When we bring glory to God’s name, we will be tested.

Scripture:
When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, which brought honor to the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. – 1 Kings 10:1

Observation:
This chapter opens with the story of when the queen of Sheba came to visit King Solomon. She had heard of the fame and extent of his wisdom and wanted to see and to hear for herself if the claims were true. She tested him with difficult questions to test his gift. When she spoke with Solomon on all types of subjects, he astounded her with his God-given wisdom! God had given Solomon the great wisdom he prayed for in order to rule God’s chosen people, Israel; however, Solomon’s wisdom would later go to his head and turn to pride that would usher in his demise – serving other gods!

Application:
When God the Holy Spirit deems it worthy to give a charismatic gift to a person, he knows full well whether that person will use the gift for his glory or for personal gain. He knows this even before the person receives the gift! How can we say this with accuracy and truth? Jesus told us that not everyone who calls him LORD will enter into heaven even though they prophesied in his name and/or performed great miracles in his name. How can anyone perform a miracle or prophesy in God’s name unless the Holy Spirit gives them the ability to do so?!? They can’t; plain and simple! Thus, we know that not every person who operates in the charismatic gifts is necessarily a child of God, for God will use whatever vessel he chooses. He used Pharaoh of Moses’ day to make his name known among the nations. He used the medium Balaam to speak blessings over Israel instead of curses, including future prophecies of the Messiah, Jesus!

On the other hand, God doles out gifts to his children in order to build up the body of Christ and expand his kingdom on the earth. There are those of us who God entrusts with gifts and knows that we will use them to bring only glory to him and his name! Those of us who do so can expect to be tested by people inside and outside the body of Christ. People will be used by the enemy to test our loyalty and faithfulness to God! Lucifer wants to know whether we will be true to our Savior and Lord in order to exalt him, or will we exalt ourselves instead, as he did?

Lucifer had been created with musical abilities in his very being! He was created to be the morning star! He was created to bring God glory and to give God glory, but he chose to have those things for himself. Thus, his fall from heaven. Lucifer hates God enough to come at you at full speed or through treachery and deceit to try to get you to misuse your Godly gifting for personal gain, whether that is pride or some other vain glory. Therefore, we have to guard ourselves against these set ups. We have to be vigilant and adroitly wield our gifting and calling in the manner which God prescribed and no other. The Hebraic author wrote, “You must warn each other every day, while it is still ‘today,’ so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” (Heb. 3:13)  Paul wrote, “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.” (I Cor 10:12)

Gifts like prophecy, knowledge, and wisdom lend themselves in the hearts and hands of the wrong people to turn into pride and arrogance, as it did in Solomon. People begin to think that the messages they receive from God become their own, and they turn their hearts away from God only to become slaves to the gods of pride and arrogance. The scriptures are clear on this, for God despises the proud but gives grace to the humble. We are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that in time he will raise us up, not us lifting ourselves. If God entrusts you with a charismatic gift for the benefit of his people, use that gift in the very manner God intended and for nothing else, unless you should end up like Solomon. Remember not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord, have we not done…in your name” will enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Prayer:
Father, thank you for entrusting me with the gifts of prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, wisdom, knowledge, and discernment. I ask you, if it is appropriate for me, to operate in the remaining three gifts of healing, miracles, and faith. Jesus operated in all the charismatic gifts while here on earth, and you’ve entrusted me with 2/3rds of them. I have had my times where pride tried to get the best of me while employing these gifts. Fortunately, you settled me down and taught me the importance of using them only for your glory and not for vanity or personal gain. I am still humbled that you chose to enable me to use 6 of 9 gifts listed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12. Help me to use all the gifts you’ve given me to better your people, to equip them, and to see the lives of the lost changed for the better resulting in their adoption into our family. Your will be done through your Spirit’s gifts to me, not my will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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