Do you ever have one of those moments that just stops you in your tracks? The kind that makes you realize that you do not know as much as you thought you did. The kind that makes you feel like you really need some more lessons in a certain subject to help you grow.
I had one of these moments early last week, and I am still wrestling with it, but I can already feel that there will be good things to come out of this. In my personal Bible reading I am working through 1 Kings. I was going through the part about King Solomon building his temple.
I was struggling through the details of windows & doorways, inner rooms & outer rooms, with everything measured in cubits. Measuring distance in feet and inches, has never been a strong talent of mine. The conversion to cubits and picturing in my minds eye what this palace looked like, is fairly difficult for me.
Then I got to the section on the Temple’s furnishings. I read this “King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, whose mother was from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze. Huram was filled with wisdom, understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.” 1 Kings 7:13-14
That stopped me dead in my tracks. I got hung up on, “Huram was filled with wisdom, understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work.” Wisdom, understanding and knowledge I have asked for so frequently in my prayers. But it was the connection to “do all kinds of bronze work”, that left me in awe.
It was like God sat me down for a one on one conference and said, “Julie, I hear your prayers so often for wisdom, understanding and knowledge. What are you really asking for? What kind of wisdom, understanding and knowledge do you want? Specifically, tell me what you are looking for?”
My response was that I could feel my jaw physically dropping to hang open, my eyes widening like a deer frozen in headlights and my brain just went flat line like a heart monitor with no beat to measure. Well, my response was, “I don’t really know.”
So I have been thinking about it, pondering it, meditating on it and holding it in my heart.
I guess in some ways I figured that I was supposed to ask for wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Those are all good things, right?
Without even really thinking about it, I just figured that asking for those things in a blanket statement would make me smarter, wiser, and would make it easier to face whatever life threw at me, in any circumstance, and would give me better outcomes, while helping me to make fewer mistakes. Maybe it would even make me jump higher and run faster.
I never put a visual to what I was asking for.
When it comes down to it, I think my prayers for wisdom, understanding and knowledge were probably a really good guise for asking God for an easy button.
While I am working through the book of 1 Kings, I am also reading an Oswald Chambers book called Prayer: A Holy Occupation. It is filled with many reflective questions and is really helping me to cut through layers and expose what is really there in my heart.
I just keep hearing that question, what am I asking for?
What kind of wisdom, knowledge and understanding do I desire? What would it look like? What would I do with it? Who could benefit from it? Would it equip me to meet a need? Would it change the way I serve?
Those are not easy questions to answer, but as I think through them an amazing by-product of it all is that I am really reviewing all of the questions that I ask and how I ask them.
I guess the bottom line is to just keep asking. Keep processing. Keep revising. It is so amazing how in our learning and our growth the Holy Spirit just keeps counseling, even if we get distracted and are not studious or diligent in our lessons. We can pick up where we left off, persevere and press on.
So, while I may be working on refining my appeals for wisdom, knowledge and understanding, you may be working on something completely different. Keep going. Go to the One who is perfect and He will help you make progress.
Help me to ask the right questions, not just so I can arrive at a destination quicker and more easily, but that I may walk in the full abundance of all that You have for me, that I may not miss what lies right before me.
Lord, please give me wisdom, knowledge and understanding when it comes to encouragement. May I have the wisdom to know when to speak and when to be still. Give me knowledge of the ways that I can build people up. Please bless me with understanding and awareness of the people that are around me, giving me glimpses of the way that You see them through divine eyes, not through the brokenness of my human (and very near sighted) eyes.
Lord, please give me wisdom, knowledge and understanding in my prayers. May I be diligent and purposeful in my prayer times so that our relationship may grow and that I may show You my commitment. May the words of my lips and of my heart be an offering of sweet intercession for others. Please make me wise in who, how, when, where, what and why I am praying.
Lord, please give me wisdom, knowledge and understanding when it comes to my passions and my heart. Help me to not be overly enthusiastic, overly eager and overly zealous in where I focus that fire. Help me to use it safely to warm the hearts of others and not to burn people.
Lord, thank You so much for my dear and sweet readers. Thank You for how they stick with me and journey through this crazy life. Lord, please bless them with an abundant heaping wisdom, knowledge and understanding in whatever purpose You have called them to – be it finance or farming, mothering or motoring, leading or following, teaching or learning, building or breaking down, cooking or cleaning, whatever it is.
Thank You, Lord, for the on going gift of revelation. You are truly amazing!
In the wise and holy name of Jesus, Amen.