We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Joe Mummert.
2 Chronicles 7:11-22
“Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house he successfully accomplished. Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel.’
“But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.’”
In this passage, God is pretty clear with Solomon that He desires humility from His people. We need to be humble and seek his face, and turn from our wicked ways according to this scripture. The alternative in this situation is that God will basically disown the temple that He consecrated for us; so it seems like He takes it pretty seriously.
I can remember one time we were doing a service project when I first started attending the church I was at. We were replacing some kitchen cabinets, installing a new sink, and some stuff in the bathroom as well- all stuff I am skilled at! It felt very good to be able to share my talents with others.
This was a low income home with a lot of family members crammed under one roof. At one point in the morning many of the family members said goodbye to us, told us that they were getting ready to leave, and would be heading to the local amusement park for the day to get out of our way. I remember immediately feeling judgmental. I thought to myself, “If you can spend hundreds of dollars today at the theme park, why are we doing this project for you at no charge?!”
It didn’t take long at all for the Holy Spirit to correct my thinking. I almost immediately heard “If you’re doing this because you think they deserve it, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.” God showed me right then and there that when He asks us to do something we are to just do it. The motives, reasons, background, payoff… ALL of it belongs to Him and Him only.
We are instruments designed for His glory. When we stay humble we can be used and molded in many different directions. When we dethrone God and try to take everything over for ourselves, it gets messy every single time.
God, help me change my focus in areas it needs to be changed. Help me to be a humble servant and do your will as you call me to do it and not as I think it should be done. Give me the strength in every situation to stop and ask you for direction. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Try to stop more this week and ask God to examine your motives. Are you trying to take control or are you being a humble servant? Discuss ways that maybe you thought you were being a humble servant in the past but you were actually trying to gain control!
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