Last week, in God of Abundance, part 1, we saw that God is indeed a
God of abundance, giving to His creation way over and above what they
request. We also saw that the way to access this abundance of God is to
ask. But wait. I have been asking God for my healing, for my finances,
for my relationships, and I'm not getting any response. Why am I not
experiencing this abundance? Is it only for some people and not for
Solomon received this promise from God when he was in Gibeon sacrificing to the Lord. (See 1 Kings 3:4-14). When he awoke from his dream, however, Solomon did not immediately have those riches. In fact, if he had even the wisdom, he likely wouldn't have immediately noticed, for the Bible records that he "...woke up and realized it was a dream." (1 Kings 3:15a)
I don't know about you, when I have a dream, I generally just push it aside; but this was not Solomon's reaction. 1 Kings records: "He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord's covenant, offered up burnt sacrifices, presented peace offerings, and held a feast for all his servants." (1 Kings 3:15b)
Thus, Solomon went immediately to offer up burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord, and then he held a feast, even though he didn't feel any different and his bank account hadn't changed!
Why would he do that?
Because He knew the God who gave him the dream! He knew that this God always keeps His promises!
But wait. How do we know that Solomon knew God kept His promises?
In Solomon's own words a few chapters later: "The LORD is worthy of praise because he has made Israel his people secure just as he promised! Not one of all the faithful promises he made through his servant Moses is left unfulfilled!" (1Kgs 8:56, NET)
Solomon looked back in history. He saw that all the promises God had made to Moses were fulfilled, and this gave him faith to not just know God would fulfill this promise to him, but to be sure of it. So sure, in fact, that he did two things:
1. He privately thanked God by offering burnt offerings and peace offerings; and
2. He publically showed his faith in God by throwing a feast for his servants!
What do we do in the face of God's promises?
I don't know about you, but I usually don't spent much time praising Him until I begin to see that promise realized. Is this truly walking by faith? Not at all. It is walking by sight. Yet we are told to live not by sight, but by faith: "for we live by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor 5:7, NET) That's what Solomon did. He had faith in the God who had always kept His promises, and without waiting for the promises to be realized, he offered sacrifices and threw a party.
Jesus' brother offers us some excellent advice...Advice that I might add was followed by King Solomon hundreds of years before it was even written: "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him?...So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works." (Jas 2:14-18, NET)
"I will show you faith by my works..." That's exactly what Solomon did, isn't it?
And that's exactly what we must do when we've received a promise from God, yet we haven't yet seen its manifestation: We must follow Solomon's example. We must give God praise, and then throw a celebration.
Let's remember that God is a God of abundance, and He is not slack about His promises. When He promises us healing, He heals. When He promises to provide for our needs, He provides. When He promises to re-establish broken relationships, he re-establishes them. In His time, yes, but our job is to live by faith, not by sight, and our works should respond accordingly.
How do we apply this to our lives? By giving God a sacrifice of praise, even if we haven't yet been healed! By throwing a celebration, even if our homes haven't yet been brought back together! For in so doing, we are living by faith, not by sight.
Please join us next week for God of Abundance, Part 3: A real-life example of God's abundance when we live like Solomon did: Living by faith, not by sight!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire "God of Abundance" mini-series, please click here.)