‘Devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God,’
(1 Chron. 22:19) David went on. He repeated this exhortation later, as if to emphasise its great importance to success. ‘And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind…If you seek him, he will be found by you’ (1 Chron. 28:9). God had a plan and purpose for Solomon, but he had to apply himself to seek to know God’s will.
Pray and Act
God has a plan for you. ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jer. 29:11-13). Note the progression – call, come, pray, seek and seek with all your heart.
God promised Elijah, ‘I will send rain on the land,’ but Elijah still prayed fervently that the rain would come. ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know’ (Jer. 33:3). Do you believe this? If you do, you’ll give yourself to prayer.
So start praying and learn by doing. Pray in large and in small groups. Make room for people who are anointed to pray. Call on God and see what he will do, and give him no rest until he makes Zion a praise in the earth.
Remember you’ve been chosen
God had told David, ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house…for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father’
(1 Chron. 28:6). David encouraged Solomon by reminding him of that choice. ‘Consider how, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary’ (1 Chron. 28:10). Since God had chosen him, he could be bold. So David exhorted his son, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished’ (1 Chron. 28:20).
But just a minute – who was this person God had chosen to build his house? Wasn’t he the son of Bathsheba, a woman who should never have appeared in David’s history at all? Why should she be honoured as the mother of the future king? Who was Solomon that he should be selected? What had he done to deserve such recognition?
Amazing grace! ‘Where sin increased, grace increased all the more’ (Rom. 5:20). When David confessed his sin, God didn’t simply forgive him but then disqualify him for the future. He forgave completely and thoroughly reinstated David in his purposes.
How many times have you written yourself off? How often have you said, ‘I give up. Look at my past. Look at the blunders I’ve made and keep on making. God couldn’t possibly use me, he couldn’t possibly…could he?’ But then, he couldn’t possibly have chosen Solomon, could he?
If you’re a believer, God has chosen you – not just to barely get by, but to help build his house. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. If you’ve come back to him and confessed your sin, he’ll rejoice over you and thoroughly restore you to his purposes. Glorious, isn’t it? God’s grace covers your sin and gives you a future beyond your wildest dreams.
Are you ‘in’?
Have you seen the vision? Can you say, ‘O God, I want an expression of your house in my town. I want to see something majestic, famous and glorious so that when people walk in they know that this is God’s house!’
Are you using all your resources? There is no reason for you to think, ‘I can’t do this; it’s too much for me.’ Jesus has given you everything you could possibly need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil. 4:13). And God has also provided skilled workers. Are they being used and encouraged to bring their God-given gifts and abilities?
Are you applying yourself to the task? How’s your prayer life? Taking time to be alone with God is one of the most difficult disciplines for the Christian. If you’re finding prayer hard, don’t give it up, learn to do it. Grab hold of someone you know who does pray and say, ‘Can I pray with you sometime, please?’ Catch their fervour and apply yourself to prayer.
Remember your call! It is so easy to get discouraged when things get difficult. Then, of all times, you need to remember that you have been chosen by God to build his house. Since he’s called you, he can’t fail or desert you. ‘He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 1:6).
Do you know why you are building? Are you eagerly waiting for Jesus to return? The house – the church, the bride – is for him. We are being prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
When Jesus comes again it will not be with angels singing over one small field in Bethlehem. His arrival will be announced by angels over every field, every village, every town, every city in the world. He won’t be received by a handful of simple people crouching around his manger making baby noises at him. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess in heaven, on earth and under the earth. And their united thunderous cry, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord,’ will reverberate throughout the universe, to the glory of God the Father.
Let’s be strong and courageous and make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
‘God has hidden every precious thing in such a way that it is a reward to the diligent, a prize to the earnest, but a disappointment to the slothful soul. All nature is arrayed against the lounger and the idler. The nut is hidden in its thorny case; the pearl is buried beneath the ocean waves; the gold is imprisoned in the rocky bosom of the mountains; the gem is found only after you crush the rock which encloses it; the very soil gives its harvest as a reward to the laboring farmer. So truth and God must be earnestly sought.’