King Solomon was just a young man when he was anointed king over all Israel. Soon after becoming king, God tested his inner motives by offering to give King Solomon whatever he wanted, it was his choice, and nothing was off the table:
That night the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”(1 Kings 3:5).
Solomon responded correctly to the test. Because of the weight of responsibility on his shoulders, and because of his youth and inexperience at leading a nation of five or six million people, he asked God for the gift of wisdom to govern correctly and distinguish between right and wrong (1 Kings 3:9). God was pleased with the motive of the young man. Because he didn’t ask for the death of his enemies or wealth for himself, God not only gave him his heart’s desire but also riches and honor more than any other man before him or after him.
If the God of the universe came to you today and asked you what one thing you wanted, for what would you ask? Be careful how you respond—for He is listening! Surely you would think hard and carefully if God made such an offer to you. Maybe you are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Perhaps you are from a low-income family, and your aged parents are looking to you to provide for them. The weight of the responsibility hangs heavy on you—for what should you ask? Maybe you have been through hard, difficult times, and you would like life to be more comfortable, different, and more meaningful. Perhaps what you do in life gives you the feeling that you are making no difference with what you do every day—is there anything more discouraging?
I had years as a commercial fisherman, where I cried out to God for Him to use me. Day after day, I was out at sea not making a difference in anyone’s life, for it was just my father and me alone on our boat. But there came a day when God called me from my nets to cast out His nets. Don’t despise the day of small things while God is teaching you in the waiting time. The time at sea was spent in many hours of reading and meditating on the Bible. When I look back, I see that I was being trained for what I am doing now. It was the small things and a correct heart attitude that led me to now work with my other Father with His nets.
“Who dares despise the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10).
I have had a full life of serving my Lord for 43 years now, some of my best times of intimacy with Christ were out on the North Sea off the coast of England alone with my father and the Lord. It was the testing time when God was working on the inside of my heart to prepare me for what I am doing now, writing words that reach your heart—I trust God-inspired words. I put it to you that the greatest need of every man, woman, and child on planet earth is to be right with God through faith in Christ. The gift of God, eternal life, is the main thing for which God would have you ask.
28Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:28-29).
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32).
There is no work to be done. It is the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross that satisfies the Father's justice. If you ask for this, just like Solomon, you will get everything else too! Keith Thomas