By Brother Brian Shimer

Thank you to Brother Gary for launching us into this area of discernment and decision-making last week! Considering what he shared, my thoughts went to King Solomon’s first, great decision.  

True, later in his life he made some “not so great or even really BAD” decisions, when by choice, he corrupted his ability to hear God. But, he began well. This God-given wisdom came through prayer when Solomon was worshiping God. Here’s part of what Solomon prayed:

Here’s what I want: Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading your glorious people?” (1 Kings 3:9, MSG).

That was it. He asked for a God-listening heart. I love how Eugene Peterson captured that translation there. Is that something you want? A God-listening heart? A heart which not only pauses and listens for God to speak, but also, obeys what God says? 

God was impressed by Solomon’s request. Solomon had not asked for wealth or victory over enemies or a long life but for wisdom. God said,

I’ll give you what you’ve asked for —I’m giving you a wise and mature heart. There’s never been one like you before; and there’ll be no one after.” And God tossed in wealth and glory as well!

Notice, in that instant, Solomon had what he had asked for. “There’s never been one like you before.” 

Solomon gets back to Jerusalem and this discerning heart is put to the test in 1 Kings 3:16-28 with the story of the two prostitutes, the baby, and the sword. Remember that story? As a result of his decision, Solomon’s fame spreads all over Israel. Check it out!

So, how might we grow in our ability to listen? Try something simple: Like Solomon, ask God! You can even use Solomon’s words above asking for a “God-listening heart”.

And try this: Write out all the things cluttering your mind right now. It might take a few pages! And then pray, “Lord, what would you like to speak to me?” Or ask, “Lord, what would you like me to learn about you?” And write down what you hear, sense, experience bubbling up within you. This is a start. Begin, friend. Listen and follow the One who knows you so well.