God is a good God who gives good gifts. But let us not fall for the temptation to want those gifts more than we want the Giver.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Matthew 5:6, ESV
Have you ever wanted something so desperately you were willing to pay any price?
In 10th century BC, the Queen of Sheba caught wind of a very wise king. She had heard rumors about Solomon, and the God he received his wisdom from. Seeking truth, she traveled approximately 1,600 miles to Solomon’s kingdom in Jerusalem, though she had no invitation. Her entrance to the city was flashy, maybe like Aladdin’s when he went to Agrabah as Prince Ali.
Solomon received her and answered all of her questions. Once she realized Solomon’s God had indeed blessed him with profound wisdom, she picked his brain on how to better govern her own country. She brought a staggering amount of wealth to trade for the wisdom she hoped to discover. Upon her departure, she gave Solomon a ton of spices, precious stones, and approximately 192 million dollars in gold.
For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
Proverbs 8:11, NLT
The queen did not appear to need anything. She had great wealth and a kingdom of her own. Leaving the safety of her home to travel so far posed incredible risk. She could have sent envoys, but she wanted to see and hear for herself. Authentic truth was out there and she wanted it.
I can see myself in her. My kingdom is much smaller, my wealth pales in comparison; but I have everything I need and a lot of what I want. Still, I long for more. Some days I dream about packing up and heading to some place quiet and secluded. Not for the sake of escape; though I’ve been there before. No, simply for the purpose of seeking wisdom without the daily distractions.
The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.
John Piper, A Hunger for God
Matthew 12:42 tells us the Queen of Sheba traveled from the far ends of the earth to acquire the wisdom of Solomon, but we have something greater than Solomon. We have Jesus. A wise person can’t give you their wisdom. But by seeking Jesus, we can attain it.
In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Colossians 2:3, ESV
I’m compiling a list of all the good things that act as stunt men for God in my life. They aren’t inherently evil. Seeing them written out, they’re pretty vanilla. Achieving genuine transformation is not just acknowledging where the infraction is. Asking forgiveness is another important step; but the key to lasting change is to replace the love for the thing with a greater love for God. James 1:7 says every good gift is from God. How quickly we exchange our love for the Creator to love for His gifts!
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:7, NLT
What good gifts in your life are stealing your affections for God?
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