|With the soul — the mind — lodged between the spirit and the flesh, the question becomes: What is going to control my mind? Is it going to be the spirit, as my spirit is linked to God’s Spirit? As the day unfolds, will I be a spiritual man? Or am I going to be carnal, wondering, ‘Where am I going to go? How am I going to be entertained? What am I going to eat?’ Truly, if my body controls my thoughts, I am carnally minded, and cannot please God.
‘What’s life about?’ wondered Solomon. ‘It must be about money.’ So he gathered so much gold that even silver had no value in his Kingdom. Ever notice how it is the wealthy people in our society who oftentimes end up taking drugs?
Why is this? Because the ones who hit the top find out money isn’t the answer, whereas the rest of us think that if we could just make more money, work harder, or invest more wisely we would be happy. Solomon knew better. He had more money than he knew what to do with, and still wasn’t happy — so he thought happiness must lie in women.
He amassed one thousand wives and concubines, but found they weren’t the answer either. 'Happiness must be found in intellectual pursuit,' he decided. So he became a botanist, a biologist, an ichthyologist. He became so knowledgeable that his books were penned by the hundreds. And he became philosophical in such a way that people traveled from all over the world to hear him share his proverbs. But, after all of this he concluded that much study wearies the flesh (Ecclesiastes 12:12).
The answer must be in partying, he thought. So he brought in peacocks and apes from Africa, and the wine flowed freely during parties so lavish they would make Hollywood jealous. But it was still empty in his eyes. Deciding the answer to his restlessness must lie in power, he built his empire to be the most powerful empire of his day. Yet he remained empty.
Poor Solomon. Put yourself in his golden sandals. What frustration! All the power he could ever want, more money than he could even count, one thousand of the most beautiful women at his beck and call, nonstop parties, education philosophy — he had it all.
But here was his dilemma: It didn’t satisfy. Whereas the average person thinks, ‘I’m almost happy. If I can just get a bigger house, or a newer car, I know I’ll be happy,’ — Solomon was stuck. He was at the top. There was no bigger car to buy, no other woman to go after, no higher investment to make. He was at the top and he said, ‘It’s empty.’
And here little Paul comes along with his bowed legs, hooked nose, and bald head, saying, ‘It’s real simple. To be carnally minded is death — but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’
Brother Solomon finally did figure it out. After approximately twelve years of women, money, power, philosophy, he said, ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man,’ (Ecclesiastes 12:13). And from that time on, Solomon was known as ‘The Preacher’.
I ask you this question: What has been ruling your soul? Has it been the flesh, or has it been the Spirit? If you’re going to pursue the material and live for your flesh, you’ll never be satisfied. But if you live for the Spirit, you’ll know life and peace eternally and presently.