The Asterisk on Good Intentions*

“David consulted with the commanders, [and] said to all the assembly, ‘If it seems good to you and from the Lord our God,.. let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul.’  All the assembly agreed to do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people...

“So David assembled all Israel ..,[and] went up to Kiriath-jearim to bring from there the ark of God… And they carried the ark on a new cart, from the house of Abinadab, and Uzzah and Ahio were driving the cart. And David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets.

“And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God.  And David was angry because the Lord had broken out against Uzzah. And David was afraid of God that day… So David did not take the ark home into the city of David...

“Then David said that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, for the Lord had chosen them to carry the ark… And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the ark to its place, which he had prepared for it... He said to them,.. ‘Consecrate yourselves, so that you may bring up the ark of the Lord to the place that I have prepared for it. Because you did not carry it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.’ The Levites consecrated themselves… and carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord... God helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant.” 1 Chronicles 13:1-13; 15:2-3,12-15,26

*They must be done God’s way.

The best intentions fall flat and can even be destructive when not carried out according to God‘s commands. David learned the hard way that eager zeal to do for God resulted in death, shock, sorrow, and fear because of his impulsive, thoughtless action. Means are important when it comes to our (and God’s) ends. Direction and provision for follow-through will always accompany Spirit-prompted action. (2 Corinthians 8:11; Titus 2:11-14)

When the Lord plants an idea, our flesh can grab the baton and run without considering His best way to go about the action. While the Lord is pleased at our honorable intentions and desires to please Him and others, He also cares that we submit our desires to Him for His approval. He may say ‘wait,’ or use us to do the preparation work for another. (1 Chronicles 17:1-15; Psalm 37:4)

What good intentions have we left undone because we resist the Lord’s pace or method? Are there desires we let grow into impulses that drive us ahead of the Lord? Would we pause to seek God’s call and direction? In what specific commands are we tempted to evade God’s way to charge ahead in ours?

Lord, inspire, clarify, and define my every good intention, and lead me to accomplish them in Your best way and for Your glory.

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