Saturday, October 4, 2008

Begin the Work!

An earlier post entitled "Humility" began the discussion about King David. I mentioned how he had wanted to build a temple for the Lord, but the Lord told him that his son Solomon would build the temple. After David gathers much of the materials for the temple, he calls his son aside, and gives him the following speech:

1 Chronicles 22:11-13 "Now, my son, the LORD be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the LORD your God, as he said you would. May the LORD give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged."

What a wonderful blessing and prayer David bestows on his son Solomon. He addresses his own desire that the building of the temple be successful. He asks Solomon to stay committed to God, and ends his blessing in love, with true concern for his son. I believe God is telling us the same thing as believers. After our conversion, the Holy Spirit works within us to prepare us for a great task - the challenge of accomplishing God's will in our lives. He tells us, "I am with you, may you have success in the task I have given you. May you look to me for discretion and understanding so that you may keep my commandments. Then you will have success. Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or discouraged." What an amazing blessing God's love and compassion is for us! Let us take hold of it!

David continues his speech to Solomon in 1 Chronicles 21:14-16. He states, "I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the LORD a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them. You have many workmen: stonecutters, masons and carpenters, as well as men skilled in every kind of work in gold and silver, bronze and iron—craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and the LORD be with you."

David reminds Solomon that he has gathered all of the materials and resources that Solomon needs to accomplish his task. He then encourages him to GET BUILDING! Guess what? The Lord tells us the same thing. He reminds us that he has given us the gifts and resources that we need to accomplish the task that He has given us. He wants us to remember that he will provide everything that we need, if we stay focus on Him, and on the mission he has given us. The Lord then says, "OK, you are prepared, I have given you my Holy Spirit, I have equipped you with the knowledge of me, NOW GET TO WORK!" How many times is our response like that of a child (although Solomon took hold of the great task and accomplished it well.) We argue, I am not ready yet. I need more time, more money, more resources. I need more direction. I will wait until I have read through the Bible. I will wait until the kids are in school. Once my job slows down......once I get my bills caught up......once I..... and on, and on, and on. We all have excuses. They might not even feel like excuses. They might be the result of fear. Fear of failure, lack of self-confidence, lack of complete trust in God. Whatever it is that is holding us back, we should cast it off! God has given us all that we need. He awaits for us to begin the work!

1 Chronicles 21:17-19.... Then David ordered all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon. He said to them, "Is not the LORD your God with you? And has he not granted you rest on every side? For he has handed the inhabitants of the land over to me, and the land is subject to the LORD and to his people. Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD."

David reminds the people of God's faithfulness in the past. He opens their eyes to the works that God promised and accomplished for them, then asks them to return the favor, so to speak, by trusting in God. Like David, God says, "remember the promises I gave to your people? Remember how I delivered what I promised? Remember how I called you out of ruin? Remember how I have granted you blessings in this life? Do you understand that all good things come from me? Then have no fear! Devote your heart and soul to seeking me! Do not be afraid to let go of control, and let the Holy Spirit accomplish his work! Set your minds to accomplish the mission God has called you to. Begin the work! Start now, do not delay, for I am with you!

Lord, help me to let go of any fear or excuses that hold me back from accomplishing your will. Let me remove any man-made obstacles I have in my life that prevent me from moving towards this goal. Develop in me the desire to follow you no matter what, to ignore the complications and distractions of this world. Grant me wisdom to understand those things that are meant for good in my life, and those things that keep me from fulfilling my purpose. Lord, let me have a heart like David. Help me to listen to the words of wisdom he gave his son Solomon, and hear your voice through the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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