Do you ever want to live by a plan that is different than what God has in store for you? This seems like a rhetorical question, doesn’t it? We all make plans or have ideas about our lives that we wish would become our reality, rather than our dream.
This topic is what connected me so deeply with the following passage in 1 Chronicles. It’s pretty long, so I will take out some of the verses for the sake of length.
“After King David had made himself at home, he said to Nathan the prophet, ‘Look at this: Here I am in a luxurious palace of cedar and the Chest of the Covenant of God sits under a tent.’ Nathan told David, ‘Whatever is on your heart, go and do it; God is with you.’ But that night, the word of God came to Nathan, saying, ‘Go and tell my servant David, This is God’s word on the matter: You will not build me a ‘house’ to live in…And now I am telling you this: God himself will build you a house! When your life is complete and you’re buried with your ancestors, then I’ll raise up your child to succeed you, a child from your own body, and I’ll firmly establish his rule. He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom’s rule forever…
Nathan gave David a complete and accurate report of everything he heard and saw in the vision. King David went in, took his place before God, and prayed:
Who am I, my Master God, and what is my family, that you have brought me to this place in life? But that’s nothing compared to what’s coming, for you’ve also spoken of my family far into the future, given me a glimpse into tomorrow and looked on me…O God, out of the goodness of your heart, you’ve taken your servant to do this great thing and put your great work on display…Because you have blessed it, God, it’s really blessed–blessed for good!”
(1 Chronicles 17:1-4 ,10-12, 15-19, 27 The Message)
Even with David, he wanted to do something good for God–to build a house for the Ark of the Covenant. There was absolutely nothing wrong with David’s intentions; it seemed perfectly right for David to build it. Even Nathan the prophet agreed with him at first, that is until the Lord spoke to Nathan and told him otherwise.
The same is true for us today. Here’s the lesson that I’ve learned through this passage: sometimes, even things that we want to do for His glory though–whether accomplishing a goal, pursuing a certain career, or trying to be a different person–sometimes, these aren’t a part of God’s plan for us. This doesn’t mean that His plan will be any easier, just because it’s what He has called us to do. As a friend once told me, “God makes the cotton grow, but you still have to pick up the plow.” Out of the goodness of His heart though, God has called each of us to serve Him based on how He created us, each with our own strengths, weaknesses, talents, etc.
In times when we realize that God’s plan for our lives is different than our own, I pray that we will not be discouraged. Instead, I pray that we will realize that He has done it all out of the goodness of His heart. After all, we were created to contribute to the body of Christ in our own way: with a spunky personality or a quiet disposition, a passionate drive or a practical sense of reasoning. I pray that we will continue to give thanks even in times when we realize that His plans are different than our own, but that they are for His glory and the glory of His kingdom to come. They are blessed because He has blessed them. 🙂