“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, ‘Ask what I shall give you.’ And Solomon said,.. ‘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.'” 1 Kings 3:5-13
Solomon was worshiping when the Lord appeared, and his reverence shaped his response to His offer. Humbling myself before the Lord influences the genuine desire of my heart, and gives opportunity to state specific requests. What do I really want? Wherever we live, whatever our station in life, there are things material and psychological, physical and emotional, practical and impossible, that we want. God’s presence refines them.
If my ‘wants’ are noble, how well do they match my willingness, with undivided heart and unreserved vigor, to make them happen? I might want peaceful relationships, but be unwilling to admit my contribution to the strife, to lay down my rights, and to forgive, in order to begin peace-making. I may pray for well-behaved children, but fail to set clear standards of behavior and respect, and to be consistent in my discipline. I may ask to be healthy, but balk at saying no to junk and yes to an active lifestyle. I might want to know God better, but do nothing to order my days to give Him time and attention, to guard my heart so I can offer adoration and affection. Do I ask God to grow in faith, yet withhold giving sacrificially out of fear, or serving out of insecurity? Do I pretend to want to trust Him with my children, health, or job, but manipulate circumstances, barge in with solutions, or constantly fret and worry?
We serve a mighty, abundant King of kings, Who possesses everything and is able to do far more than we can ask or imagine, including purifying our wants. His desires for us are deep and eternal, and He invites and enables us to go up on the heights to ‘ask what He should give,’ to seek what is divine, significant, and lasting. (Psalm 50:10; 73:16-17; 86:11; Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 6:33; Ephesians 3:20)
Father, may I ever delight myself in You, that You define, and shape, and keep pure, the wants of my heart. (Psalm 37:4)