The Bare Soul - March 24, 2013
Acting on God's Promises

I Kings 3:12-13 - Behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days.

To the most part, I remember my parents being good for their word. When they promised something, they usually carried through. However, most parents learn not to promise unless they know they will be able to deliver. Phrases such as "we'll see" or "maybe" might often represent the wisdom of parents to know they may not be able to definitively to do as they say. While these may seem like "weasel words" to some, they can often keep us from speaking presumptuously and causing unnecessary disappointment. As a child, I remember one instance where my father promised me something and could not deliver due to circumstances beyond his control. When he made the promise, he very well thought he could keep it. I was hugely disappointed when he told me he could not keep his promise. At 12 years old I can still remember sobbing for an entire afternoon, blaming my father for telling me something and not being able to carry through.

Of course I forgave him. That is what we do as human beings as we look to ourselves and see how we can often make promises and likewise not follow through. However, as a child, I believe there is an innate longing and desire for promise keepers in our lives that will never let us down. When we find out our parents and others are as fallible as we are, it can often cause us to become cynical and jaded toward others when they continue to fail us. That is why it is paramount to understand the ideal of a Promise Keeper, and that is God Himself. As we see in our lead verse, God's conversation in Solomon's dream did not contain any "we'll see's" or "maybes." Instead, we see a God who states He had "given" the king a "wise and discerning heart" and also "riches and honor."

It would be superfluous to believe the moment Solomon woke up that he was the wisest man in the world, just as it would be foolish to believe that God had caused massive wealth and great honor to likewise manifest. This is the stuff of fairy tales where genies "poof" things into existence! Instead, God had surely given these things to Solomon as his inheritance. Now, it was time for the king to begin acting upon the truths of these promises and start obtaining them. Surely, those closest to him the day after his dream did not say, "Why Solomon, you seem so wise today! What happened to you?" Rather, God gives us a glimpse into Solomon acting upon the promise of God in his judgment between the two harlots and their quarrel over who was the rightful mother of a disputed child (see I Kings 3:16:28). Solomon's wisdom astounded all those who heard regarding how he settled the feud. The Scriptures explain it in the following: "When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice" (I Kings 3:28). Until Solomon acted upon God's promise for wisdom, no one probably could tell any difference in the king. Likewise, not until Solomon began gathering wealth and respect from other nations did he start to manifest God's promise of "riches and honor."

When God gives us a promise, it is always in the Definitive or Simple Past tense. He regards it as a completed action, just as we should also. However, degrees of manifestation are often characteristic of how we believe and ultimately act on these respective promises. If Solomon had thought to himself, "Well, that was an interesting dream," and then did nothing about it, we probably would not equate Solomon to the wisest and richest king of the Kingdom Age of Israel. However, just as he acted upon his dream, we must do likewise when God whispers to our souls. We may never have a dream like Solomon but we all have a vision (or visions) which God has entrusted to us regarding his gifts and callings for our lives. If He has spoken a word, it is without revocation (Romans 11:29). God has graciously given each and every one of us promises. It is now our responsibility to act on them and ensure they become a reality.

Heavenly Father, allow us to resurrect every promise You have ever spoken to us and to act upon them until they come to fruition. Grant us the wisdom to act upon Your spoken word to our hearts, knowing that You see these gifts and callings as ours already, even if they are not flowing through our lives today. We ask for Your grace and mercy to see as You see and then to move with faith to make Your dreams and Your vision a reality. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

 

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