King Solomon was just a young man when he was anointed king over all of 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 his youth and inexperience in 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, 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 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 teaches you in the waiting time. I used the time at sea by spending many hours reading and meditating on the Scriptures. When I look back, I see that God trained me for what I am doing now. The small things and a correct heart attitude led me to work with my other Father with His nets.
“Who dares despise the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10).
I have now served the Lord for 44 years. Some of the best times of intimacy with Christ took place 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 the heart—I trust God-inspired words. I say 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 satisfied the Father's justice. Just like Solomon, you will get everything else if you ask for this! Keith Thomas