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#9: Let Him Ask

So, there's this guy in the Bible.


Solomon.


God comes to him in a dream and says, "Ask of me whatever you want, and I'll give it to you."


Cue Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation, "Now, hold on a minute!"


What would you ask for?


I don’t mean what would you ask for in Solomon's time–but what would you ask for right now?


Same dream. Same God. Same offer.


Apparently, Solomon took very little time to answer.


God placed him in an incredible position with immeasurable potential. Even so, Solomon didn't feel he was up to the challenge–the position, opportunity, and responsibility were all too big.


As it is recorded in both 1Kings and 2Chronicles, Solomon responds:

Give me wisdom and knowledge, a discerning heart to distinguish between right and wrong.

Is that what you would have asked for?


Well, God is pleased with this answer–I mean, very pleased. Solomon could have asked for wealth, honor, long life, or the death of his enemies. But it's recorded in scripture that wisdom was his "heart's desire" (2Chronicles 1:11).


God thinks Solomon chose well; he chose the best possible answer to God's offer. God fulfills that request in spades.


Fast forward to the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament, wherein Solomon expounds upon the virtue of wisdom and hands down some profound instructions and insights into the human condition.


Take, for example, this little ditty from Proverbs 25:15:

A ruler can be persuaded through patience, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

When you dig a little deeper into context and compare this scripture with other sayings in both Proverbs and the Psalms, it becomes clear that people in subordinate positions can hold leverage over those who rule.


Solomon describes how gentleness and kindness can overcome even the most powerful and obstinate rulers. He shows us a dynamic truth that seems contradictory at first–winsome and gentle speech can overcome stony hearts and hard minds. Gentle words break bones.


And that's just one verse.


The entire book of Proverbs is a goldmine of wise sayings and deep and insightful thinking.


Why is this important to you and me?


Because the same offer God extended to Solomon is extended to each of us right now.

Consider James 1:5:

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 isn't saying any of the following:

  • "Hey, if you lack wisdom, I want you to start thinking much harder about things.”

  • "If you need wisdom, here are the top five podcasts you should listen to."

  • "There's very few who are super wise, your best bet is to go to the rabbis, the influencers, or the enneagram."

No.


"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask."


That sounds easy enough. But the Bible also tells us that our mouths speak out of the abundance of our hearts. So, to ask for something, that thing must first be in our hearts.


How do you make wisdom your heart’s desire?


You can’t. It’s impossible for you to sew the desire for wisdom into the fabric of your heart. But the Holy Spirit can. Left to our own devices, we would surely keep our eyes and hearts on the temporal prizes of cash, cars, designer clothes, and the newest Madden game for Playstation . . . I feel convicted.


Proverbs 9:10 gives us the roadmap we need:


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.


1 Kings 4:29 says:


God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.


What does this all mean?


To ask for wisdom with all sincerity, the impetus for the request itself has to come from the Lord. From His heart to yours, and then back to Himself as you offer your request as a sacrifice.


The only way to know God is to acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and savior. Then, you have to spend time reading His Word, fellowshipping with other followers of Christ, making your requests known to Him through prayer and supplication. The closer you get to the heart of God, the more the Holy Spirit causes you to become like Jesus through the process of sanctification.


But the only thing that will stir up the desire to get closer to the heart of God is God, through His Holy Spirit.


So, the closer you get to God, the more your desire for wisdom will grow.


And this sets up an important paradigm: the measure of your desire is the measure of your possession.


So...as it says in James 4:8

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.

I think there's a natural desperation in our desire for nearness, in our desire for divine wisdom.

I think it has to be desperate.

How can it not be?


The stakes are too high to miss what God has to offer, and which corresponds to what we all so desperately need.


I think this is why so many biblical characters are described as "crying out" to the Lord.


I have yet to read in the Bible:

And David finished his beer, checked his Facebook, watched some Netflix, and asked God if it'd be cool to send some wisdom. And God was like: "You betcha!"

No!


Instead, you read: "store up my commands", "turn your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding", "call out for insight", cry aloud for understanding", "look for wisdom as for silver", "search for it as for hidden treasure", etc.


These utterances speak to wisdom's supremacy of value. And you gain nothing of great value casually.


I'm not talking about performance. I'm not talking about work. I'm not talking about religion or checking a number of obedience boxes.


All we really do need to do is ask.


But the asking must be utterly genuine, utterly sincere...a desperate cry from our Holy Spirit prompted heart--driving us to the petition for that which we so urgently need: wisdom.


Again, Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”


The path to all wisdom goes directly through knowledge and fear of the Lord.


“Let him ask.”


Proverbs 3:5 says it like this:


Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.


My friends, what path are you walking upon that feels crooked and uncertain? Is it about your career, a relationship, a financial decision, a calculated risk, or something else that creeps from the recesses of your mind the moment a room goes silent or you lay down to go to sleep?


If you want Wisdom to show you what is "right and just and fair."

If you want Wisdom to show you "every good path."

If you want Wisdom to "enter your heart."


Ask.




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