Thursday, March 6, 2014

Finishing Graciously and with Integrity

“Finishing well could mean not finishing.”  Priscilla Shirer

Has there been a time when God has called you to a task or to a ministry position, then after a period of time, asked you to release the task or position to someone else?  Did you gracefully step aside or did you cling to the task, to the position?  Sometimes God calls us to release a desire before it ever comes to fruition.  Did you choose to cling to your desire or were you able to release your desire into the hands of God?  We must understand that God’s ways are not our ways and when he is asking us to release our desires, a task, or a position, we may never understand this side of eternity.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD” – Isaiah 55:8.  But whether we understand or not, God is calling us to be obedient. 

In 1 Chronicles 17:1-4, we notice David had a desire to build a house for God.  His intentions were pure and honorable but his timing was not aligned with God’s timing.  After David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.”  Nathan replied to David, “Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.”  But that night the word of God came to Nathan, saying:  “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD says:  You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in.’” God revealed to David that his son Solomon would be the one to build the house for God.  David could choose to cling to his desire to build God a house or he could graciously pass the job to his son and be obedient to the LORD. 

We can choose to cling to desires our LORD is asking us to release or we can graciously release them.  His desire is to bless us, not to do us harm us or hold anything good from us.  Often we cling to our desires because of selfish reasons.  We like the recognition, the praise of doing a job well.  Allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart to reveal any pride and selfishness that is lurking in your spirit.  Pride and selfishness will lead to destruction.  Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall – Proverbs 16:18.

David graciously released his desire to build the temple.  Listen how David revealed to Solomon that he would carry forth David’s desire to build the temple.  1 Chronicles 22:11 – “Now, my son, the LORD be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the LORD your God, as he said you would.”  This scripture does not show that David was resentful.  He was being obedient to his LORD.  1 Chronicles 22:14 shows how David had prepared for the building of the temple and that he was willingly releasing the material to be used by Solomon as he built the temple for the LORD.  “I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the LORD a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone.  And you may add to them.”  David had worked hard in preparation to build the temple.  You may have worked hard in your position which God is calling you to release, but when God says to release we must be obedient.  We choose the attitude we will have toward the person who God has chosen to walk the path after us.  Scripture reveals that David offered Solomon encouragement and use of the materials he had gathered.  This demonstrated David’s graciousness and willingness to obey God. 

David didn’t build the temple but he prepared for it to be built.  Scripture also reveals that Solomon’s success was built on the foundation of his father – David’s provision.  David was obedient to the LORD and did his part.  If David had not made provisions for the temple, Solomon could not have successfully built the temple.  Thank the LORD for those who have laid a foundation for the task the LORD is asking you to carry forth.  Also, we must remember when we are in a position that we are building a foundation and that someone, someday will follow us.  Build a solid, godly foundation.  Then when our God is calling us to release, to step aside, do so with graciousness and encouragement for the one who will follow. 

Priscilla Shirer asked this question, “I wonder how many divine missions, mandates, and ministries have been aborted by selfish, insecure Christians who refused to do their parts wholeheartedly and then relinquish the task to the next person God had anointed with His favor to run the next leg of the race?”

Release what God is calling you to release with graciousness and integrity.  God will walk you through the journey. 

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to be faithful to your calling and when the time comes for us to release, to step aside, help us to do so with graciousness and integrity.  LORD help us to follow your leadership and be obedient to you.  I pray that we will always work as unto the LORD.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen.

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