Looking higher

I have found that when we are going through a tough time we can get focussed on the current situation and not be able to look forward. It can be like being trapped in a hole and your only thoughts are how are we going to get out.

One of the things I try to do when I am talking to people going through hard times is to try and get them to raise their eyes and look upward. By this I mean looking to God and the things of heaven.

Colossians 3:1-2 can guide our thinking in hard times. It says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”.

When we actively focus our thoughts on heaven and the things above, we are able to stand back and see the bigger picture. We can see that this hard time will not last forever and that God is in control of the situation.

Lessons in Temple Building

In 1 Chronicles 28 and 29 we read about the time before the Temple was about to be built. David’s great desire was for God to have a glorious Temple to dwell in amoungst His people.

As we read through these chapters we can learn a number of things about David and we see his heart come through. There are five things we can learn from David.

1. David rallied the people

David realised to build the Temple was a huge task. He called all the key people in the Kingdom together to speak to them about building the Temple (1 Chronicles 28:1). I am sure David realised that he couldn’t do it alone and he needed help from God’s people.

2. It was not about David

David realised he was not the one to build the Temple. God told him that he had too much blood on his hands and God needed someone else to do it (1 Chronicles 28:3). God had chosen David’s son Solomon to complete the task. David realised it was not about him. It was about getting the Temple built. Sometimes we need to know when it is time to hand over to someone else to complete God’s work. David could have tried to hold on to power, but he humbly stood aside.

3. David supported Solomon

David told the people that God had chosen Solomon to build the Temple. David then supported and encouraged Solomon. He reminded him to be faithful to God (1 Chronicles 28:9-10) and gave him all the plans God had given him (1 Chronicles 28:11).

4. David gave sacrificially

It would have been easy for David to take his bat and ball and go home. However, we see that he not only supported Solomon, but he committed all of his personal gold and silver to the project (1 Chronicles 29:1-2). This was on top of all he had amassed from other sources. Because of his generous sacrificial giving he was able to challenge others to give too. He didn’t just support Solomon in words, but by his sacrificial actions too.

5. David prayed and praised God

In verses 10-20 of chapter 29 we see that David prays and gives God all the glory and praise. David talks about God’s power and majesty and talks about how all of the wealth is God’s anyway. David understood stewardship and what building the Temple was all about – it was all about God and giving Him a place to reside amongst His people. He also prayed that God would give Solomon a desire to stay faithful to Him.

Summary

So how does this effect us today? If God has given us a vision to build a modern day Temple (a church), we need to remember it is not about us, but it is about building a place where God can reside and people can come from afar to worship Him.

God may have given us the vision and much of the finances, but He may actually need someone else to build it. If this is the case we need to be willing to step aside and commit to supporting the person/people God chooses to do the work. After all it is not about us, but about bringing glory to the great I AM and helping others come to know and worship Him too.

I love Paul

I’m finding the longer I have been a Christian, the more I understand and can relate to the Apostle Paul. Here is a few great verses from Philippians chapter three…

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith”. (Philippians 3:8-9 NIV)

I just love to sit and mediate on things like this. As I read it I can almost hear his words and the heart behind them. Awesome stuff!