In I Kings 3:5, we read something incredible:
“The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, ‘Ask what you wish me to give you.’”
I admit, I got no further than that in my reading this morning. It stopped me in my tracks. God himself appears to Solomon and asks what he would like God to do for him.
So, I invite you to chew over this question along with me: “What would you ask for?”
It’s easy to jump to an answer. We might say, “Give me wisdom!” because we know that is what Solomon asked for and God was pleased with his reply. But I would encourage us not to answer too quickly. There are, I believe, many answers to this question that God would be glad to honor. This is a life-changing question – and the life we’re talking about is our own.
This question from God becomes an intimate moment to examine our hearts. It gives us the opportunity to look at our values and priorities, and to weigh our long-term goals for our life and faith.
We might find, as we explore inwardly, that our honest answer is not what we would like it to be – that sin has snaked a tendril around our heart, cheapening our desires into something less than God has called us to. If so, do not despair: “if we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). Do some internal weeding, and then ask the question of yourself again.
As you ponder your response, these questions may be helpful. I am putting them to myself even as I write them:
What are the top 3-5 answers that come to mind as you consider God’s invitation to “Ask what you wish me to give you”? If you’re like me, I want to ask God for a lot of things!
Are there any answers you are trying, for whatever reason, to hide from yourself – or from God? There are lots of reasons we might want to hide our true responses; for example, we may want something selfish or sinful, or we may want something but hesitate to ask for it because we think we don’t deserve it.
Look at each answer in turn:
Why did this come to mind? What need or hurt or desire prompted it?
What does the Bible say about this?
If God gives this to you, how might it change your life?
How would this glorify God?
How would this serve God’s kingdom?
Which answer rises to the top if you were to ask God for just one thing?
When you have worked through this (and it may take quite a while, even several days), don’t forget the culminating step: PRAY.
Picture God in front of you. Hear him say, “Ask what you wish me to give you.” Tell him your answer.
“Ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.”
– Matthew 7:7