I had it in my heart…..

I have been studying through 1 Chronicles. I have so enjoyed reading of the importance and the placement of worship in the temple.

In chapter 28 David gives an address to Israel; in verse two he says, “I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God, and I MADE PREPARATIONS FOR BUILDING. BUT GOD SAID to me, “you may NOT build a house for my name…..it is Solomon your son who shall build my house and my courts, for I have CHOSEN HIM to be my son, and I will be his father…..” (second half of this scripture is from verse six).

This struck me with a whack and a half!

 Yes with a smickity-smackity-roo….

The text says that David “had it in his heart” to build a house for the name of God, he even made preparations, but God said “No”; David was NOT the man, David was NOT who God had chosen for this task! God had chosen another, and not just any other, God had chosen David’s son!

Listen to this: “The plans OF THE HEART belong to man, BUT the ANSWER of the tongue IS FROM THE LORD.” (Prov. 16:1) and a little later in this same chapter, verse nine says; “The HEART of man PLANS HIS WAY, BUT THE LORD establishes his steps.”

What I understand the Word of God telling us here is that our hearts may carry plans and dreams and even great and pure intentions of what we desire to do for God, but if God has not assigned that task to us, it will not be ours to accomplish.

This carries significant light to me as I have often seen God’s roadblocks, and “no” answers to my dreams and plans as something negative, which then created a militant spirit within to walk “dutifully”. It produces a veil that keep me from seeing that His response to my desires was actually an answer of CLOSURE, not a reason to keep dreaming and hoping that somehow He might change His mind.

 1 Chron. 17 also records David’s desire to build a house for the Lord. God sends Nathan to tell David that it will NOT  be him who will build the temple. David’s response is not one of a sucky-boo, His response is recorded in verse 16-27, and from what I read it was a response of worship. “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?”

So, my questions today?

First of all are you sitting still long enough to hear God’s answer for your plans, hopes and dreams?

Will you let Him have His way with you?

What if He says no to you? Will you obey Him in love and in joy? Or will you carry around little emotional attachments of your dream in your heart and continue hoping against hope that He might change His mind?

How much of your prayer life does this consume?

Are you filtering your reading of scripture through your desire to hear something that might tell you that God was just saying no for a little while? That really he had chosen you for an assignment after all?

Are you willing to LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE for Jesus, WHATEVER that may mean?

Maybe you are a leader, or have been a leader that God is now asking to serve quietly? Would you accept this?

Read Phil. 2:1-8 and Mark 10:35-45.

Jer.10:23; “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” 

 This is about God’s sovereignty isn’t it? If we lived like we trusted His hand completely for our lives, we WOULD BE dancers of joy, living each day  with soul abundance!

AGAIN it comes back to trust! DO YOU TRUST THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH AND FOR YOUR EARTHLY LIFE?

 Today would be a perfect day to ANSWER that question….

“TRUST in the LORD with ALL your HEART, and DO NOT lean on YOUR OWN understanding, in ALL your ways ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, and He WILL make straight your paths!” (Prov.3:5-6)

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Give me a piece of that humble pie!

Humility!

For whatever reason this powerful expression of servanthood was NOT chosen to be received as a fruit of the Spirit.

Have you ever pondered this?

Listen to God’s word; “But the fruit of the Spirit is  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control….” (Eph. 5:22)

Humility is not listed as something we are given as fruit.

Now listen to this: “Our attitude should be THE SAME AS that of Jesus Christ: who being in very nature God, DID NOT CONSIDER EQUALITY WITH GOD SOMETHING TO BE GRASPED, but MADE HIMSELF NOTHING, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! ” (Phil. 2:5-8)

So get this, Jesus did not consider himself to be equal with God EVEN THOUGH HE KNEW HE WAS GOD’S SON. Jesus CHOSE to EMPTY HIMSELF, Jesus CHOSE to HUMBLE HIMSELF.

What this teaches me is that humility is a choice. We must choose this cloak to put on when everything within is screaming at us to power up with pride.

“HUMBLE YOURSELVES before the Lord…” (James 4:10).

“HUMBLE YOURSELVES, therefore UNDER the mighty hand of God….” (I Pet. 5:6)

“CLOTHE YOURSELVES all of you, WITH HUMILITY toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble..” ( I Pet.5:5 ).

 Do we ask God to MAKE US humble?  It leads me to wonder what sound this prayer makes in His ears when His word already says, “HUMBLE YOURSELF”?  How many of our prayers have included these words: “make be humble” ?

Some more of Jesus’ teaching; “And He called the people to Him again and said to them, “hear me all of you and understand:…..what comes OUT OF A PERSON is what defiles him. For from within, OUT OF THE HEART of man come….” ; and Jesus goes on to give a list and guess what makes His hit list? PRIDE! Jesus concludes his teaching by saying, “All these evil things COME FROM WITHIN, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:14-23)

 So if pride come from within our hearts, and the Holy Spirit does not transplant the “fruit of humility”, and we are instructed to “humble ourselves”, just what does that mean?

The greek word for “humble” that is used is the verses in James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:6, and Phil. 2:8 is  “tapeinoo”; this greek word carries the meaning, “to make low, bring low,” and, “of bringing to the ground, making level, reducing to a plain.” (source: Strong’s Concordance)

Can we choose to “tapeinoo”? Can we make ourselves low? In other words, can you be a servant? Do you have the heart of a servant? Are you willing to cultivate the heart of a servant so that what comes out is not defilement but rather a spirit OF humility?

Read Mark 10:35-45

Does this passage describe the mission of Jesus Christ? He came to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many, He was a King….A KING…and yet He did not come TO BE SERVED.

He HUMBLED HIMSELF.

I think pride is an attitude of the mind and heart that exults a life falsely to itself.

I think humility chosen is like placing that attitude below your feet at the foot of the cross, and in repentance turning around and walking the other way without your shoes.