He Wants It All
Posted on 07/24/2011 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)
*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***
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LOVE TO BE IN YOUR PRESENCE
I love to be in your presence
with your people singing praises
I love to stand and rejoice
lift my hands and raise my voice
You set my feet to dancing
you fill my heart with song
You give me reason to rejoice,
SING A NEW SONG
Sing unto the Lord a new song
Sing unto the Lord all the earth
Sing unto the Lord a new song
Sing unto the Lord all the earth
For God is great
and greatly to be praise
God is great
and greatly to be praised
Amazing love, how can it be?
That You, my King would die for me?
Amazing love, I know it's true.
It's my joy to honor You,
In all I do,
I honor You.
You are my King, Jesus
You are my King
If the Son has set you free,
you are free indeed!
*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***
Today, I'd like for us to read from 1st Kings chapter three. This chapter chronicles what we consider to be the beginning of Solomon's great wisdom.
1 Kings 3:5-28 (NKJV)
5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask! What shall I give you?"
6 And Solomon said: "You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
7 Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.
8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted.
9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"
10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
11 Then God said to him: "Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice,
12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.
14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days."
15 Then Solomon awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
Now, we usually consider this to be the time God gave Solomon his great wisdom; but we might wish to consider that Solomon had an unusual measure of wisdom even before he asked for it; otherwise, he may very well have requested power, riches, and honor.
And notice what God says in verse 12: "Behold, I have done according to your words; I have given you a wise and understanding heart." It was already done, and I believe that this encounter with God stirred up what God had already put within him.
Like we talked about last week, we always think in terms of time and space. We expect everything to happen in chronological order. Solomon asks for wisdom, and then, in chronological order, God gives it to him. But we forget that God is eternal. Have you ever considered that God has already put the answers in place to the prayers you will pray in the future?
And not only did God already place wisdom and understanding in Solomon's heart because Solomon was going to ask for it; but it could also be possible that Solomon was going to ask for wisdom because of the wisdom God had already given him. It was God's will, His plan, for Solomon to be a vessel and a symbol through the ages of God's great wisdom.
Remember that the next time you wonder why you are drawn to certain things such as singing, dancing, writing, drawing, showing compassion, preaching the truth in love, or even rescuing animals in need. God saw what you would do and who you would be before time began. Not only that, but God had a plan and a purpose for your life, and had written your every single day in his book, before you were even conceived.
And just as King Solomon asked for wisdom because God had put it within him to do so, so the things in your life have brought you to where you are right now for a reason; and if you surrender where you are and where you're going to God, then you have nothing to worry about, and you couldn't be in a better place than where you are right now.
Let's continue reading, starting with verse sixteen.
16 Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and stood before him.
17 And one woman said, "O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house.
18 Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; no one was with us in the house, except the two of us in the house.
19 And this woman's son died in the night, because she lay on him.
20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.
21 And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne."
22 Then the other woman said, "No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son."
And the first woman said, "No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son."
Thus they spoke before the king.
23 And the king said, "The one says, ‘This is my son, who lives, and your son is the dead one'; and the other says, ‘No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.'"
24 Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword before the king.
25 And the king said, "Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other."
26 Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, "O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!" But the other said, "Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him."
27 So the king answered and said, "Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother."
28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.
Both women were harlots, so their overall moral standing is, compared one to another, irrelivant. What I'd like for us to consider today is the underlying character behind their reactions to the king's verdict.
The living child's real mother was quite different on the inside from the woman who had stolen her son. The mother loved her child and was thinking of his good, while the other woman was jealous and was thinking only of herself. In fact, she was so dark inside that she seemed almost delighted that the king was going to cut the baby in half.
And not only did Solomon's verdict reveal what was really in each woman's heart, but it also helped to paint a very important contrast which I'd like for us to spend the new few minutes pondering.
On several occasions, I've heard from people who consider themselves satanists and who say that satan loves them more than God, since he gives them what they want and lets them do what they want to do. Then there's the average person who would insist they would never even consider being a satanist, but they unknowingly follow after whatever god gives them what they want, whether that god is money, sex, or even false religion. But there are really only two masters -- God and satan -- and if we're not serving one, we are serving the other; and let's consider, for just a moment, just how much the two women and these two masters have in common.
First of all, they both claimed the child was theirs. Did you know that satan has claimed your life? The first time we sin, we give ourselves to satan. We surrender our lives to his control. In John 8:34, Jesus says that whoever sins is a slave of sin. So from your very first sin, you gave yourself over to satan. And from that moment forward, he had a legal claim on your life.
If you have given your life to Jesus, then 1st Corinthians 6:20 applies to you: "you were bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." So when your sins are washed away by Jesus' blood, you are no longer satan's property. But that doesn't stop him from trying to claim you. He reminds you of what you've done, just as he tries to remind God. Just as the wicked woman did to Solomon, satan does to us: "the child is mine."
And you know what? Satan would wrather have you cut in two than to see you reconciled to God. He doesn't care if you have one foot in the church and one foot in the world. He doesn't care if you're religious or if you're good, as long as you compromise with him; for he knows that compromise will cut you in half, and it is just as deadly as Solomon's sword.
God, on the other hand, wants you either with Him, or with satan. If you are completely with Him, you are safe. If you are completely with satan, then you are eligable to receive redemption. If, on the other hand, you think you are with him but you are really with satan, then you are as good as dead, and no one can save you.
Do you see the similarities? The good mother would have given the child completely to the evil mother in order to save its life, while the evil mother would rather have the child cut in two than to see it with its mother. In the same way, God, being completely good, would rather you be completely in or completely out, since He knows that compromise will blind you and will lead you into deception, and eventually to hell; but satan, being selfish and eaten with with jealousy, would rather you be cut in half, compromising good with evil, truth with deception, than to see you whole with your Heavenly Father who loves you.
Just remember that the next time you're tempted to compromise with sin or with the world: it's satan and his tricks, it's his hatred for you and for God, his jealousy for the worship you are created to give God, and his desire to punish God by cutting you in half. He'd love for you to openly serve him; but he'll be just as happy seeing you cut in half.
So let's review the main points we've covered today:
1. Just like God gave Solomon wisdom before he asked for it, and he asked for it because God had ordained him to be wise, so God knows your requests before you ask Him, and He has given you your desires and natural abilities for a reason.
2. Just like the evil woman would rather have the baby cut in two than to see him with his real mother, so satan would rather you destroy yourself with compromise than to see you fulfilled with a life of total surrender to God; and just like the good woman would rather give her son to someone else than to see him killed, so God would rather turn you over to your chosen evil than to see you destroyed by the self-deception of compromise: He wants it all. He wants all of you. He doesn't want just a part. The divide between good and evil, light and dark, is so irreconcilable, that you cannot hold on to both without being destroyed. That is why God requires all of you; and if you put one foot in the world, He will let go.
That's why James 4:4 says this: "Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."
We want to have them both -- the world and God. But I want for us to consider something this morning: do you realize that everything your flesh desires destroys you? It cries out for things that lead us into addiction -- drugs, alcohol abuse, cigarettes, pornography -- and things that separate us from God and destroy our relationships and our life. And it is this same self-destructive flesh that cries out for compromise.
But God loves us too much to tolerate our destruction. That's why Jesus said that "no one can serve two masters." And just as Joshua challenged the people in Joshua 24:15, the Spirit challenges us today: "Choose this day whom you will serve!"
And as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Let's end today's service with a time of prayer and ministry, and let's dedicate ourselves completely to God, surrendering to Him those things we've held back before now.
And if the Lord is speaking to you today, or you just want to spend some time in His presence, you're invited to get out of your seats right now and make your way to the front.
Lord God, we thank you for loving us too much to allow us to be cut in half by our compromise. We thank you that you require all of us, or none of us. And we acknowledge that the enemy is hating us by allowing us to compromise and go our own way. Forgive us for giving in to his empty promises, those promises that if we just give in a little, our lives will be better. We know that everything you say to us is for our good, and we are only hurting ourselves when we don't obey or when we compromise with disobedience.
We ask that, as we gather at the altar and as we surrender our lives to you, you would meet with us, and touch us; and may none of us leave here the same.
Thank you for your great wisdom, and for guiding our steps, even when we were going our own way, so that we would come to the place we are right now, and in this place, we could fulfill your awesome purpose for our lives.
We ask that you touch each one of us now, Lord; and may we be drawn ever closer to You.
And it's in Jesus' name we pray.
Let's spend some time seeking after God. Whenever you need to go, you're dismissed; and if you can stay until after this time at the altar, I hope you'll join us in the Fellowship Room to your left for a bit of fellowship.
Come, and let's give our everything to our loving Heavenly Father; for He loves us, He knows us, He has made every part of you a breathtakingly beautiful masterpiece, and He Wants It All.