One of my favorite Disney movies is Aladdin (especially the first one). If you know the story, the hero is given the opportunity to ask for three wishes to be granted. His first wish is “make me a prince.” His second wish is more specific, “please save me from drowning.” And his third wish is for the genie in the lamp to be set free. The first two are very self-oriented. But the third one is focused on that genie who has become his friend.
Contrast those wishes with the ones expressed by Jafar, the evil sorcerer. He asks to rule on high, to be a sultan. Then he asks to be made the most powerful sorcerer in the world. And finally, he asks to be an all-powerful genie. Obviously, his desires were all self-serving.
That movie reminds me of the Biblical story about a request Solomon makes at the beginning of his reign. In I Kings 3, he declares “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.” His humility is glaring. He goes on to state that the people of God are too numerous to count. In other words, the job is too big. More humility.
Finally, Solomon asks the Lord for a discerning heart, so he can distinguish between right and wrong as he leads his people. God grants his wish and gives him wisdom. “I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.”
I think that this week you and I ought to ask for the same thing that Solomon sought, wisdom! We need the kind of wisdom that James writes about in his epistle (James 3:13-17). We need Godly wisdom to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. And that kind of wisdom only comes from above.
We need wisdom to discern right from wrong. We need wisdom to make choices that honor and please the Lord. We need wisdom to live in harmony with each other. We need wisdom!
And we don’t need a genie to make it happen. The Holy Spirit who lives inside every believer is anxious to grant that wish. So let’s ask!