Fasting Devotional – Day Eight
Text: I Kings 3:1-14
Written by: Cindy Dickerson
I learned from a past mentor to personalize scripture by inserting my name in place of pronouns or persons addressed in the passage, and I especially like to practice this with Ephesians 1:3-14. I have never applied this tool to 1 Kings 3:3 “Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.” If I did personalize this passage, it would read something like “Cindy showed her love for the Lord by loving others except that, she could have a hardened heart.” I notice it usually starts with busyness, my eyes move from Christ and get fixed on my agenda. My heart gets hurried, and I start treating life and those I love like one big to-do list, focusing on what I want to accomplish and losing heart for God’s kingdom. What a gift it is to have the opportunity to get right with God and those I love in the midst of my “except that.”
Throughout the passages in 1 Kings 3:1-15, a glimpse of God’s infinite grace is displayed in how He loves Solomon through his “except that.” When God said to Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you (vs 5).” Solomon’s response is pleasing to God (10). He does not request commodities to build his own kingdom (11), Solomon desire’s God’s will for God’s kingdom. Through Solomon’s response to God, I see some actions to follow that can help me get rid of my “except thats” and guide my heart back to God, such as below:
Solomon honors God immediately, acknowledging God’s kindness and acknowledging his God given calling as King. He takes no personal credit for this prestigious role (6).
Next, Solomon humbles himself and confesses his weakness (7).
Then, he asks God for help with the purest intentions—so that he may serve God’s people best (8-9).
Ultimately, Solomon makes a change, his next sacrifice is not in the high places (15).
What is your “except that”? Unconfessed “except thats” moves us away from God and others. Take action with what we learn from Solomon:
Honor God and acknowledge His calling for you—if you feel you don’t know your calling, we’re all called to love (see Mark 12:29-31).
Confess shortcomings, weaknesses, sin, pride… If you don’t know, ask someone close to you and ask God to show you.
Make a change and choose your next God honoring action.
Prayer Father, show me my “except that” so I can be aware of what could be holding me back from loving you and loving others with my whole heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen!