October 10, 2011

Knowledge of the Holy is the Only True Prosperity Gospel

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

One day, God approached a young man with a proposition, much as one would imagine a genie-in-a-bottle’s offer might come across, and asked “What can I grant you?”

Solomon said, “God, I want an understanding heart.”

God replied, “What is that you say Solomon? You want KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY? Consider it done.”

I took some liberties with this recount of their discussion as told in I Kings chapter 3 by interpreting what Solomon said into what God likely heard based on the definition of “understanding” as stated in Proverbs 9:10.

Solomon asked for an understanding heart. Isn’t that interesting? Most of us would assume that understanding is rooted in the mind, but Solomon didn’t see it that way. Leading a great people like the nation of Israel was going to take more than information he could learn from a book. Head knowledge wasn’t going to cut it; he needed heart knowledge. He needed supernatural depth of discernment, to perceive the unseen and to sense the unspoken. He may not have called it, “knowledge of the holy”, but that is how God defines understanding.

God was so pleased with Solomon’s choice that He replied, “You could have asked for (1) riches, (2) a long life, or (3) the destruction of your enemies, but you did not.

Therefore, (1) I will give you your heart’s desire; an understanding heart according to your request, (2) I will give it to you in abundance greater than I have ever given it to anyone before you or will give to anyone after you for all of human existence, (3) I will give you the greatest riches of any king during your lifetime, (4) I will give you the greatest honor of any king during your lifetime.” By these actions, God revealed that a heart which is hungry for knowledge of the holy is a heart primed to receive abundant blessings.

God kept His promises as Solomon received the following:

Wisdom and an understanding heart (I Kings 3:12, I Kings 10:23-24)
Riches (I Kings 3:12, I Kings 10:23)
Honor (I Kings 3:12)
Kingdoms (I Kings 4:21)
Authority (I Kings 4:21)
Power (I Kings 4:21)
Gifts (I Kings 4:21)
Servants (I Kings 4:21)
Livestock (I Kings 4:23, 26)
Food (I Kings 4:22, 27)
Dominion (I Kings 4:24)
A Peaceful Reign (I Kings 4:24)
Fame (I Kings 4:31)
An Audience (I Kings 4:34, I Kings 10:24)
Plus many other treasures

Solomon’s life story is an example of the Matthew 6:33 promise, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” The key word here is FIRST. Solomon’s foremost desire among the treasure chest of options offered him was an understanding heart. Wisdom was the number one priority on Solomon’s wish list. Because his appetite for knowledge of the holy was pure, God was pleased to meet his request . . . and then bless him with more.

Solomon made his request for wisdom unsolicited, but the New Testament encourages us to make the same request ourselves.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5

That, my friends, is a promise. Ask for wisdom and it will be given to you.

We are to ask God for the very thing which He is pleased to give, that our hearts may be more conformed into a nature which makes us suited for additional blessing. What a phenomenal deal! And God doesn’t dole out small portions of wisdom either. He gives generously and never reprimands a hunger for more.

This direct path to prosperity is contingent on deep sincerity. The kingdom of God and His righteousness must be our number one, indivisible desire. Our priority must be so focused that when the genie-in-the-bottle proposition is laid before us, our trigger response must be, “Lord, give me Wisdom! Give me knowledge of the Holy! Fill me with your righteousness!” If your response is anything else, do you honestly believe that God will extend the offer at all?

Solomon’s request was made and granted, and then God delivered the first dose of wisdom to Solomon in the form of a command. “And IF you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” (I Kings 3:14)

Did you notice that big, bold “IF”?

Unlike the other gifts, this one came with conditions. To paraphrase, God announced, “My decrees and commands are holy. Keeping them is wise. There is an expiration date on the extravagant life I have promised you. Without obedience to my commands, I do not promise that these gifts, or your life, will last until tomorrow.”

It is God’s prerogative to set conditions as He deems appropriate. And it is wise to heed those conditions that you may experience a safe, blessed, long, prosperous life. In the hotbed of disobedience, you will discover that the best stuff on earth has a shorter shelf life than a cup of coffee.

We are dependent on knowledge of the holy to stay the course; therefore, request wisdom, receive it graciously and then you will be made ready for more blessing. There is a bottomless reservoir of wisdom available and a generous God eager to distribute it. Claim your share.

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