September 19, 2017

One Wish: Aligning my desires with God’s call

Doug Wright

I Kings 5-9 records a verbal exchange between God and Solomon. That exchange, set in a dream, culminates with Solomon saying, “Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people that I may discern between good and bad [evil]. For who is able to judge this thy so great a people [great people of Thine]?” The exchange is often interpreted as a “genie in a bottle” experience where Solomon got one unrestricted wish. Solomon did get “one wish,” but God was revealing the motives of a man’s heart. Do you ever, in the recess of your mind, wish God would give you “one wish?” If He did, what would you ask for and what would it reveal about you?

Solomon had the same fleshly desires one thousand years before Christ’s advent that we have two thousand years after his death. Solomon wanted to be healthy, wealthy, and powerful. Solomon’s request, however, verified his focus on the ministry God had called him to rather than personal peace or prosperity. His values were in the right place – at least at this point in his life.

The fleshly response would have been to request health, wealth, and power. God commended Solomon for resisting that urge. Those same fleshly desires reside in us today. Rather than focusing on the job God has called us to complete, we often reason that if I had health, wealth, and power, I could more efficiently do what God wants me to do. Solomon, however, realized that his greatest need (to accomplish the task assigned to him) was to understand human motives. That understanding would allow him to serve God’s people and accomplish God’s purposes.

Solomon displayed his insight into human nature in I Kings 3:16-28. Two women disputed the parentage of a child. Both claimed it was their son. Solomon called for a “sword” to divide the child. In so doing, he drew out the natural affections of the real mother. The chapter ends by saying, “and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him.” The people “feared the king” (respect for his position), but they saw God through him. Health, money, and power could not accomplish what heaven-sent perception did.

Solomon had the maturity to recognize his immaturity and inexperience. Every pastor must have the same “maturity.” It is not our health, wealth, or power that will make us successful in ministry. It is the blessing of God on our lives. Solomon aligned his desires with God’s call. That was the secret of his success, and it will be the secret of your success.


Doug Wright is pastor of Keystone Baptist Church, Berryville, VA.


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