“If you could wave a magic wand, what would you want to change?”
It was a simple survey question. But it made me truly pause and think. The brief questionnaire went on to inquire about various areas of potential concern – health, finances, relationships, a personal walk with GOD, etc. If I could change anything in any of those areas, what would it be?
Feeling a surprising wave of freedom (no pun intended), I realized what these questions were really asking: if I could remove any perceived limitations, what would I long to see in my own “dream reality?!” (is that actually a thing, or a crazy oxymoron??!?)
Needless to say, for a deep thinker like myself, these are not quick or easy questions to answer. So, I’ve been in ponder/prayer mode for days. Our GOD hears and answers those prayers! Sometimes in unexpected ways! . . .
How interesting, then, with endless possibilities swirling in my head, that I felt compelled to embark on a new study with She Reads Truth called “Our GOD Reigns,” digging deep into the Old Testament books of 1 & 2 Kings. Barely cracking the pages, on day 2, I found myself reading about Solomon in this exact position!
The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream, and GOD said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you?” ~ I Kings 3:5
Solomon was the newly crowned king of the nation of Israel, following in the footsteps of his father, King David. Appropriately humbled by such a sobering position, Solomon began his reign with a posture of worship, offering 1000 burnt sacrifices to the LORD at Gibeon. That very night, the LORD appeared to Solomon in the dream to ask what Solomon wanted the LORD to do for him.
Solomon could ask for anything! Scripture doesn’t tell us if his head was swimming with possibilities like mine. It simply says that Solomon responded with an honorable request:
Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern Your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who, by himself, is able to govern this great people of yours? ~ I Kings 3:9
I could say the same about my life, as humble in comparison as it may be. How can I, by myself, navigate the roles and circumstances the LORD has planned for me?
But, I can also easily find myself thinking, “well, of course the LORD appeared to Solomon and offered him whatever help he needed. Solomon was now the king of GOD’s chosen nation of Israel! Solomon was important. His job was important. Of course, he couldn’t take another step without the LORD’s help. But me? I don’t know that I would be granted the same carte blanche, the same ready and available offer from the GOD of the universe!”
As my brain was still processing these unfinished thoughts, my attention was drawn to our Choice Gleanings Calendar on the breakfast table. How interesting (again!), to find an echo of very similar words to the prophet Jeremiah:
The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, while he was still shut up in the court of the prison, saying, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” ~ Jeremiah 33:1,3
Hmmm. . . whether on the throne in a palace or shackled in a prison, the LORD is the same GOD who draws near and says, “ask Me, and I will provide whatever it is you need!”
The calendar’s brief comments about those verses in Jeremiah were interesting as well:
“Prison experiences” are often the means GOD uses to reveal Himself. He delights in using the imposed shackles of our circumstances to communicate to us. So regardless of what scenario your so called “prison” represents, GOD invites you to call on Him. He will answer you in surprising ways you could never have experienced travelling a road of ease and freedom. ~ E. V.
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. ~ Charles Wesley
My thoughts drifted back to the survey questions. What perceived limitations do I wrestle with? In what “prison” do I feel trapped? Do I believe I can reach to the same LORD and receive His help? It is easy to imagine the LORD making Solomon, the king, or Jeremiah, the prophet, top priority. But is He present and powerful for me, too?
Well. . . it was with a new wave of relief that I discovered yet another echo, this time in the New Testament:
I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done . . . You can ask for anything in My Name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask Me for anything in My Name, and I will do it! ~ John 14:12-14
The LORD JESUS was encouraging His own followers (simple fishermen, tax collectors, men, women, even children) to ASK . . . and receive! Our GOD – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is the same yesterday, today and forever! What He offered one of His beloved children centuries ago, He still offers today! He is drawing near to me through His Word to say, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you . . . Yes! even you.”
Deep breath. Wow. Almighty GOD is welcoming me to ask for anything! How in the world could I ever know what is right and good and honorable to ask? What does it really mean to “ask in His Name?”
The LORD JESUS has an answer for that question, too:
If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! ~ John 15:7
I need to stay close enough to the Savior to know His heart. I need His words to remain in me. Maybe asking the Father for something in JESUS’ Name is simply asking what JESUS would ask. If the LORD JESUS prayed for me today, for my loved ones, for my concerns, for my struggles (and He does!!!), what do I think He would ask of the Father on my behalf?
May His prayers become mine.
Really, it was no different for Solomon. Before he died, David passed on similar words of encouragement to his son to stay close to the LORD:
Take courage and be a man. Observe the requirements of the LORD your GOD and follow all His ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go. If you do this, then the LORD will keep the promise He made to me. He told me, “if your descendants follow Me faithfully with all their heart and soul, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.” ~ I Kings 2:2-4
And GOD reiterated the same promises to Solomon in that dream:
If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days. ~ I Kings 3:14
Our GOD is the Almighty One. He is the only One who can offer us anything! He knows that when our hearts stay true to His, in step and in beat with His, our desires will fall in line as well. We will find ourselves asking for the very things He longs to give us!
So, if I could wave a magic wand and change anything in my life, what would it be? Thank the LORD, I don’t need to rely on magic, or even my wild, free imagination! I can simply ask Him what He’s working on in each area of concern, where He wants me to focus my efforts, how I can best bring honor to His Name. And let Him lead me to the best next step!
For today, I am happy to echo one of King David’s prayers:
Teach me Your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to Your truth!
Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor You.
With all my heart I will praise You, O LORD, my GOD.
I will give glory to Your Name forever, for Your love for me is very great!
#askHim #Heinvitesustopray #whatwouldJESUSpray #stayclose #maymyheartmatchHis #echoes #oldtestamentnewtestamenttoday #yesterdaytodayforever #JESUSisthesame #trustingJESUS #heldandbeloved #coverofHisPresence #yesmetoo #mysteriouskindness #whispersofrest #lostinwonder