Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wisdom - Part 1

wisdom, encouragement, success

My mind is generally in at least 4 different places at any given moment.  So last week, in an attempt to quiet my noisy thoughts, I committed to reading at least one chapter per day of a Bible book until I was finished.  The book I chose was 1 Kings.

What a page turner!  I felt like I was watching a movie.

And even though I'm almost done with the first book of Kings, there is something about chapter 3 that keeps bringing me back to it.  I'm going to share it with you here.

It's all about wisdom-- recognizing you need it, asking God for it, and experiencing God giving it.

Solomon had just succeeded his father, David, as king of Israel.  Web sources don't agree, but they list Solomon as being anywhere between 12 and 29 years old when he assumed the throne. 

The point is that he was very young.  And he knew it, too.

That night, the Lord appeared to (Solomon) in a dream and asked him, 'What would you like me to give you?"
Solomon answered, "...O LORD God, you have let me succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and don't know how to rule...So give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?" - 1 Kings 3:5,7,9 GNT (vs. 6 and 8 omitted here, solely for brevity)
Did you catch what Solomon said, folks?

I'm immature.
I don't know what in the world I'm doing.
Give me the wisdom to rule justly, and to differentiate between right and wrong.
Without your guidance, I can't do this.

How open to God's wisdom are you when you navigate into new and uncharted territory?  Do you ask Him for his help, or do you try to do it on your own?

Here's what I learned from Solomon's example.

When your skill level doesn't match your assignment...

Admit your weaknesses

"Lord, I don't know WHAT in the world I'm doing".

Acknowledge that you lack skill and are in need of guidance to fulfill the particular role that He has designated for you to fill.  If He created you to fill it, He'll guide you on how to fill it.  Whether it's a task, project, occupation, or new venture-- ask Him to help you!  He might answer you directly, or lead you to someone who can mentor you, or maybe He'll just nudge you in the direction of resources that hold the specific knowledge you need.  The possibilities are as endless as His power.

Ask for wisdom

"Lord, Give me the wisdom to.."

Recognize that your worldly smarts pale in comparison to wisdom that comes from Him.  Admit that you lack discernment, and that you desire to differentiate between what is pleasing to Him, and what is not.

Recognize that you need His form of wisdom to succeed

Oh sure, you can try it the natural way.  
But the natural-level achievements you can accomplish without Him are but a shadow of the supernatural-level achievements you can accomplish with Him.
And I don't know about you, but I'd rather reach the heights that baffle the people who know my weaknesses.  That way, when they look at me with a questioning expression, I can tell them, "Yup.  You're right!  I couldn't do this alone.  But GOD..."

On Monday, I will post the 2nd part of this little pearl which addresses what God did in response to Solomon's request, and how I think it relates to us.

Feel free to get hooked on 1 Kings yourself until then...


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img credit:     (c) Can Stock Photo Inc./sabphoto


Alison said...

"Recognize that your worldly smarts pale in comparison to wisdom that comes from Him." Lord knows I needed to hear that, Karen! Thanks for the wisdom you imparted in this post.



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