By Marilyn Roberts
A morning devotional referenced the story of Solomon, David’s son. The Lord appeared to him in a dream and asked him a simple question, “Ask! What shall I give you?” (1 Kings 3:5, NKJV) The devotional writer asked, “What would you ask God for?”
I thought, “There are so many crucial needs in my life, in the lives of family and loved ones. Should I ask God to meet one or all of them? What should my response be?” Besides look who is asking the question; God! The One who can do anything! My eyes observe circumstances all around me that are in dire need of God’s touch of healing and deliverance. Shouldn’t that dictate my response?
Solomon asked for wisdom because he was so young and had been left with overwhelming responsibilities. In God’s eyes, his was the right answer and it rewarded him with not only wisdom to rule but God’s blessing of prosperity and peace in his lifetime.
I could “Christianize” my answer and ask for something spiritual, hoping for the same response that Solomon received. However, the Lord, who knows my heart, would see right through that ruse. And yet, it’s a question that I wouldn’t want to answer out of my own ability. I know whatever I would come up with would be limited to my own human understanding. Since I’m human, that is expected. It’s just that my thinking of what is needed would be confined to my five senses and bound to that realm. What if what I think is needed is really not the solution at all?
Without the mind of Christ, our decision making is confined to our own human reasoning. For example, if someone is really terminally ill, we think the obvious answer is a miracle of healing. However, a miracle won’t guarantee that that illness won’t return. Perhaps what is really needed is not only a miracle but the gift of divine health.
Here’s another example. You may feel that God has called you to the ministry. Perhaps God has given you a desire to reach beyond your sphere of influence in the city where you live. You might think the answer is to travel to other cities and preach the gospel. But what if the answer is to write a book or use social media that can reach places that you may never personally visit.
Two scriptures came to mind when I was pondering how to answer God’s question. The Message Translation of a familiar verse in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” and The New Living Translation of Romans 8:26, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”
God has made available to us the gift of the Holy Spirit. There comes a time in prayer when we have to stop talking. We have to listen to what He is saying to us! This is where the gift of a prayer language becomes essential. The scripture read, “we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” After we have prayed with our understanding, the use of our prayer language allows the Holy Spirit to pray through us. As He prays, often you will hear in your spirit the direction or answer you need. Or you will get a sense of release and peace that the Holy Spirit brings for comfort and assurance.
Let me stop and say that I’m not advocating that if you don’t speak in a prayer language that the Holy Spirit cannot pray through you. My point is only that it is a GIFT from God that He has made available to us to use effectively. If you haven’t received this gift from God, I recommend that you seek His face and search the scriptures for in them you’ll find the hope that this gift brings.
Solomon’s response was birthed out of his worship. (1 Kings 3:1-4) Out of that time he was able to ask for the right remedy to accomplish his duties as the new King. That’s the key! When we approach God in our time of prayer and worship, we must trust God and allow the Holy Spirit to help us ask God for the right remedy to meet the need before us.
The wisdom that God gave Solomon solved everything. He didn’t have to go back and ask for something in addition to wisdom to help him rule. When we trust God to lead us and allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us, our response will be the right answer that God is looking for from us. It’s summed up with the 27th verse of Romans, “And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” (NLT)
So it would appear that whatever trouble or challenge we are facing, all we have to do is say, “Lord, Your will be done!” However, if that was the case, why would we need the Holy Spirit? We know from the scriptures that it is God’s will to heal, it is His will to forgive us if we sin, it is His will to redeem our lives from destruction and satisfy us with long life. It is God’s will to prosper us and give us favor. What we need to hear is the specific answer to the troubles we are facing!
Throughout the scriptures, both Old Testament and New, we find that the God of the Bible was very specific when giving guidance to His people. He told them where the enemy was and how they were going to attack. He gave them specific plans to thwart the efforts of evil men who desired to destroy them. He told them how to build, what to eat, what to observe, what land to buy and how to worship. He gave them directions on how to find people, what to say to them, and even where to find certain animals to help meet the need. My point? Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” So if God was specific in the Bible, can’t we expect to hear from Him specifically for our situations?
I submit to you that the only reason we don’t is that our minds are full of other voices pulling on our time, our talent and our treasure. We are too busy! Too busy to sit still, to busy to wait and listen for His voice. It’s an indictment that can be placed at the feet of all of us!
Psalm 46:10a, “Be still and know that I am God.” This is the only way we can have a right response. Sitting still in His presence, allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through us, and trusting that He will lead us and keep us on track.
I found comfort in the New Living Translation of Isaiah 45:18-19, “For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. “I am the LORD,” he says, “and there is no other. I publicly proclaim bold promises. I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner. I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me if I could not be found. I, the LORD, speak only what is true and declare only what is right.”
One definition of obscurity is uncertainty of meaning or expression; ambiguity. God doesn’t talk to us that way. God wants to help us, He wants us to have the right answer at the right time for our situations and He wants to provide that answer. These words are recorded in Isaiah 30:21, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ Whenever you turn to the right hand, or whenever you turn to the left.”
God will give us the Right Response.