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God’s Plans are Better

For the past few weeks, I’ve felt this frenetic pull within me. It’s this desire to do more than I currently am doing. I feel this need to propel myself into a new season by my own willpower, but that goes directly against submitting and surrendering to God and His plans. 

Lately, I’ve been getting a little ahead of myself, and I have felt God kindly pulling me back. I’ve been reminded of a story in 2 Samuel where David got a bit ahead of God. 

David’s Good Intentions

The Ark of the Covenant had just been brought to Jerusalem. The Ark was important because it signified and hosted the presence of God. This was a big deal, and the festivities were incredible! The most extravagant party you can imagine doesn’t hold a candle to this celebration.

2 Samuel 6:1 tells us that thirty thousand young men helped escort the Ark to Jerusalem. Musicians played, people shouted joyfully, and trumpets sounded as they marched the Ark into the city. All of Israel was dancing and celebrating this amazing event. 

After the festivities were over, David reflected on the situation he found himself in. 

“After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, ‘Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.’” 2 Samuel 7:1-2 (NIV)

I love David’s heart here. He compared his lavish palace to the Ark, which was in a tent. That seemed wildly out of whack, and David desired to do something about it. 

The Revelation of God’s Plan

David’s motivations were in the right place, but he wanted to do something God wasn’t interested in, at least not yet. Though this thought was probably from a desire to give God glory and majesty, David was missing the point a little bit. David got a little ahead of God. 

Here’s what God tells Nathan, the prophet, to relay back to David. 

“This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? … When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” 2 Samuel 7:5,12-13 (NIV)

God tells David to hold his horses. Slow your roll there, David. It’s simply not time for that. 

I feel so much empathy for David in this story because I often want to do things like this. I get excited and want to do something extravagant for God, but that’s not always what He’s asking for. God didn’t need David to build Him a house; instead, God needed David to be obedient. God wanted David to be a just and faithful king who taught his children the ways of God. David had a big enough assignment; he didn’t need to add any more to it. 

What do you feel your assignment is in this season? What do you feel God is asking of you today?

David’s Response 

What I love most about this story is that David responds to God’s word with humility and gratitude. The second half of 2 Samuel 7 is David’s prayer, where he humbles himself before God. Though he is the king of an entire nation, David understands his smallness compared to God. David submits himself to the Lord and chooses to follow His lead. David also offers gratitude for God’s goodness, promises, and covenant. 

I have to be honest—I don’t always react this way when God doesn’t endorse my ideas. Sometimes, I get so excited or invested in my plans that I have trouble letting them go. Even when God instructs me to go in a different direction, I can struggle to hold things loosely. 

When God corrects and redirects you, how do you respond? Do you respond with humility and gratitude, or do you try to get your way?

I love this story because we see the humanness of David and his response to correction. We also see the sovereignty of God and His graciousness to His people. 

The same God who lovingly corrected David is with us wherever we find ourselves today. He is trustworthy, kind, and true, and we can trust God’s correction and redirection. We can trust that God’s plans and purposes are better than ours and can humbly submit to God’s leading. We can be grateful for so many things, even when we don’t get our way. 

Thank God for His grace and faithfulness to walk with us day by day. And thank God for His loving and gracious redirection.  

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