Solomon: Courage, Wisdom and Leadership

Part 4

Today, God is asking you…

What do you want Me to give you

I understand that this statement may rub some of you the wrong way. It sounds contrary to what we’ve been taught; to be humble and satisfied with what we have. Some would say, we should thank Him and praise Him but we are in no position to ask Him for what we want. 


I beg to differ. 


God spoke to Solomon and said ask what you wish Me to give you. I Kings 3:5  


Okay, just because we have a story from the Old Testament about God asking Solomon what he wants doesn’t necessarily mean that God is asking all of us what we want. After all, God told Noah to build an ark but that doesn’t mean we all should build an ark. Right? 


That is true. Nevertheless, my premise is that this narrative about Solomon provides us a valuable lesson and carries with it an important principle that we can apply to our lives. Also, we’ll discover that this valuable lesson from Solomon, of making our requests known to God, is supported by direct teachings from other parts of the Bible. 


Last time we learned an important principle from Solomon: seek the means to the end rather than just wishing for the end result. Solomon asked for wisdom and understanding in order that he might exercise justice and rule God’s chosen people in peace and prosperity. God peered into Solomon’s heart and was pleased with his intent and motives to ask such a noble request.  


For Solomon, the desired result was a blessed and prosperous nation, ruled with justice and peace. He asked God for the one key element that would produce his desired result: wisdom and understanding. God was pleased with his noble request.  


It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. I Kings 3:10. 


Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. I Kings 4:29-30. 


What about you? Should you make your requests known to God? 


We have an example from the Old Testament in Solomon that you should indeed make your request known to God. We also have the apostle’s teachings on this subject found in Hebrews and Philippians. 


Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 


The Hebrews writer gives us a general call to confidently go before God in our time of need. But Paul is even more specific about God’s desire to hear our direct requests in his letter to the Philippians. 


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7  


In the narrative of I Kings 3, God asked Solomon point blank, ask me what you wish me to give you? Also, the apostle Paul teaches us through God’s Word that we are to let our requests be made known to God.  


I believe there are two aspects of the concept of ‘making your requests known to God‘. 


  1. In its simplest and most beautiful form, our requests, undergirded with gratitude, should flow from our consciousness as we live our daily lives in the awareness of God. The moment you feel, see or hear of a need, look upward and formulate a request to God. You always have access to the God and creator of the universe to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need
  2. Solomon’s example sheds light on another form of making our requests before God. His request wasn’t borne out of his immediate daily needs. His request came as a result of deep reflection upon his major purpose in life. 


In addition to bringing your daily needs before God, reflect upon your major purpose in life? What has God called you to do, to be, to become? It doesn’t have to be big and broad from an earthly standpoint or have a world-wide impact. It just needs to be specific and aligned with God’s purposes for you. 


The range of life purposes varies significantly, such as: 

  • To raise my children in the love and admonition of the Lord 
  • To rescue orphans in my city or eliminate human trafficking worldwide 
  • To represent Jesus in word indeed in my neighborhood; or in my workplace, etc. 
  • To minister to ex-convicts in my city 
  • To grow a strong and vibrant business and use my business as a ministry to my employees and my community 
  • To lead a worldwide ministry of mentoring and developing Christian business professionals 
  • To make disciples in all nations by growing a ministry of church planting worldwide 


We know that God calls all of us to love Him and to love others. But alongside this mutual calling, have you considered your primary calling and purpose in this life? The first and most important step is to prayerfully seek God’s guidance, talk to others Christians who know you well and listen to their input. As your calling becomes clear, begin to pray with very specific requests regarding your life purpose.  


Who knows what God may do in your life when you step out and prepare yourself to accomplish God’s calling for you in your life? 


As we close, I want to remind you again that the narrative of Solomon provides us a wonderful example. When God asked Solomon what he wanted, Solomon realized that God had called him to a specific purpose; to be the earthly king of God’s chosen people. His next and almost immediate thought was, I’m completely unprepared and unworthy to fulfill this calling. 


Solomon said, You have made me king, but I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in


Solomon had a big calling without the confidence and capabilities to fulfill the calling. Can you relate? Do you lack confidence and doubt your capabilities to pursue your calling in life? 


Follow Solomon’s example. Solomon’s request was for the means to fulfill God’s calling in his life. Specifically, he asked for wisdom and understanding in order to fulfill his calling. 


We are often told to ask God for big things. Yes, that may be true, but I prefer to follow Solomon’s example and ask that God would prepare me to do whatever He calls me to do; big or small.  


Lord, you might call us to be famous and well known, or you might call us to quietness and obscurity. It’s completely up to You. Either way, Lord, cultivate our minds with wisdom, our hearts with love and our souls to persevere and obey You. It’s not about asking You for the big things in life that we want. It’s about being prepared, mind, heart and soul, to follow You wherever you lead us.


As Paul wrote in I Timothy 2:21, may we be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Amen!