David had come from the pasture to the palace. It hadn’t been an easy journey. Since the time God had anointed him the next king of Israel, he’d been shot at by a mad king, chased by his army, and survived a wilderness experience. But finally he felt like he was right where God had wanted him. All was well.
And as David looked around and realized how God had protected him, exalted him, and honored him, he was humbled. How could he live in a palace of cedar while God’s presence, the ark of the covenant, resided in a tent? Surely this couldn’t be right.
So David purposed in his heart, out of the purest of intentions, to build his God a temple, a place of honor and glory and beauty. Sounded like a good idea to David’s spiritual adviser, Nathan. “Go ahead David. Do whatever is in your heart. God is obviously with you, so go for it!”
But God had other plans.
Let’s pause here a moment. Have you ever had great plans? God-honoring plans? Pure and lovely and good and sweet plans? Only to find out that God had other plans?
Sure, I’ve also had selfish and self-centered and prideful plans. I’ve had silly plans, too. But honestly, I’ve had some purely pure plans…plans born from a loving and full and humbled heart. At least I think I have.
And I’ve had those plans overruled by God.
At the time, it hurt. It baffled me. It felt like I was being passed over, excused, or even misunderstood. But as the Lord slowly revealed His other plans for me, I realized that God had the bigger plans. Maybe they weren’t as fun or even as immediately satisfying. Maybe I didn’t get to do the “big” thing I’d wanted to do (think build the temple), but I got to do the thing God ordained for me to do.
The Bible tells me that there are plans He has for me. He has things planned just for me, unique plans, special Kay plans. If I don’t do them, potentially no one will or can. The Bible requests that I walk in those plans and toss aside my own. Sounds radical, I know, but that’s the biblical command.
Turns out God’s plan for David was for him to be a mighty warrior instead of a builder. He would tear down; Solomon, David’s son, would build up. Maybe David would have preferred to be the builder, but that wasn’t God’s plan. It probably didn’t fit David’s temperament as well either. God knew what He had crafted David to be, even if David didn’t fully appreciate it at the time.
Meanwhile, if David did what he was supposed to do, God would do something extra special for him. Instead of David building God a house, God would build David one. He wouldn’t build him a house of brick and stone, but one of a different nature. He would erect for David a lasting kingdom, an eternal house, a family name. Even today we know the Jewish people as the House of David. And of course we know the king that eternally sits upon the throne of the House of David is the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God did a mighty big thing through David. He established the lineage of Jesus.
What if David had plowed ahead with his own plans, as I sometimes do? What if David had argued with God? But he didn’t. He humbly confessed his amazement that God would desire to establish a house for him and he took hands off and sat back and allowed God to do just that. He said yes to God’s plans and pushed his own aside.
Do you have a plan that you’ve been stubbornly holding onto, pleading with God to give you the desires of your heart? Instead maybe you should follow the prescription of Psalm 37:
- Trust in the Lord (vs. 3)
- Do the good God has called you to do (vs. 3)
- Dwell in the land in which He has planted you (vs. 3)
- Feed on His faithfulness, His promises to do what He has said He will do (vs. 3)
- Delight yourself in the Lord — in His Word, His ways, His character (vs. 4)
- Commit yourself to being obedient to Him (vs. 5)
And then allow Him to give you the desires of your heart (vs. 4). Perhaps He will plant new desires. Perhaps He will give you more than you ever dreamed of, more than you deserve.
David let go of his plans for better plans. Do you need to let go today?