What Do You Want?

Today’s Reading:  1 Kings 2:13-4; Psalm 119:33-37; James 1:5

This week I asked my favorite three year old what he wanted for his birthday.  Last night I went to his birthday party and the waitress asked me what I would like to order.  Today many of us will pull up to a drive through and hear the words, “What can I do for you today?”  What if we hear those same words from God as we sit down to spend time in His presence?  How would we answer?

If you could ask God for anything, what would you ask Him for?  If God woke you up this morning with the announcement that He wants to bless you greatly, that you are to choose a gift from Him and He will give it to you in abundance, what gift would you choose?  

Remember the wish George made in the movie It’s A Wonderful Life?  He wished he had never been born and an angel granted him the wish.  For the next few days he saw what life would have been like for everyone else without him.  The experience opened his eyes and changed his perspective on life.  What if the gift you could ask for from God was one that would forever change you?

On his deathbed, King David gives his son Solomon advice on how to lead His people.  If I put myself in Solomon’s situation, I imagine he must have felt overwhelmed and unequipped for the job ahead of him.  Scripture tells us that Solomon loved the Lord and followed all the decrees of his father, David.  But, in addition to his obedience, Solomon worshipped God and sacrificed generously to Him.  The Lord saw Solomon’s heart and asked, “What do you want?  Ask, and I will give it to you!” (1 Kings 3:2-5)

Solomon replied, “You showed faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you.  And you have continued your faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne.  Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around.  And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted!  GIVE ME AN UNDERSTANDING HEART so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong.  For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”  

The Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom.  So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies – I will give you what you asked for!  I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else had or ever will have!  And I will also give you what you did not ask for – riches and fame!  No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life!  And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.” –1 Kings 3:5-14, NLT

That is the God we serve!  Our God gives us what we ask for and also what we do not ask for.  God sees the heart of His people and blesses them accordingly.  Remember the words of David in his final psalm:  “I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there” (1 Chron. 29:17a).  In Solomon, God saw great humility and a desire to serve God well.  

In response to the sacrificial life Solomon was living, God offered him the opportunity to ask for ANYTHING and Solomon asked for wisdom.  Solomon could have asked for something for himself and instead he asked for something that would help him serve God and his people better.  Solomon’s request was selfless and generous.  God’s response matched Solomon’s as he generously gave him very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore… He was wiser than anyone else (1 Kings 4:29-31).  

But we know that about God, right?  We know he LOVES to give gifts, especially wisdom.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).   

So as my heavenly barista asks me this morning, “What can I do for you today?”,  my response is “I would like a venti of wisdom with a double shot of understanding, please!”   What do you want?  What will you ask the Lord for today?

Teach me your decrees, O Lord;

   I will keep them to the end.

Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;

   I will put them into practice with all my heart.

Make me walk along the path of your commands,

   for that is where my happiness is found.

Give me an eagerness for your laws

   rather than a love for money!

Turn my eyes from worthless things,

   and give me life through your word. – Psalm 119:33-37