Remember the old TV series, “I Dream of Jeannie” of the late 60’s? I can’t help but think that we all do. And likely all of us thought about what we would wish for if we happened upon a Genie in a bottle or a lamp like Aladdin’s. Would it have been a big house, lots of money, a new car or some other mere tangible thing?
And the answer to that is most likely yes as well. The idea of getting something for nothing is part of the human frailty or human nature or what the Scriptures call the flesh or carnal mind. Sadly, there is no total deliverance from our human nature until Jesus returns. We will have to work against it and as the Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:18 “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”
And in Romans 8:5 he said, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
From that we can see that the battle is in the mind, it’s what we set our minds on that is important!
There once was a man to whom God said, “Ask. What should I give you?” Solomon was that man. And to that question, Solomon replied, “You have shown great and faithful love to Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. LORD my God, You have now made Your servant king in my father David’s place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership. Your servant is among Your people You have chosen, a people too numerous to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
Far better was this chance to have every dream fulfilled than even Aladdin’s lamp or a genie in a bottle, but Solomon chose to ask for an obedient heart and the wisdom to be able to discern between good and evil.
Many times in our walk with Christ we will be given tasks that seem overwhelming at first glance. And that is when we need to be as humble as Solomon and ask God to give us an obedient heart and discernment. In James 1:5 we are told to ask God for wisdom and it will be given generously and without reproach, which means without reprimanding or contempt. God knows our need of wisdom even before we ask for it.
God did not promise us wealth, but He did promise to meet your needs. But it is human nature to think of our wants as though they are our needs. God wants us to put Him first in everything. He wants us to fill our minds with His desires, to imitate Him and serve and obey Him.
Money can’t buy wisdom or God’s blessing, but through our worship we can express to God that we are committed to walking with Him according to His ways. Our obedience is a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God. And in Romans we can read where Paul said that obedience leads to righteousness. (Romans 6:16)
We can chase after great wealth, fame or glory OR we can live humbly before God according to His ways, honoring Him by reading and studying and obeying His Word, living peaceably with each other, helping each other, setting others before ourselves, seeking no honor or fame and using that which God blesses us with to bless others.
Lord God, giver of life and creator of all things, seen and unseen, I thank You for investing Your life in us and planting in us the life-giving seed of Your word. I praise You for the changes Your word has already brought into our lives. By Your grace Lord, give each of us a desperate need for more of Your word, the word of Your grace which is able to deliver our souls from all that is destructive and refill us with all that is edifying and sanctifying. And as we begin a new week Lord, give each of us new opportunities to show honor and glory to You alone Lord, as we Your servants, in humility and gentleness reflect Your light to a dark world. Amen.