t really know; however, you should have the desire to know God and to get His wisdom. To get His wisdom, the first thing is to realize that there are two kinds of wisdom. One is earthy, sensual, and even devilish while the other is pure, peaceable, gentle, full of good fruits and without partiality or hypocrisy. You need God to direct and guide you. As you make laws, realize your need for God’s wisdom. On another occasion Abraham Lincoln said “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.  My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient. . . .”  Here in this room, you need to cease from your own wisdom and you need to realize that you do not have enough and you do not know enough. The third thought is found in James 1:5 where the Bible says that if any man lacks wisdom let him ask of God who gives to all men. God will answer your prayer if you will learn to ask him. 

The first thought will be to recognize that there is a God. The second will be to willingly step aside from your own wisdom. The third will be to ask God for wisdom. As you ask God for wisdom, you will need to start listening to God through His word. I challenge each of you to spend time every day reading the greatest laws ever written. Do you realize the Bible I hold in my hand is a divinely inspired book? It shows the power of our God! The Bible has wisdom that you need. First, you ought to ask God. As you ask Him, you should listen to Him through the Word He has written to give you wisdom. Then, you should learn to listen to other people that God may use to speak to you. 


Again the Bible says to you today that wisdom is the “principal thing.” Therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding. I challenge you this morning to realize that you are in desperate need of wisdom to handle this great position God has given you. I challenge you to seek wisdom with everything in you—to realize that it is God’s wisdom that will give you the ability to make the right decisions. I challenge you to seek wisdom and seek God as Thomas Jefferson did when he said, “I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.”  

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