Change of Plans

1 Chronicles 17: 1-2 “Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, ‘Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.’

And Nathan said to David, ‘Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.’”

How Do You Respond When God Changes Your Plans?

I was meditating on this chapter in 1 Chronicles the other day. It opens with this conversation between David and Nathan. David is looking out the window upon the state in which a precious symbol of God’s power is living, and finds it unacceptable.

His plan? To build a temple worthy of the ark of the covenant of the Lord. His buddy Nathan is on board, and even encouraging, “for God is with you” he says. God has a very different plan.

David’s plan gets deferred, and Nathan has to deliver the message.

David Wants To Build God a House, God Wants To Build David a Dynasty.

Think about that: You come to the Lord, already longing to bless His Name with this act, “Lord, I want to build this great house for Your Name!” and God says to you, “No, I will build a house for you!”

Try as we might, we cannot out-bless God. His goodness is unmatched. The house God wants to build for David does include a temple, but it also has a throne. A throne that will endure forever.

A throne for the One to come, who was "descended from David according to the flesh, declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord" through whom we have received grace upon grace.' This One, God Himself, is to be David's House, and ours as well.

The Unique Relationship Between David and God

We’ll get to David’s response to God in a minute, but I want to talk about another aspect of David’s plan first.

David here is trying to do more FOR God and UNTO God, for HIS name. That says something about the unique relationship between God and David. Most of us are more concerned with what God has for us. David saw an opportunity to try and bless God.

David has tapped into an aspect of God’s divine plan that goes beyond the calling on his life.

David tried to go so far above and beyond God’s plan that God literally has to pump the brakes on it. You can almost hear the shock and awe in God’s voice when He says (and I’m paraphrasing here), “When have I ever asked for a house of cedar?” (1 Chron 17:6). David doesn’t even get the whole picture behind God’s decision until years later (See 1 Chron 22), when he reveals it in a forthcoming moment with his son.

The real reason? David was a man of war, Solomon was a man of peace.

When Our Plans Change

We don’t like when our plans change. I’m not saying we throw a temper tantrum every time our plans change. But there is an experience of unpleasantness.

Why is that?

Well for starters, we are the plans we make; or at least we think as much. In our minds, they are an extension of us. We feel this way because our experiences, knowledge, and emotions get injected into the plan. Thus, the rejection of the plan feels like a rejection of us.

Because of that, “God has rejected my plan” turns into “God has rejected me”. This, of course, is not true.

Our plans are simply just our plans. God didn’t reject David or his plan. God gave him a BETTER plan. If we are in Christ, we are His, and we belong to God in Him, and those who trust in Him, He will never cast out or reject.

God’s counter to David’s plan is so full of GRACE, and so beyond what David was expecting that he is dumbfounded and speechless. In his prayer, he repeats the phrase “O Lord God”, as well as referring to himself as “servant” eight times. You can almost hear the cry of intimacy. He humbly considers himself unworthy and gives all of his success to God.

God eliminates any possibility for David to feel rejected with His plan. Jesus, in Matthew 7:11 says “if you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” David’s plan was the equivalent of a stone, and God showed him a feast.

In essence, David responds to the rejection of his plan with gratitude. Which is all we can do, or should do when God trumps our plan for His own.

Remember, you may be trying to build a house where God intends to build a dynasty.

“You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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