God knows your needs
When God asked Solomon what he desires, and God shall give him, Solomon asked for wisdom to govern his people and a discerning mind between good and evil. Later, we read about how his godly wisdom solved the mystery between two women and one child. God was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom instead of long life, riches, and the life of his enemies. If God also asks what you desire, what will be your response then?
I had often prayed for my parents’ long life because they have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour yet. I thought that a long runway would increase my parents’ possibility of accepting the good news and being saved. However, the Holy Spirit convicted me that it is not about how long the runway is, but rather the perfect timing of God. I had heard amazing testimonies about how my friends’ parents were miraculously touched by God and turned from worshipping idols to Jesus. I had personally acted on the Holy Spirit’s perfect timing to approach my friend in saying the sinner’s prayer, despite countless rejections from him. Yet after a long duration, he accepted Jesus as his Saviour when the Holy Spirit prompted me to ask him again. Unlike humans, God is not bounded by time and space. He is truly sovereign, and all things are under His control. Long life is good, but eternal life is better. God wants to give us the best, and for this purpose, He sent His Son to die on the cross so that those who believe in Him will have eternal life. There is nothing wrong with praying for long life, but why goes for the second-best, if God has given us the gift of eternal life.
While I was working in China, my friends had frequently told me that I had missed the opportunity to invest in China’s properties. Most of them had since accumulated quite a sizeable wealth when they returned to Singapore. Due to my bad investment experience, I have refrained from pursuing investment opportunities to increase my wealth. My only source of income is from my employment for the past years. God continues to assure me that I will lack nothing. He shows me that investment is not the only means to be financially stable. True enough, God surprises me in ways that I did not expect. Matthew 6:8 says, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Are you confident that God knows what you need before you ask him? Do you live your life trusting that Jesus is your shepherd and you shall lack nothing?
Lastly, concerning our enemies, the apostle Paul says in Romans 12:9, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” We may not be as ferocious as to ask for the life of someone we dislike, but seemingly not harmful actions like talking behind the back of someone is a kind of revenge. Can we refrain from it and channel our grievances to Jesus in prayer, who will guard our hearts and mind against aggravating it further. The amazing thing about prayer is that it stops the bugs at Jesus and soften our heart so that we can forgive those who hurt us.
As we mature in Christ, our prayer for personal needs gradually moves to others’ needs. Not that our own needs are not important, but like little children, they are never worried about their next meal or shelter. Their childlike faith informs them that their parents will take care of it. What more when our provider is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Jesus is the Jehovah Jireh. The Hebrew word Jireh means “The Lord will provide.” It is not a coincidence that our sanctuary in Bestway is named after this Hebrew word. As people on the move after every few years, it testifies to the faithfulness of our Lord in providing a place for us to worship Him. He is indeed the Jehovah Jireh.
If God will to asks me what I desire, I will ask for the peace of God. Nothing beats the peace that Jesus gives, especially when troubles and suffering are part of our lives. Without it, I will be crippled by the despair and anxieties that follow us. Without it, I lose hope and fear for the future. It had happened to me, and for this reason, I desire peace and trust that God will provide what I need. As one of my friends said, “Don’t pray for a storm-free life. Pray for storm-proof life.” A storm-proof life is one that, despite the presence of storms in our life, we continue to experience the peace of God.
If God asks you the same question today, do you know what you need?