God wants to live in our heart!

It is a wise leader who will allow God to change his plan.

July 14

Yet no matter where I have gone with the Israelites, I have never once complained to Israel’s leaders, the shepherds of my people. I have never asked them, “Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar house?”

1 Chronicles 17:6

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God wants to live in our heart!

King David is secure is his control of the nation of Israel.  He has built for himself a great palace in the City of David on the outskirts of Jerusalem.  It then occurs to him that God is ‘dwelling’ in a tent.  David consults with the prophet Nathan who encourages David to go ahead with his plans to build a temple for God.  The LORD then speaks to Nathan and reverses Nathan’s opinion.  There is an important lesson in that for all of us.  Nathan’s first opinion about David’s plan to build a temple was that it was a good idea.  It was a good idea and God was going to have a great temple built in His name.  But God’s timing was different than both Nathan and David’s timing.  God would have David’s son Solomon build Him a temple.  It is a wise leader who will allow God to change his plan, even after he has sought counsel.

God told Nathan to go back to David and give him a message.  The main point of the message was that God didn’t want him to build him a temple.  And the LORD makes this interesting statement above.  He wants Nathan to tell David that He has never complained to men about where He lived.  God’s dwelling place was the tabernacle, which was basically a large tent.  God’s dwelling place was a portable, temporary structure.  It was built while the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness after they had been delivered from slavery in Egypt.

As a pastor that ministers in a ‘mobile’ church this verse strikes a note deep within my heart.  We meet (2008) in an elementary school multi-purpose room.  Every Sunday we set up church from two trailers.  And just about every Sunday we are asking God to provide a permanent home for our church.  There are numerous practical reasons why we should want a permanent church home, not the least of which is that we will be able to do more ministry.

The primary question that a verse like this tells me is that God doesn’t need a beautiful building to minister to His people.  We often think that we need to build God some large beautiful structure so that He can be glorified.  We need to keep in mind that God told them to build the Tabernacle and He allowed them to build the Temple.  God wants to live in our hearts.  He doesn’t need some ornate edifice to be glorified.

Our buildings should be more practical than ornate.  They should be designed to help people discover the fullness of their relationship with the Living God.  Our church buildings should not be monuments to our glory but factories that are busy ‘making disciples’ that will be living displays of God’s glory.  Jesus, thank You for living in us.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 16:37-18:17; Romans 2:1-24; Psalm 10:16-18; Proverbs 19:8-9

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