Great Idea!


Do you have an attic full of them? A drawer or a basement?

Those projects that seemed like such a good idea at the time. They now sit half-finished, abandoned, dollars and effort wasted. Discouragement was the main outcome.

Good, spiritual-sounding ideas are touted in nearly every church as though taught in some obscure book behind the map of Paul's journeys: "
We're gonna do great things for God! We're gonna start a class, create a committee, host an event, build a building...We're gonna take this town for God!"

The enthused get more enthused and the hesitant feel guilty. After all, who wants to come right out and oppose something "for God?" Can't argue with the genuine motives or the righteous intent. If it has "God" stamped all over it, it must thrill him too. Right?

You would think that, wouldn't you?

But a little episode in I Chronicles 17 jerks us up short and makes us reconsider exactly what it is that God wants.

King David had a great idea. He had his feet up the Lazy-Boy, a glass of Bethlehem water in his hand, and as he glanced around his luxurious mansion, he had a sudden thought: "How can I sit in my awesome house when the Lord doesn't have a permanent house? What was I thinking? I'd better get busy!"

Even Nathan the prophet thought it was a great idea.

I did too, when I read about it.

But God didn't like it.

Verses 3-6 say, "The word of the Lord came to Nathan the prophet and said...'Have I asked you to build me a house?' "

Sometimes what we think are great ideas, are not. God has other ideas, but if we never stop to ask him, how will we know? David learned it was never safe to assume.

God's plan was better:
He wanted to build the house in David.


We get excited about external indications that we are "working for God," when maybe God is not a bit excited about it. We wear ourselves out serving, building, teaching, going, without ever sitting before the Lord, as David did later in the chapter. If he'd done that first, he could have saved himself the disappointment of having his idea nixed by God.

When will we get it through our hearts that God is far more interested in
who we are than in what we can accomplish in his name? He wants to do the work through us, to build his temple inside our lives, live his life through ours. But most of the time, we like our ideas better, because we have something to show for them. We can PROVE we serve God, just look!

Are you trying to build a work for God that he never asked for?

Maybe he'd rather do the building. Why don't you ask him?
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