Hall of Faith – Solomon
King David, a mighty warrior, conquered Israel’s enemies, ushering in an era of peace and prosperity. David’s son, Solomon, became king upon David’s death. The story that we are most familiar with in Solomon’s life is that of his asking for wisdom from God. At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.”… It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. (1 Kings 3:5,10) Not only did God grant Solomon’s request for wisdom, but also gave him power, riches, fame, and prosperity. Solomon had all that a man could ask for in this life. He was charged with building a magnificent temple for God. He had fame among the nations (I Kings. 4:31). He possessed expertise in many fields (I Kings. 4:32-34). He wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. He was the richest and wisest king (I Kings. 10:23). He had great military strength (I Kings. 10:26).
But Solomon also made bad decisions and poor choices. Against God’s clear command, Solomon married foreign wives, who led him away from singular worship of God.
Something To Talk About:
Your heart determines the direction and destination of your life and is often the source of bad decisions and poor choices. Here are three points to consider in guarding your heart.
1. Settle the fact that your heart can’t always be trusted: Because your heart is the source of everything you do. King Solomon says it is the “wellspring of life.” In other words, it is the source of everything else in your life. Your heart overflows into thoughts, words, and actions.
If your heart is unhealthy, it has an impact on everything else. It threatens your family, your friends, your ministry, your career, and, indeed, your legacy. Since the heart is so important to what we think, say, and do, we each need to regularly do open heart surgery using God’s word. We guard the heart by knowing the truth of God’s word. ”Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
2. Stop loving happiness more than you love the truth: The heart needs guarding because the heart is not just deceitful, it is more deceitful than all else (Jeremiah 17:9). We can’t trust it because of its natural selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-protective ways and devices.But to experience God’s way we must first stop seeking our happiness and instead seek after the truth. God’s word is truth. John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” To do this we must enjoy spending time in the word. Psalm 1:2 says, “but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
3. Start looking for the real reason you want to do things: Or stop deceiving yourself by rationalizing why you do what you do. While the Bible gives you the rules of engagement in life, the prospect of living life entirely by biblical standards is viewed as impractical and unnecessary, by some people. So we start to hedge, to rationalize, to cut corners on what the Bible tells us to do. We may do this to the point that it blurs the line between what we should be doing and what we think we should be doing. In time however, we slowly see those rationalizations stripped away and we are left with the stark reality of why we do the things we do. In guarding the heart, preventive maintenance goes a long way. It would be far easier to come to grips with the real reasons now, before the damage is done.
- What practically does it mean to “guard your heart?” Is it bad advice to “follow your heart?”
- What choices will you make this week in order to guard your heart? What is your best advice to others to help them guard their heart?
- Ask yourself these questions this week: Why am I doing this really? If someone in my circumstances came to me for advice, what course of action would I recommend? What is the wisest thing to do given my past history, my present circumstances and my future dreams?
- Read Romans 12:2. In which areas of your life are you able to control your feelings and thoughts? What are some areas where your feelings and thoughts are prone to control you?
- Pray and ask God to help you guard your heart.
Take One Thing Home with You
The bottom line for this week’s message was “Your heart determines the direction and destination of your life.” Even with the best intentions, the heart is the source of our daily decisions that determine our daily path.
Who doesn’t use a GPS? Of course, a GPS device is totally useless if it’s showing you one thing but you trust what you feel and do the opposite. That usually causes the GPS to say “recalculating…” and after a few seconds a voice tells you how to get back on track. Some of us disagree with the “voice” even though she doesn’t really know the circumstances that have caused us to go in the other direction. Then we find ourselves lost or in undesirable situations and wonder, “how did I get here?” Then we look over at our spouse who is rolling his or her eyes and say, “‘Well it is pretty obvious how you got here. This is the path you chose. You didn’t listen to the GPS.” Whatever the reasons, we often find there is a disconnect between where we intend to be and the path we choose. And the path that we choose in life is guided by the heart.
If we want a deeper relationship with God, we must set a direction, where we find and develop a deeper intimacy with God. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) The Bible contains instructions regarding the direction we should take. For example, Proverbs 4: 27 tells us “Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” In other words, don’t get sidetracke – keep your feet from following evil. God’s design and desire for us is to be in an all-consuming love relationship with Him. He created us to be in this relationship with Him, because He is the only One who can fulfill our heart’s desires and longings.