Paul writes to the Ephesians that we are God’s workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). If that’s true (spoiler alert: it is . . . ), then I’m guessing that every believer, at some point in their lives, and likely at several points in their lives, find themselves in Solomon’s situation — with a task at hand that God has called us to do.
Maybe nothing as ambitious as converting massive amounts of gold, silver, brass, and timber into a physical structure fit for the glory of God to dwell (though we are all involved in a similar building program under another Master Builder. See Eph. 2:22). But each of us, throughout our lives, are presented with things that God wants us to do. And, at least sometimes, those things seem beyond our to-doing.
My guess, is that right now, most of us have something on our Spirit-led to do list that we know, deep down, God wants us to tackle. Whether personal improvement; stepping out in faith; exiting our comfort zone for a season; taking on a challenging piece of work for the kingdom; leading others in kingdom work; or something else, each of us has some good work before us, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in it. True for me, at least. I’m guessing true for others as well.
That’s why I’m thinking the Spirit has me chewing on some words of encouragement spoken by David to his son Solomon as he hands him the plans for the temple.
“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve Him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Be careful now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.”
(1Chronicles 28:9-10 ESV)
Be strong and do it! That was David’s bottom line for his son. But he didn’t get to the bottom line before laying out some important pre-req’s.
Know God intimately. Serve God wholeheartedly. Seek God persistently. Be careful and take the work seriously. And then, be strong and do it.
I’m thinking that the good works prepared for us by God, beyond accomplishing something for God, are as much designed to increase our working knowledge and dependence on God. That whatever work He has called us to do for Him, it’s designed with a second set of blueprints of the work He wants to do in us.
A set of blueprints compelling us to grow in the knowledge of the God we serve, and to serve faithfully the God we know. Plans beyond what we think we’re capable of doing so that it drives us to seek His presence and power. Designed so that we realize, with fresh awe and wonder, that God really has chosen to partner with us to make His glory known, in some manner, through us. And in all this, blueprints requiring us, at some point, to just be strong and do it.
Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.”
(1Chronicles 28:20 ESV)
To undertake the work of God is to rely on the power of God. To walk through the dynamic of faith quenching fear is to experience the presence of God. And to see the work finished, by His power and through His presence, is to see fulfilled the promise of God.
So, dear saint, be strong and do it.
By His grace. For His glory.