Have you ever read the book of Ecclesiastes? It is a book by Solomon, son of King David, King of Israel, the wisest man who ever lived. In his lifetime Solomon composed 3,000 proverbs and over 1,000 songs. In the Bible, Solomon wrote the Song of Songs, much of the Book of Proverbs and the book of Ecclesiastes.
In 1 Kings 3:5, He said to Solomon, “ask me for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon humbly asked for a wise and discerning heart because he knew he was just a child and did not know how to govern the people. God loved that and so God granted that request and, in addition, God gave Solomon all he could ever want or desire:
- He was king
- He had wisdom and knowledge
- He had honor
- He had great wealth
- He had the honor of building the Holy Temple
- He had peace with his neighbors
- Israel was at peace and had prosperity.
(Oh yes he had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. These were not from God but that is another discussion for another time.)
Sounds great and yet, in Ecclesiastes, Solomon shows his dissatisfaction with his blessings. He talks about how all of these things are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Even his God-given wisdom and knowledge did not satisfy him.
Is it possible that blessings with no real purpose are ultimately dissatisfying?
Isn’t it funny that someone who has absolutely everything he could ever want or need including riches and honor and wisdom could have something to complain about? Is it possible that blessings with no real purpose are ultimately dissatisfying? Even “happiness” is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
At the same time, I was reading Philippians and noted the life of Paul:
- He began as a terrorist, persecuting the church
- He was knocked off his feet by Jesus and become ardently in love with Him
- He planted churches and discipled new Christians
- He was hounded by the Jews
- He was beaten and left for dead
- He was imprisoned
- His motto was, “For to me, to live is Christ but to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
In contrast to Solomon, Paul was full of joy and he was in prison! He was exuberant about the churches he planted and the believers in them. He prayed fervently for them. He was an encourager. He was deeply invested in them. He was thrilled to be doing God’s work.
In comparison, my life is so much more like Solomon’s than Paul’s. But, I want what Paul had and I have come to a conclusion:
Our deep satisfaction comes from a relationship with God and engaging in His work. His work is people work.
Phil 2:21 says, “For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”
HIS work is PEOPLE work
The interests of Jesus Christ, especially for people who He put into leadership, is to look after people. I want the deep satisfaction Paul had. I want the adventure that a life dedicated to Jesus offers. So, here is my offering to Jesus to look after His interests:
- God will assign people to me to mentor and I will share my life, knowledge, and experience with them
- God will put me in front of unbelievers and I will offer myself, my lips, my voice, my heart, my eyes to Him to use to share His message of good news
- God has a plan for every one of His children. I will encourage those in the body to persevere in their assignments
- People are suffering. I will proactively serve them so they may know God
- God has a leadership role for every one of His children. I will develop leaders using the knowledge and experience He has given me
- God’s plans are perfect. I will listen and obey
In return, He will give me the deepest satisfaction of my heart.
Where do you see God at work and how could you offer yourself to the Lord to look after His interests? If you do, you will have the greatest adventure of your life.