What if God offered you a blank check? What if you could ask him for anything knowing that he would grant it? What would you want — a love interest, healing for a loved one, a dream vacation, money, money money???
Scripture records a time when God did come to a man and present him with such an opportunity. Solomon became king of Israel after his father David. He had a huge job in front of him and he wanted to please God. One night, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask me whatever you want me to give you?”
Solomon gave a pretty surprising response: “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:9).
God was pleased. Solomon did not ask for wealth, honor, or long life. He was asking for a discerning heart. The word discerning literally means hearing or listening. Solomon is making one of greatest prayer requests ever. He is asking God for a “hearing heart.” He is saying, “Lord I want a heart to hear you. I need your wisdom and guidance in order to lead these people. So give me the ability to hear your voice and know your will.”
I want to encourage you to begin right where Solomon did. If you have a desire to hear God’s voice, begin by telling God. Ask Him for the gift of a hearing heart. I also encourage to make sure you create an environment in your life where you truly can hear from the Lord. I want to share with you a few insights in this article, and a few more next week.
The first thing Solomon reveals is an attitude of willing obedience. Scripture records that “Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the statutes of his father David” (1 Kings 3:3). Solomon was willing to obey and do what God had said as he followed in his father’s footsteps. You can mark it down. God will not speak to people who are not willing to obey. Why would God waste his time speaking and revealing his will to someone that will ignore him? Later in life, Solomon began to ignore God’s commands and it cost him greatly. If you want to hear from God, you better make sure that you are willing to obey Him.
Another thing you see is about Solomon is a heart of worship. As Solomon began his reign as king, he sacrificed to God with 1000 burnt offerings. Of all the different sacrifices, the burnt offering is my favorite. For this particular sacrifice, the worshipper placed the animal on the altar and the whole thing was consumed by fire. None of it was kept. None of the meat was eaten by the priests. The reason is that the whole thing belonged to the Lord. It was a sign of complete surrender to God. The sacrifice was a picture of complete devotion to the Lord.
Solomon also understood God’s grace. In his prayer, he said, “Lord you have shown great kindness to your servant” (I Kings 3:6). Solomon knew that God’s kindness is not something you earn. It is the gift of his grace. We have a relationship with God and can come to hear from Him only because of God’s kindness. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves right with God. We can only relate to Him by His grace. Then we can put ourselves in a place of love and obedience that we might hear from Him. Any work of God in my life, or any word that I hear from God are a result of God’s amazing grace.
So Lord, please give me a hearing heart. And that’s the Word.