Before the days of the internet and Google, every house had a telephone book in their house to find the telephone numbers of people and businesses. Do you remember that thick book shoved in a drawer or a closet?

Well, in those days, Grand Rapids, MI had on the cover of their telephone directory these words, “Look in the book first”. It was a reminder to check the telephone directory first before you called the operator for directory assistance – another relic of the past.

There is a spiritual parallel in those words – look in the book first. As we face life’s challenges or make any life altering decision or become involved in out of the ordinary activities, we should “look in the Book first.” That book would be the Bible. Open it and seek out  God’s direction, guidance, and thoughts about the matter. Too often we don’t bother to search out the Lord’s perspective on things. Too often we don’t pray for the Lord’s wisdom and guidance regarding some particular challenge, action, or decision. Instead we jump in because it is something we want to do and be involved in or we thing our course of action is right.

Then as time progresses, troubles, conflict, difficulties, even sin occurs. We realize we are over our heads in trouble and things did not work out as was hoped. Seeking help and remedy from this situation, we go  to the elders, the minister, or a counselor trying to find help for this situation. However, how much grief and heartache could have been avoided if we had first “looked in the Book,” and prayed for wisdom and guidance.

Psalms 119:24 says, “Your testimonies…are my delight; they are my counselors.” The word of God is still the best source of counseling. It is still the best source of guidance. Look in the Book first, before jumping into something wholeheartedly.

O.T. Gifford wrote in his book, Hints to Young Christians, “If you are getting lazy, read James.  If your faith is below par, read Paul. If you are impatient, consider the book of Job. If you are strong headed go and see Moses. If you are weak-kneed, have a look at Elijah. If there is no song in your heart, listen to David. If you feel spiritually chilly, get the beloved disciple John to put his arms around you.”

So friends, as you face challenges, or have to make important decisions, “look in the Book first!”—- Tom