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To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 2:26

History verifies that David’s son Solomon was not only the richest King in Israel’s history, but perhaps the richest King in the history of the world. There was nothing he wanted that he could not have. Money, fame, power, women, Solomon had it all.

Ironically, Solomon saw nothing good in his wealth. He saw wealth as more of a hindrance than a blessing. Rather than bringing him happiness and joy and contentment in his heart, he saw life as being a meaningless adventure tied to making more money and having more toys.

The book of Ecclesiastes is the story of Solomon’s heart. It tells the emotions of one who has lived, by the worlds standards, a rich, full, successful life, only to come to a point when all his labors and successes seem worthless. Why even try? You work hard. You get all you dream for (or thought you wanted) and there is still no happiness, no joy.

Solomon tells us in verse 26 what it takes to really find joy and happiness in life: God. He is the source of wisdom, knowledge and happiness. It isn’t money. It isn’t fame. It isn’t power. It isn’t being popular with friends, and especially the opposite sex! It’s about pleasing God.

To please someone you must know them well. The better you know a person the better you will know their likes and dislikes. You will know exactly how to surprise them creatively. The same is true with God. The better we get to know Him the more we will know what things He is pleased with and what displeases Him.

Beware though! There are plenty of people out there that will tell you ‘what God wants you to do’. There is pressure to follow the crowd, even in religious circles. Some of these pressures will keep you from being what you want to be; they will prevent you from practicing the skills, talents and abilities that God has given you; they will measure your success or failure by the size of your bank account, the way you dress, the activities you do.

God didn’t give us grace so we could follow the crowd. He gave us grace so we could be free to follow Him. To be free of the pressure to conform to social and religious pressure. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by a lifestyle that keeps you from being the unique, talented person God created you for. With His help, follow your dreams. Grow closer to Him so you can hear His voice of direction. You may not get rich in money, but you will be rich in joy and happiness!

PRAYER: Father God, There are so many voices in my life right now telling me what I’m doing wrong or what I’m doing right. I’m pulled in so many different directions that I feel like I’m being pulled apart. What I’m really supposed to do and be has become clouded by ‘human wisdom’. Please help me to listen to your voice and your voice only. Help me to remember that I can come directly to you to know your wisdom. I don’t need to rely on other people to learn how to be what you want me to be. Thank you for loving me. Amen.

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