(from July 5, 2015)
"Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house..."
(2 Samuel 7:11b)
For the first time in 15 year,s we're moving. And for the first time in 21 years, we've had to pick out our own house (praise God for the parsonage system, prior!). Jody and I came to Palmdale for a short visit in April and looked at a lot of rental properties, but didn't find "the one" (Jody told me we'd know it when we saw it!). Then some friends from PUMC found a cute little house on a 2/3 acre lot... sent us the pictures... and we knew that it was the one for us.
Now that we've arrived, it's still a cute little house with great character and tremendous potential... but we've seen all of it's imperfections, now, too. We know how its been neglected. We are aware of the areas that need fixing and improving. And it's kind of overwhelming. Did we make a mistake? Did we choose the wrong house? Is it too late to change our minds (we haven't signed the contract yet)? Last night was a night of deep conversation and soul searching. In the end, we decided to give it a year and then reassess next June.
Then I get up this morning and the passage I read in my devotions is from 2 Samuel 7. David has settled into the capital of Jerusalem as Israel's 2nd king. His borders are secure. Life is good. And suddenly he gets the idea to build God a house (aka "temple"). He even consults his pastor (Nathan) who gives the green light. But that very night God visits David in a dream and tells him He doesn't need a house - at least not right now. Besides, God didn't ask David to do this. Instead, God says, "I'm going to build YOU a house!" Not a physical house. A dynastic house. God will establish David's legacy... and from his offspring will come a great ruler/leader (we know that to be Jesus).
What a fitting word for me. Not that I (or any of my offspring) will be the equivalent of Jesus... but that God is focused on my ministry here at Palmdale UMC and establishing kingdom-building priorities. I'm focused on a physical house. That's not a big concern, I hear God saying this morning. Think BIGGER! Think KINGDOM!
So I will head out to my first worship service at Palmdale UMC in 15 minutes. The first of what may be many, many years of serving the Lord in this new community. I will let our house be whatever it will be. I will focus, however, on the house that God is building in me. A house that draws others to Him. A house that is humble & repentant. A house that leans on the One who created me! And I will be grateful, thankful, and expectant.
Come, Lord Jesus...