To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:1-3)
The last time I checked, we’re not supposed to be able to order God around and use him like a magic genie – three wishes granted and then you’re on your own. But this verse seems to indicate that God grants our wishes. Another place where we read this is Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
It is important to remember that Solomon, the compiler and author of the book of Proverbs, is speaking from personal experience (see I Kings chapter 3:1-15). Solomon was a young man when God came to him in a dream and said, “Ask for me whatever you want me to give you.” We read that Solomon asked for wisdom to rule the people, passing over the temptation to ask for riches, fame, or long life. God was pleased with Solomon’s answer, and blessed him beyond his declared wish.
There are two thoughts that help me understand the “black cheque” nature of these verses. First, the blessing of God rests upon the request being made from a pure, transformed heart, with motives that are weighted by the Lord, and in line with his will. Second, with our choices comes responsibility and consequences of our choices.
Wisdom is to be valued more than gold, fame, or long life. Each of these wishes, or “resources,” is of little value if not tempered with the gift of common sense and wisdom. We need to use them wisely, with the guidance of God, who is the giver of all good things and who rewards those who earnestly seek him.