want, seek, find, gifts

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?

God is a good God who gives good gifts. But let us not fall for the temptaion to want those gifts more than we want the giver.

Want

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.

Seek

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

Find

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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God is a good God who gives good gifts. But let us not fall for the temptaion to want those gifts more than we want the giver.

About the author
Emily Jones
I am a recovering princess and co-founder of Jonestown which is made up of my steadfast husband, Sean, and our 3 children who have all reached double digits. Embracing the value of change is a constant theme in my life. As a teen I swore I would never marry a man who was in the ministry or military. God has a beautiful sense of humor as I have been married to an Army man for 19 years, and I myself am pursuing a master's degree in biblical counseling.

Comments (14)

  1. Great food for thought. I can see in my life how God’s gifts can become the focus. He has given me much to be thankful for. Recently we were blessed with a new house and for the first time in my life I actually love my house!! I have found myself reminding myself that it is just a house, a gift and while I really love it…it is not God, nor my family. It is a house and I need to keep that perspective and be thankful for the blessing while loving the Blesser more.

    1. I love the Amplified Bible’s version of James 1:17: Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes].

      Every single good thing given to us is from our perfect, unchanging Father!

  2. “…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.” Wow, is that ever true!

  3. I have been continually praying over this area specifically for the last couple weeks. Asking God to transform and purify my heart. That my desires are for Him and to glorify Him and not for my own gain.

  4. What a great post. I think we often seek God’s hand (what’s inside it for us) and not His heart. This is a terrific reminder. Now, that I’m older, I have stuff and it means little compared to the peace, grace and love I get from the Lord. So anyone seeking out that “stuff”, it doesn’t satisfy like He does.

    1. Amen, Teri! I like what you said about looking inside God’s hand – like kids digging deeper inside the present they opened for more stuff after they’ve pulled out a ton of goodies. Stuff truly does not fully satisfy. Only Jesus.

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