“Now when David had settled into his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, ‘Look, I am living in a cedar house while the ark of the Lord’s covenant is under tent curtains'” (1 Chronicles 17: 1, HCSB).
Doesn’t building the temple of God seem like the right thing for a man of God like David to do?
David had built himself a permanent home, a king’s palace, and the ark of God still resided in a tent, a tabernacle. So David thought the right thing to do was build a permanent home, a temple, for the ark of God.
And Nathan, the prophet of God, even endorsed the plan because he knew David wanted to do what was right (vs. 2).
Neither David nor Nathan consulted God about the construction plan and God had a different plan in mind (vs 3-4). God’s plan was not for David to build the temple, but for David’s son, Solomon, to build the temple (vs. 11-12).
In the end, both Nathan and David listened to God and did the right thing (vs. 15-27). But God expects His people not only to do the right thing, but to do the right thing right!
We often try to serve God according to our own plans. We think that because we are doing it for God it must be the right thing to do. We even go so far as to think that because we are doing it for God, then God is obligated to bless us for what we are doing.
We must be careful that we don’t do God’s work thinking that we can earn God’s favor or blessing. Because if you really think about it, God doesn’t really need us to do His work!
Furthermore, God’s work is GOD’s work! It’s not our work that we are doing for God!
But God wants us to help Him do His work! As His children, God wants us to take responsibility for doing His work. So God gives us all assignments. And the tasks we do in this world extend God’s goodness to others while preparing us for the world to come.
We do God’s work in obedience to God and in response to God’s prompting. God calls us, God gifts and equips us, and God strengthens and empowers us to do His work.
It’s God doing His work through us.
Doing God’s work requires that we do the right things in the right way–His work His way!
We must do the right thing–God’s work that He has assigned us to do. And then we must do God’s work right by using the spiritual gifts He has given us to enable and empower us to do His work.
This right-things-right approach to doing God’s work is embodied in Henry Blackaby’s formula for doing God’s will in Experiencing God. Blackaby says to see what God is doing and where God is working and then join Him in that work!
“The Son is not able to do anything on his own but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son also does these things in the same way” (John 5:19, HCSB).
- Divine Labor – John 5:17,19 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)