Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Carving Out Spaces

I've been reading and studying this morning but my overwhelming thought is one of the territorial nature of intelligence. Man splits places up and creates spaces. This is my space and that is your space. Free people can roam here but criminals must be imprisoned there. This room is off limits. We make locks. We create elaborate doorways. Primitive cultures designate areas that belong to certain gods.

"Now when the king lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, 'See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.'

And Nathan said to the king, 'Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.'

But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, 'Go and tell my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, 'Why have you not built me a house of cedar?''

Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.'"

In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David." - 2 Samuel 7:1-17 ESV

This is a great chapter. It seems that when David's mind shifted to giving the LORD a special place then God was able to promise David special places. God gave promises about David's offspring when David began to inquire with Nathan about 'building a house' for God. David was unique in many ways. He acted like a new testament believer in the old testament. He seemed to have insight into God's heart.

God had never asked for a house and no one ever thought to give Him one.

"As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." - 1 Peter 2:4-5 ESV

A group of believers becomes a house for God when that group is bound together in a unique purpose.

David said, 'You have given me a dwelling place where I can rest. I want to know if God wants a dwelling place also or would He rather live in His tent?'

I find myself asking that question also. Missions is like house hunting with God. We look at spaces wondering and asking God if He wants to live in a certain place. It isn't going to be just a place of course. His Church is a group of people and the place is just where they are going to meet.

God has given us a home in Heaven. Is it right for Him to be a nomad on the Earth? I look at David's heart and it convicts me.

God give us that heart. Give us a reflection of the heart of a king. Make us men and women who set apart places for you. Not like a primitive villager would but like a new testament believer would. Make us gatherers not scatterers. Lead us to the people that will be stones for your home. Thank You Lord.


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