We are reposting, with permission, Steve Norman’s blog article that originally ran on his website stevejnorman.com on August 13, 2017. Check out his website for more of his writings.
There’s a father in the Bible who gives his son some compelling advice. King David was a military leader, a shepherd, a poet and a songwriter. As he neared the end of his life and career, he realized there was one task left unaccomplished: the construction of a temple for God. At the time, the ark of the covenant (the symbol of God’s presence) was still in a tent. David aimed to construct a permanent home for it, but God wouldn’t let him. It seems David shed too much blood over the course of his lifetime to construct a house of worship.
So, the task fell to his son and successor, Solomon. Here’s the challenge David gives Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28, verses 10b and 20:
“Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”
David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.”
David lays out the assignment: Build a house as a sanctuary.
He offers a challenge: Be strong. Be courageous. Do the work. Then he tops it off with a promise: God will not fail you until the work is finished.
It’s a little odd that David tells Solomon to be strong and do the work. After all, Solomon’s leadership team will create a labor force with conscripted workers. There’s no record of Solomon lifting a finger for any manual labor here. But the leadership of this endeavor requires tenacity, it demands boldness, it needs perseverance.
You can be strong and not courageous. People with amazing skills fail to utilize them under pressure every day.
You can be courageous and not strong. People with courage that outstrips their strength tackle tasks they are incapable of completing all the time.
You can be strong and courageous and still not do the work required of you.
There are athletes with incredible natural abilities who don’t lift weights as diligently as their counterparts because they don’t have to, sharp students who don’t study, gifted communicators who don’t put in the preparation.
But if God has chosen you for a task and you are strong… and bold… and committed to execution, God will move heaven and earth to help you see it through.
If, however, God hasn’t asked you to do it and you’re functioning outside of your God-given strengths and succumbing to fear and not truly doing the work, then don’t expect to succeed. You’re likely doing the wrong thing, the wrong way, for the wrong reasons.
If you’re stuck, come back to the first verse:
“Consider now, the Lord has chosen you to build a house…”
What house has the Lord chosen you, and only you, to build?
Your marriage? Your family? Your business?
What task has the Creator singled you out to complete?
Do you know what it is yet?
If so, have you rolled up your sleeves and gotten to work yet?
It’s not always going to be easy. Temples aren’t built in a day.
Double down on your commitment, lean in with your effort. Break down the tasks and check them off one a time. And soon enough, you’ll find God gives everything you need to do what God has asked you to do when you need it to get it done.