A Heart to Give
In 2 Samuel 7, King David was in a season of rest from war and battling His enemies (2 Sam 7:1), and he began to think of the goodness of God and consider all that God had done and given him and he desired in his heart to GIVE something back to God, or to do something great for Him.
So, he shared with the Prophet Nathan that since he lived in such a luxurious house (made of cedar – the finest building material of its day), it wasn’t fit that the Ark of God dwelt in a tent. Therefore, David decided he would build a fine house for the Ark of God.
However, God spoke to the Prophet Nathan and told him to tell David,
“Will you build a house for Me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel saying, “Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?” Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: … the Lord tells you that He will make you a house.” (to read in full see 2 Samuel 7:4-11)
So, let me sum this up, basically David was feeling grateful, which prompted him to want to give or do something for the Lord. Which brings me to my first points:
Our success should always cause us to be HUMBLE not HAUGHTY. Humility gives birth to gratitude.
Our success should always cause us to want to do MORE FOR GOD, NOT GET MORE FROM GOD.
Now, sometimes in our most sincere efforts to do good, we forget to talk to God about our plans. However, we need to talk to God about everything. Why? Because just because it’s a GOOD IDEA, doesn’t mean it’s a GOD IDEA. And to continue to do what YOU want to do, instead of what GOD wants you to do, is the quickest way to go from HUMBLE to PRIDEFUL!!
So, David, shared his intent with the man of God (the Prophet Nathan), and God spoke to the prophet and sent a word and a promise to David. So, then my next points are:
Talk to God, even about your good ideas
Listen for His response
Now, God’s response in summary (and I’m definitely paraphrasing 😊)
“David, you want to build a house for Me? Man, I haven’t had a house built since the children of Israel was enslaved in Egypt! Instead, I’ve dwelt in tents so I can move with the people, and I’ve never asked anybody to build me a house. So nah, thanks but no thanks! Rather I’ll build you a house!”
Ok, ok, maybe God didn’t say it like (sometimes my imagination gets the best of me). But watch this.
God, like any amazing parent is always pleased when His children wants to do something for Him. But the best gift we can give God is our heart and obedience, not stuff.
God reminds David that the last time I dwelt in a house (a stationary structure) the people were in BONDAGE. However, the tent was temporary and could move with the people. Ok, so let me help you, the minute you put God in a stationary place you put yourself in bondage.
The minute you only have God, in your house, but not with you on the job, in the car where there is traffic, or wherever else you go – BONDAGE
The minute you only have God in the church house on Sunday – BONDAGE
And while its nice to have God in your house and in your church, God needs to move everywhere you move. Therefore, thanks but no thanks, God wants to GO WITH YOU!!
And finally, like any amazing parent, that sees their child’s heart and desire to please them, God, says, “I tell you what, you want to bless me (build a house for me), but I’m going to bless you (build a house for you).
One of my kids said to me on Christmas, with the sincerest heart, “I’m sorry I didn’t get you a Christmas gift.” And my response was, "your being here (in other words your love, your spending time, quality time) was my gift and I don’t need stuff. However, here’s a gift for you!
In this season of giving! Make sure you don’t get so caught up giving material stuff that you forget to give the immaterial stuff like love, time, affection, respect, honor, humility, kindness, obedience. And make sure you don’t give to man, what you haven’t first given to GOD!
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