When You Don’t Get to Build the Temple

Have you ever had an idea or a plan only to see a friend or peer accomplish it instead? Have you ever seen someone else do something you’re good at… and they did it BETTER? How did that make you feel? What was your response?

David adored our God, just like you do. He wanted to build a temple for Him, as we see in 1 Chronicles 17:1-2. Nathan, a close friend and confidant of David, agreed it needed to be done and encouraged him to begin this great and admirable work.

One problem. It was a clear “No” from the Lord. Look in 1 Chronicles 17:3-4. God told Nathan to deliver that message to David. So, he did. And what kind of response did David have? Well, an inspiring one. Let’s take a look at some things we can learn from this:

Being qualified doesn’t make you the right person for the job. Being designated by God makes you the right person for the job. David was qualified to build the temple. Oh, who are we kidding? He was MORE than qualified. He would be the logical choice with his position, his resources, and mostly, his relationship with God. But he wasn’t called by God. In fact, God gave him a firm no.

Sometimes, you’ll be asked to make preparations for someone else to do the work. Ouch. That doesn’t sound fun. David had the idea. David had the passion. David had the resources. David made the plans. David gathered materials. And then Solomon built the temple. Who had the most important job? Both of them. And David made the preparations with gladness in his heart. He knew the importance of his heart. 1 Chronicles 29:17 says, “I know, my God, that You are pleased with what is right. I have willingly given all these things with an upright heart, and now I have seen Your people who are present here giving joyfully and willingly to You.”

If we don’t listen to God’s assignments for us, we might take away an important assignment from someone else. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. We all work together for God’s glory and we have the Holy Spirit to guide us in our decisions and in our daily walk. In her book, The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst emphasizes the importance of making sure we hear and do God’s assignments for us. Sometimes, that means saying no to things that aren’t for us. So, listen up and step aside. Don’t hinder God’s big picture.

Our job is to praise Him, whether in the spotlight or in the background. Was David’s praise in 1 Chronicles 29:10-30 any less effective because he didn’t actually build the temple? No. And yours won’t be, either. You just listen for your assignment and God will use you for His glory. He always does. After all, it’s never been about our glory; It’s about the glory of the Assignment-Giver.

"Then David praised the Lord in the sight of all the assembly." 1 Chronicles 29:10a

“Then David praised the Lord in the sight of all the assembly.” 1 Chronicles 29:10a

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