“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.”
1 Chronicles 28:9
The above quote is the voice of David to his young son who will very shortly take the reigns of Kingship of the nation of Israel. There are some verses I read in the Scriptures that just summarize how I should be looking at my life and the world. This is definitely a classic.
The first thing is that I really need to know God, that He is not just far off, but He is the God of my fathers, very close kin. He is family. Not impersonal, not uncaring, but He is close by and caring for me moment by moment.
Then if I have so ordered my mind to know Him, how better to know Him than to be familiar with every part of His love letter to me, the Bible, it is really only then that I can serve Him with a whole heart. Most of my life I’ve kept Him either far away, or, even after being born again, have too often kept Him at arms length. But David in the Spirit says the better way is serving God with my entire heart and mind. If you think that is easy look at how you ponder God throughout your day. Is He an afterthought? Do you think of Him at all? Do all the world’s cares and concerns push Him completely out of your mind? There are way too many built in distractions in the world today. And many if not most of those come from a career, where we spend most of our waking hours! But it is with heart and mind I should serve Him, regardless of how I occupy my time. With the heart is felt the love and delight in who He is and the care He shows me. With the mind I glory in the wonder of His power and majesty, in keeping my life together and the world and universe intact. With the mind I appreciate the deep things of His person called Theology, reason can be used, now that I have been enlightened through His grace, in all the characteristics of His being and behavior.
Since I can’t hide anything from God, I am laid bare before Him, He sees me exactly for who I am. I may be able to kid myself, but I can’t fool Him. But He sees me now through the resurrection of Christ, redeemed, forgiven, restored, justified, as His son through adoption. It’s often difficult for me to feel in this way though, still bogged down under this imperfect flesh, failing too often to want to admit. But loved by Him none the less, and still forgiven.
In His unfathomable grace He let me seek Him, and find Him, just as He promises to everyone. Such a gift is too marvelous for words. How can I express the amazing joy in being awakened to His life and love coming out out of a deathly stupor. Comparing it to emerging from a deep dark cave into the mid-day sun doesn’t begin to describe it. CS Lewis called “Surprised By Joy.” It is definitely all that.
But there are consequences for those who reject Him. Utmost consequences that are too terrible to think about. The Old Testament is replete with these warnings from beginning to end. Do not forsake Him or you will be wiped off the face of the earth. You will be blotted out. Your name will not appear in the Book of Life. Even for the believer the consequences are significant. Would you rather you had a joyous life, or be bereft of all that really satisfies? From whom else can you find meaning and purpose? “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127:1) If you don’t make Him first in your life the things you substitute will surely not last, and will vex you until you wake up to His quiet voice calling you back.
Too bad Solomon didn’t really take to heart David’s prayer for him. Oh, he did for the first part of his life, but after collecting so many wives, becoming so rich and famous, he grew fat and indeed ended up abandoning his God and building idols for his wives and ignoring the wisdom God gave him that made him famous in the first place.
That is my object lesson. If it can happen to Solomon, the wisest man in the world, what chance do I have? In truth I’ve got an even more excellent chance because I have something Solomon didn’t have. The indwelling Holy Spirit. Solomon had to maintain faithfulness by his own strength. I have the power of God. I just have to use it. His gift is worth it.
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]