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ODJ: good ideas aren’t enough

November 10, 2015 


Go and tell my servant David, “This is what the LORD has declared: Are you the one to build a house for me to live in?” (v.5). 

READ: 2 Samuel 7:1-17 

My local church is always looking for ways to reach the young people in our community. Some of the ways we’ve considered have included having a toddler group for teenage mothers, hosting a barbecue for the local youth, opening up our church building as a youth drop-in centre and even helping out with a multi-church mobile youth club bus.

All of these ideas sounded great at the time. We believe, however, that God’s specific answer to our prayers was not to pursue any of them. But why did this happen? God wants us to be involved in reaching people who don’t know Jesus and to be seen actively working in our community, right?

In the Bible we find many examples of God asking people to do things—or not to do things—that can be confusing based merely on our human perspective. For instance, in Matthew’s gospel a godly young man named Joseph was going to do the honourable thing and divorce his pregnant fiancée secretly, for it appeared she had been involved in an illicit relationship (1:19). God stopped him. Then, in the book of Acts, we find Philip moving away from where God seemed to be working to trek down a desert road (Acts 8:26-39). God told him to go there.

Why was it wrong for David to build a house for the ark of the Lord? (2 Samuel 7:1-17). His plan was God-honouring and his motives were pure.

The problem? God had something else in mind—something better. As Isaiah 55:8 says, “ ‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ ” says the LORD. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’ ” God doesn’t always agree with our logic and reasoning. But as we prayerfully, humbly seek His ways, we can rest in what He deems best!

—Russell Fralick

365-day-plan: Acts 21:18-36

MORE
Read Proverbs 3:5-6 and consider what it means to trust in God even when things don’t go according to what you had hoped or planned. 
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When embarking on a new project, why is it important to pray for God’s counsel? What plans do you need to bring to Him today?