About that time David’s son Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, began boasting, “I will make myself king.” So he provided himself with chariots and charioteers and recruited fifty men to run in front of him. Now his father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time, even by asking, “Why are you doing that?” Adonijah had been born next after Absalom, and he was very handsome. – 1 Kings 1:5-6 NLT
What a commentary on our world today — prideful boasting, considering ourselves like kings, gathering people around us, being undisciplined, and valuing outward appearances. Also, what a comment on the things in my own life that led me into deep troubles.
Pride, cunning, manipulation, rebellion – these things look beautiful to the worldly, because they are ways by which they feel a false sense of personal power. They can find themselves drink on the wine of wickedness when living in these ways, and it is a dangerous trap.
Can’t we each remember a time when we’ve set our eyes on something that isn’t ours and claimed it as our own as if we had the right to have it just because we wanted it? Haven’t we each found those moments where we slipped out of “godliness with contentment” to suffer loss instead of gain in the end?
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. – 1 Timothy 6:6-8 NLT
In my old life, if I had money in my pocket, or credit available, and I saw something I wanted, I got it. I would tell myself that I had worked hard and deserved it. I might even foolishly tell myself that I would find a way to pay for it, that I should trust doors to open. And all of that was self centered, not God centered. It was acting as if I were the King, master, and Lord of my own life – sounds horribly similar to the pride that got someone cast down our of heaven.
But I’m learning a new way. It involves someone different sitting upon the throne of my life. It involves me submitting myself to His will and dying to self. It involves me being a generous giver, a mindful steward, a careful planner, a hard worker — but most importantly, a man in touch and drawing close to God.
When we got ready to build our house, I didn’t know whether we should build something small and minimalist just big enough for ourselves – or if we should build something big enough to provide ministry, Christian housing, housing for friends/family in need, etc from a dedicated portion of our home. I had read Habakkuk and didn’t want the beams and stones crying out to testify against me. I had read that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than ac rich man enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. I truly wanted to do the will of God. So instead of charging ahead on my own because “we can afford it”, I went into the woods on our farmland and I prayed about it. When I came out from praying, there was, a double rainbow over the place where the house was to be built, and it was made clear to me.
Yes, I surrendered it all to Him that day in prayer. If He had said no, that’s where we would go. Since He said yes, we are stepping into His will expecting His success. My point is that we can either be like Solomon who felt like a child unprepared to lead that has to rely on God’s wisdom and instruction – or we can be like Adonijah who thought that his manipulation would get him what he wanted.
God’s will is going to be done. Doesn’t it make sense to check ourselves, to examine our true motives and desires against the Word of God – to test all of our thoughts, feelings, and opinions against the truth of the Word of God if we believe? Even David and Solomon fell short in many ways, but they repented, they sought God’s will, they didn’t just listen, but they obeyed.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. – James 1:22 NLT