We all know the story of Solomon’s prayer for wisdom. God comes to Solomon in a dream and grants him one request. Instead of asking for riches or health or power, Solomon asks for wisdom. He says in 1 Kings 3:9:
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?
I love thinking about what happens next. God says to Solomon:
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. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.
Because Solomon asks for wisdom, God not only gives it to him, He gives him the health, wealth, and power as well. God chose to lavishly bless Solomon out of His goodness simply because Solomon asked humbly and wisely. Now, what can we learn from this? Certainly not that God will always give us health and wealth when we ask for wisdom. We also must not think that if we want power we should ask for wisdom, so as to trick God into giving us what we really want. God sees through that sort of thinking. No, what we learn from this is simple. God wants us to be wise, and when we ask for wisdom, He gives abundantly more than we could imagine. This what James tells us in the first chapter of his epistle. He says:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
This is an amazing promise. There are very few places in Scripture where God says that if anyone asks for something, he will get it. God desires for us to know His will, which is what real wisdom is, the ability to discern the will of God. This wisdom that God gives us is not simply lots of smarts. It is the transformed mind that Paul talks about in Romans 12, the mind that brings knowledge of God’s will. And this wisdom only comes through Christ. When we trust in His sacrifice for our sins, God’s great mercy and grace through the cross. The Spirit of God transforms our minds to discern God’s will.
So, the question that so many ask: I just want to know God’s will for my life. Here’s the answer: Ask for wisdom, and God will give it. This wisdom is what helps us make the choices that we face daily. For Solomon it was running the country. For us it is what college to attend, what job to take, what person to marry, what city to live in, what cereal to eat (seriously!). Solomon asked for wisdom and God gave. James tells us to ask for wisdom, for God will give it to us as well. So don’t fear that God will not help you discern life’s choices. He gives wisdom. Ask for it, and He will give you more than you need.