Salomon called everything that is important in our society, vanity, a waste of time; a chasing after the wind, exhausting, a never-ending task. As a matter of fact, he started Ecclesiastes by stating, “The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” (ESV) All is vanity… all that is important to the world is vanity. However, he also gave us what is truly important. What is the secret of a good life?
- Listening to God:
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. 2Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 (ESV)
If we want to know what our prophetic vision is, we must listen to the Lord. When we do, we will learn another very important principle that Jesus spoke about when he states,
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-29 (ESV)
Many of us add extra weigh in our souls and we end up tired and press down; that is because we are chasing things that are not of God and we are carrying things He never told us to carry. Jesus is inviting us to come to him, to learn from him, to allow him to remove all those unnecessary burdens and expectations and focus on his burden for us. He describes that burden he has for us as light and easy. It is in the center of God’s will for our lives that we find rest. There is no reason for us to be tired all the time with no energy to do anything… that is not God’s will. He is doing the heavy lifting, not us.
2. Enjoy your spouse:
“Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life…” Ecclesiastes 9:9 (ESV)
My number one ministry after God is not the church; my number one responsibility after God is not my job. My number one ministry after God is my wife. If I am enjoying life with my wife, I am doing what God has called me to do. Salomon says this is my portion in in life; in other words, my wife should be my greatest enjoyment and blessing after God Himself. Salomon is the same one who states, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” Proverbs 18:22 (ESV) The favor of God for my life is not connected to networks, who I know, etc. the favor of God in my life is connected to my wife. Wow!
3. Enjoy your food: This is our survival; we need food and water. This is at the foundation.
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 (ESV)
4. Enjoy your job: We must make a living, but more than making a living, Salomon encourages to enjoy what we do.
Salomon states the same in Ecclesiastes 3:13; in verse 22 of this same chapter, he states “…there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work…” In Ecclesiastes Salomon repeats again that there is nothing more important than to eat, drink and enjoy your job. In Ecclesiastes 8:15 Salomon repeats his theme again.
5. Enjoy life:
And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8:15 (ESV)
The word commend is the word praise. There is a praise that we are called to lift up as the direct result of the celebration of the joy within us. That joy comes from the Lord himself. It is a precious gift.
Folks are busy chasing after man-made dreams, careers, money, identity, meaning, purpose, etc. In the process they totally ignore God and wonder why they are so miserable. Salomon simplifies and give meaning to life; he removes worldly ambitions and refocus us in these five secrets of life:
- Listen to God
- Enjoy life with your spouse
- Enjoy your food
- Enjoy your job
- Enjoy your life