Bible Order: Psalms 63–68
Chronological Order: 2 Chronicles 10-12
New Testament Only: Acts 2:1–13
The Right Attitude
As I read today I thought about how David started off so strong in the Lord only to have some pretty serious stumbles. That sounds like me. As we read of the end of David’s life, however, it sounds like he did some things right. We discussed how he had made extensive preparations for the building of the temple. He was also repeatedly telling his son Solomon, to stay faithful to God:
1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV
“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.”
Solomon, like David, started out great guns as well. Solomon too had his stumbles. We already know that he didn’t finish well. We’ll hear more about that soon. Why is it that when God finally gets our attention and we acknowledge His Lordship with great joy and enthusiasm we end up losing a bit of the fire over time? Is it because we take Him for granted? Is it because walking with Him provides blessings and we start to think the blessings are due to our own effort and ability? Is it because we are children who get distracted with the latest and greatest shiny object? Is it just our long dead, sinful, self-centered nature casting dark shadows from the grave? I don’t know for sure. Maybe all of the above or something I haven’t thought of as yet.
It worries me. It shouldn’t be that way. God created me and saved me. Brothers I’m here to tell you that God has not only saved me spiritually but physically. I was once in a situation where God moved me physically out of harm’s way. Everything I am and everything I have is His. I am nothing without Him. How can I forget that? Isn’t it wonderful that God is not only a God of righteousness but a God of mercy? I’m glad my salvation rests on His ability and not mine. Still, I cannot be satisfied with anything less than my best effort to abide in Christ.
Look at these wonderful words of David prayed at the end of his life as he prepared his son and people for his passing and the construction of the temple. The people have just joyfully given from the fullness of their heart a free-will offerings to build the temple.
1 Chronicles 29:11-18 ESV
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you.”
Guys, we are mere stewards. We own nothing. It is not enough, however, to slave away to earn and manage our money well. It is not enough to be good stewards of our wives and children. If our hearts do not rejoice in the doing we have failed. Where is your heart? Do you give joyfully of your time and talents to the building of God’s Kingdom? If not, your heart is not in the right place.
I’ve been working with my daughter on her attitude. When she obeys me, it is usually through gritted teeth and clenched fists. I take no joy in her obedience when it is given so begrudgingly. It isn’t, however, about me. My goal is to raise her to have a blessed life through a close relationship with God. She can’t have that close relationship if she insists that it be on her terms. God said “honor your father and your mother so it will go well with you”. When I give my daughter instruction it is for her good not mine. Her attitude of anger and resentment are hurting her not me.
It is the same with acknowledging God’s ownership and joyfully following His instructions. It is not for His good but for yours. Israel experienced years of abundance and success when David and Solomon kept themselves and the people close to God. When they wandered away loss, pain, and decay set in. I don’t know how to tell you to get a right attitude. That is going to have to be something you and God work out together. I can tell you get a right attitude and keep it! It’s for your own good!
Have a blessed day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(Originally posted 5/13/10)