This article looks at the desires of our life, the most important thing in life, and wisdom.

Source: Clarion, 1998. 3 pages.

What Do You Desire Most in Life?

If I were to ask you to name the one thing you desire most in life, what would you answer. Perhaps some of you would say, "The one thing I desire most in life is to be very attractive or handsome. I like to be a girl who has good looks, one who is very attractive to boys. Or I like to be a handsome boy with a muscular body who has absolutely no trouble being attractive to girls." Perhaps others would say, "The one thing I desire most in life is to have lots of money. Money is power. Money is affluence. Money enables you to do what you want when you want. And if there is one thing in life that I desire then it is just that: power, affluence, just being able to do what you want when you want to do it." Perhaps some would say, "The one thing I desire most in life is a healthy body. I'm tired of not being able to sleep at night. I'm tired of being tired all the time. I'm tired of having to take all sorts of pills. All I really want out of life is a healthy body that will make life so much more enjoyable for me." Perhaps others would say, "The one thing I desire most in life is to have another spouse. When I married, I was in love with my spouse. But over the years, all sorts of differences have emerged. We just are not as compatible as I thought we would be. I just really wish I could have another spouse. My, what a difference that would be to my sense of wellbeing and enjoyment!"

An Old Questionβ€’πŸ”—

This question I just asked you is not a new question. Actually, it is a very old one. One that has been asked many times before β€” even by God. One day, when a new king, King Solomon, went to offer some sacrifices, God appeared to him in a dream. "Solomon," He said, "ask for whatever you want me to give you" (1 Kings 3:5). What do you think the king answered? Do you think he asked for a long life and good health? Do you think he asked for lots of money and another wife? No, he did not. Instead of asking for all these things and more, he simply asked for wisdom. Wisdom in being able to be that king his God wanted him to be.

You see, Solomon knew there was a divine order in this world. When he looked at the movement of the planets, the variation of the seasons, the balance in the world of nature and many more things, he saw this divine order in God's beautiful world. And when he looked at human behaviour, he saw this divine order as well. Things had to be done in a certain way in order for them to really succeed. That's just the way God made this world. When He created it, He put his stamp of wisdom on everything. And so, anyone who wanted to live the right way and experience the blessings of life would do well to be in tune with this divine wisdom. To learn to do things God's way and not his own.

By the grace of God, Solomon received this wisdom. And by the grace of God, Solomon also passed on this wisdom to others in a number of different books of the Bible that God had him write. In these books as wells as the other books of the Bible, you will also find what God thinks of those things we mentioned at the beginning of this article. Things which are not bad in and of them self, but which can become bad if we make them the thing around which our whole life circles. Let me elaborate on this.

Wisdom and Physical Attractivenessβ†β€’πŸ”—

Wanting to be physically attractive is a very understandable desire. After all, you and I were not created to be ugly, but beautiful and handsome. Yet, ever since the fall into sin (Genesis 3), this handsomeness and attractiveness has been lost. Ever since that time, no one possesses the physical beauty and attractiveness that was once possessed. Some are closer to this original beauty than others; yet no one possesses this in perfection. In one way or another, we are all blemished and tarnished. In one way or another, we will all begin to decline and deteriorate. In one way or another, all of our physical beauty and attractiveness will wither and fade. Therefore, to make the main goal and purpose of your life to be physically attractive is just not wise. Actually, it is downright foolish.

Wise, on the other hand, is to seek your beauty and attractiveness in an inner beauty and attractiveness. In the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God's sight (1 Peter 3:4). Or in adorning yourself with wisdom which is like a necklace around your neck (Proverbs 3:21 and 22). According to Solomon, to have outer beauty without this inner beauty, to have outer attractiveness without the inner attractiveness of wisdom is like a gold ring in a pig's snout. For in one of his books of wisdom, he says, "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion (= no wisdom)" (Proverbs 11:22). Just imagine that! A gold ring in a pig's snout. Why just the thought is already disgusting and distasteful. Well, that is how disgusting and distasteful, so out of tune with God's wise design for life, a beautiful woman is who has no discretion, no wisdom. And lest you think the Bible is sexist, the same is, of course, also true for a physically attractive man. Without wisdom such a man is also just as disgusting and distasteful as a gold ring in a pig's snout.

Wisdom, Wealth and Healthβ†β€’πŸ”—

Desiring to be rich is also an understandable desire. For money is, indeed, power. Money is, indeed, affluence. Money can, indeed, enable you to do what you want when you want. And yet, desiring to be rich is not wise. On the contrary. it is downright foolish. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. By it many have fallen into temptation and many foolish and harmful desires that plunged them into destruction. Many people who were eager to get rich have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grief's (see 1 Timothy 6:9, 10).

Moreover, Solomon clearly asks. "Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom (Proverbs 17:16)?" You see, fools do not really know how to use their money. Some spend it wastefully on all sorts of things. Others, lustfully indulge in themselves. Still others. store most of it away letting it collect only interest. While all along there is so much good that could be done with it! But since fools do not desire to get wisdom, they do not know how to use their money. They use it mainly in a foolish way, one that contradicts God's wise and judicious order for life. For according to this wise order, money is meant to do good unto others. To enable one to be generous and willing to share and be rich in good deeds. In this way, all wise stewards of their money are laying up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life (see 1 Timothy 6:17-19).

What is true for wealth is also true for health. Wanting to be healthy is also a very understandable desire. For we were not made to be weak and unhealthy, but strong and robust. It can, indeed, be so discouraging to always be tired. It can, indeed, be so depressing to always have to take pills. It can, indeed, be so tiring to never really have a good night's sleep. To yearn for a constitution that is healthy and strong and to make that the main concern of your life.

And yet, making our health our main concern is not a very wise thing to do. For without wisdom, health is just as useless as money in the hand of a fool. How many people with healthy bodies do not completely waste their lives? How many people with strong bodies do not primarily indulge in themselves? How many people with sound and wholesome bodies do not completely miss God's purpose for their lives? On the other hand. how many weak and sick people do not reach this purpose for their lives? For they have made righteous living, wise and judicious living, being in tune with God's wise order for life their number one concern. And so, whether they are healthy or sick, they do their best to develop their God-given skill in the art of wise and godly living. They rejoice in doing God's things on God's time. And they are a blessing not only for themselves, but for many others they touch with their happy and joyful lives.

Wisdom and Another Spouseβ†β€’πŸ”—

What we have said about good looks, wealth and health is also true for desiring another spouse. Solomon clearly tells us that he who finds a wife, finds a good thing (Proverbs 18:22). And the same could be said about a husband. She who finds a husband finds a good thing. In his wise design, God has joined one husband together to one wife. And what God has joined together we should not separate. God does not want us to opt out. If there are not sound Biblical reasons for separation and divorce, He wants us to stay in. God does not want us to be consumers who only look at our marriages from the angle of what's in it for us. But He wants us to be ministers, husbands and wives who serve, who look at their marriages from the angle of what's in it for the other. And when difficulties come our way, then God wants us to see them as opportunities for growth. Growth in holiness. Growth in wisdom. Growth in tuning in to doing things God's way and not our own.

Where do you Find this Wisdom?β†β€’πŸ”—

This wisdom is not very hard to find. According to Proverbs 8, she calls out and raises her voice. She's taken her stand at the busiest places in the city, where the traffic is thickest. "You," she says, "I'm talking to all of you. You who are simple, learn good sense. You who are foolish, shape up. Don't miss a word of this β€” I'm telling you how to live. I'm telling you how to be in tune with God's wisdom. Prefer my skill in the art of wise living to chasing after money. Prefer my God-knowledge over a lucrative career. For wisdom is better than all the trappings of wealth. Nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her" (see Proverbs 8:1-11). This is wisdom calling out from the structures of this creation and from the facts of our daily experience and urging us to embrace her, to submit to her and do things her way and not our own.

Should we, however, be deaf to the voice of God's wisdom as that comes to us from the structures of this creation and facts of our daily experience, then we can also hear the voice of wisdom calling to us from the Bible. It is in the Bible, that we hear the Lord Jesus Christ β€” the Wisdom of God in Person β€” calling to us,

Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.Β Matthew 11:28-30

Life can be so awfully tiring. Often that is our own fault. We neglect to be in tune with God's wisdom for life and do things our way instead of God's. Our goals and desires are out of focus and we suffer because of it. If that is the case in your life, then I urge you to go to the Lord Jesus Christ. To take His yoke upon you and learn from Him. His wisdom is truly light and pleasing. His wisdom is refreshing and invigorating. His wisdom blesses your life and enables you to live your life the way it was meant to live.

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