“What do you need?”
I ask this question quite often. At work I’m one of those people who knows a little about a lot so I can help many people do their jobs effectively. It amazes me how often people are unable to articulate what they need, though, when I think about it, I struggle with answering this question myself. I find that a lot of people know they need something, they’re just not sure exactly what. If you’re struggling to finish your novel, you might think you need more time, when in reality you might need to begin writing every day. If you’re struggling to keep your house clean, you might think you need new containers and storage solutions, but what you might actually need is to get rid of clutter or clean a little every day.
Even if we can’t always articulate what we need or even what we think we need, God ultimately knows.
At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.”
And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
I wonder if Solomon felt how we do when we’re asked about our needs. I wonder if he knew that he needed something, but didn’t quite know what, so he asked for wisdom. He knew the enormity of the task set before him (governing a group of unruly people is surely not easy) and knew he needed a lot of help, but he only asked for understanding and discernment.
With the new year rapidly approaching I would like to follow in Solomon’s footsteps and ask the Lord for wisdom. Whether 2016 was great or awful or somewhere in between, I think we can make 2017 even better if we begin by asking God for wisdom. If we seek out wisdom and understanding and begin applying it to our everyday lives we can change our behaviors and habits which will then impact our work, relationships, finances, and goals.
Join me on January 1st as we begin reading a Proverb a Day together and see how God will give his people wisdom, understanding, and discernment, just as he gave Solomon. Let’s pray for and then apply wisdom to our lives and see what God will do!