“Can I build it?” “No you can’t”

During my devotions this morning, I was struck by David’s heart.  I mean, we always hear that “David was a man after God’s own heart” but his attitude hit me hard this morning.  A few days ago I was reading that:

Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.” And Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”
But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in.
(1 Chronicles 17:1-4 ESV)
God continues to explain that He has not asked nor needs someone to build Him a place.  That He has taken care of and will continue to take care of Israel.  Then God adds concerning David’s not yet born son:
He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever.
(1 Chronicles 17:12 ESV)
David responds in praise and worship.  I don’t know about you, but I would be disappointed.  Here is something that I want to do to honor the Lord, here is a way that I want to serve, here is a way that I want to minister, but there is the heart of the issue, “I”.  So many times we do things that we want to do (build, serve, minister), throw a Jesus sticker on it and call it honoring God, when God clearly has a different idea.  It’s not about what I want, but what He wants.  I don’t get to decide in what area of ministry I will be a part of, God calls me into it.  He guides, He leads, He calls.  Whether its pastoring, being an elder, deacon, av ministry, sunday school, youth, counseling, administration, book-keeping, working at the deli, fish plant, construction, baking, cooking, housekeeping, maintenance and the list goes on and on.  God has called each of us into an area of ministry.
And when we don’t get the area that we want, how should we respond?  David verbally expresses praise, adoration and worship to the Sovereign King who rules over all.  But he doesn’t stop there.
David commanded to gather together the resident aliens who were in the land of Israel, and he set stonecutters to prepare dressed stones for building the house of God. David also provided great quantities of iron for nails for the doors of the gates and for clamps, as well as bronze in quantities beyond weighing, and cedar timbers without number, for the Sidonians and Tyrians brought great quantities of cedar to David. For David said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands. I will therefore make preparation for it.” So David provided materials in great quantity before his death.
David not only praises God for His decision, he helps prepare the materials needed for Solomon to accomplish the task that God has called him to.  David doesn’t sit there and sulk on the side, he sets up someone else to succeed at the task that he himself wanted.  How often do we see that?  I would venture to say rarely if ever…
But David doesn’t stop there, he gets together with his son and encourages him in the task ahead.  He makes sure that Solomon knows that God has called him to do it.
Then he called for Solomon his son and charged him to build a house for the LORD, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the LORD my God. But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me on the earth. Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.’
He then precedes to bless Solomon and pray for him as he fulfills his calling.
“Now, my son, the LORD be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the LORD your God, as he has spoken concerning you. Only, may the LORD grant you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the LORD your God. Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the LORD commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed. With great pains I have provided for the house of the LORD 100,000 talents of gold, a million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weighing, for there is so much of it; timber and stone, too, I have provided. To these you must add. You have an abundance of workmen: stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and all kinds of craftsmen without number, skilled in working gold, silver, bronze, and iron. Arise and work! The LORD be with you!”
Finally, David encourages others to get involved and support the work that Solomon has been called into.
David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, “Is not the LORD your God with you? And has he not given you peace on every side? For he has delivered the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the LORD and his people. Now set your mind and heart to seek the LORD your God. Arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy vessels of God may be brought into a house built for the name of the LORD.”
Amazing…
For my own benefit, here is how we can react when God calls us out of, or closes doors for ministry:
1. Praise God that He is sovereign and knows what is best.  (I Chron 17:16-27)
2. Prepare the groundwork for someone else’s success.(I Chron 22:2-5)
3. Encourage that person that they have been called and chosen by God for a specific purpose.  (I Chron 22:6-10)
4. Bless them and pray for them.   (I Chron 22:11-16)
5. Encourage others to get involve and support.    (I Chron 22:17-19)
I pray that we would move away from the “I” centered-ness that ministry has become and move into the “God” centered-ness that we are called to.  David was more concerned about the Glory of God then his own glory.
For David said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands. I will therefore make preparation for it.” So David provided materials in great quantity before his death.
(1 Chronicles 22:5 ESV)
May we all be more concerned with God’s Glory than our own….

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