“Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, ‘Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.’ ..That same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, ‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus says the Lord: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in. For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from dwelling to dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’ I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people Israel, and I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you.”‘” “You may not build a house for my name, for you are a man of war and have shed blood.” I Chronicles 17:1,3-8; 28:3
David was multi-talented, and wanted to do great things for God. Despite his many failings, he was a true “man after God’s heart,” and was zealous to honor Him in his military leadership, his writing, and his desire to build Him a permanent house where people could worship. But God said, you can’t do everything. He had a strategic and specific anointing on David for his place and time in Israel’s history, and for David to get distracted by another major project would deter his completing what God had for only him.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” It is important to discern where we are especially gifted and specifically called. When we have other worthwhile, even holy desires, we can put them into play by praying for others to come forward, by helping prepare those less experienced or needing encouragement for the good work. I may not be in charge of every project that moves me, but I can support its success by doing my part and project well. Had David not established Israel’s strength militarily, his son Solomon could not have enjoyed a peaceful kingdom where he had time to construct the temple. (1 Chronicles 22:6-11; Ephesians 2:10)
How am I, because of my upbringing, education, life experiences in family, work, and location, uniquely qualified in God’s service? Are there tasks and ministries where I eagerly jump in because there is a need, but expend energy the Lord intended I invest elsewhere? What roles do I take that could be filled by another less forthright in stepping up, but willing to begin serving and eager to exercise their gifts? Is there a situation where I can help another develop what God has called them to do?
Father, keep me wholehearted for You, and able to discern how You want me expending that heart. Direct my every yes and no to fulfill with excellence everything You call me to do, for Your glory and purposes.