The Secret to Solomon’s Wisdom? Hearing God.

"Shema Israel. Hear o Israel." Solomon asked to hear God.

“Shema Israel. Hear o Israel.” Solomon asked to hear God.

Whenever we think of Solomon we think of wisdom, right? We say that he asked for wisdom so God gave him wisdom… and more!

Interestingly, he actually did not ask for wisdom.

 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours? (1 Kings 3:9, NIV)

Yes, that collection of words translates to what we know to be wisdom, but he actually asked God for “a discerning heart.” Or some translations say “an understanding heart.” When you dig into the root of that word in Hebrew it is the word shama’ or “hear.”

If you are Jewish you say the “Shema’” prayer every day. In English it is:

“Hear O Israel. The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might!”

Hear.

Shema.

So I think Solomon asked to be able to hear God… to have this open communications pipeline from God’s heart to his heart. To have one of those new fiber optic cables that has an almost unlimited bandwidth to allow God to have the fastest amount of data transfer available. From God’s lips to Solomon’s heart. Instantly.

And with that endless and open line, Solomon was indeed wise.

Do you know that you and I have that same access to God?

“Through him (Jesus Christ) we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18, The Message).

Yet, often our pipeline is clogged so that we are distracted from hearing God… with the things of the world that take our heart off of God’s best for us. With our job. Our family. Our finances. Our health. Our worries.

James encourages us to ask God for wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5, NIV). As you do, recall that when Solomon asked for the same thing, he actually sought to HEAR from God.

May you have an open pipeline to hear from God’s heart to your heart. May you give God all your worldly distractions. Give Him those things that choke the conduit of His grace and His love.

Then, as you hear God’s voice today, may you have the strength and boldness to act and go where He leads.

 

© 2017 Rich Ronald.

 

 

You are the intersection of the Cross

My college roommate was the first to introduce me to the key concept of horizontal and vertical relationships.  Even though I had been a Christian all my life and he was a relative new-comer to the faith, Jim had a grasp of the depth of God’s love greater than any of my peers.   

We all understand what horizontal relationships are… those with our friends and family living this life and walking this walk with us daily. 

And the vertical relationship is also easy to see when we look for it… between us and the triune God, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

And all of these relationships intersect in you… in your mind… in your heart.  And really all of these relationships overlap don’t they?  If you have put Jesus on the throne of your life, the relationships you have with people… the love you have, men, for your wives, the love you have women for your husbands and  for your children, are driven by the true source of love, God.  I John 4.  “God is love.”  If God rules your life, it’s all connected isn’t  it?

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Philosophy of Ministry

Have you ever been challenged to write a “philosophy of ministry?”  Recently I was asked to provide mine. 
And while I know that I have one, I’ve never put down in words.  So I prayed.  And here it is.

PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY

“Hear O Israel.  The Lord our God, the Lord is One!  You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your strength.”  This is the Shema, the call from Moses in Deuteronomy 6:45. 
Jesus took this to the next level when asked by the pharisees about the greatest commandment by adding
“Love you neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22, Mark 12 and Luke 10).

It is with this conviction that my philosophy of ministry resonates.

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