What's Your Angle?
Good morning and welcome!
This morning we are going to be looking back into the Old Testament into a passage about King David and his son Solomon, who would later become the King.
If you would like to start looking, we are going to be in and in a moment I am going to be reading from verses 9-10.
Again, that is .
As we get into the passage we are going to see that it deals a great deal with the subject of motivation and what is behind our motivation.
And the key point is purity in our motivation.
Have you ever been around someone who is completely motivated by self?
Their entire way of living is 100% motivated by a self-serving attitude, and they will do whatever it takes or step on whoever they can to get their way.
They will smooth-talk and manipulate you to death, just to get their way.
A lot of times we don’t think about it, but we also have a habit of doing that to God as well.
Instead of being submissive before God and responding to God’s direction, we instead try to manipulate God into giving us what we want.
Many times we act like kids who will “behave” until we get what we want and then we go back to the same old bad behavior.
The only problem though is that this doesn’t fly with God.
How can you manipulate the One who knows all things?
Of course you cannot, but we still try.
This morning though we are going to get a small glimpse of what God really expects of us.
And it comes through an event involving David and Solomon.
So, if you have found in your Bible, I’d invite you to stand with me if you are able, and ask yourself, What’s My Angle with God this morning?
The Bible records this . . .
9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you for ever. 10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”
Man, you talk about someone receiving their calling. This is exactly what is going on here with Solomon and David.
David is charging his son to accept the calling that God has placed on his life.
And that calling is building the Temple of God, the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.
Because what had been going on until this point is that the Ark had been kept in the tabernacle, which in essence as a tent.
But the time had come for the Ark to have a permanent structure to dwell in.
And this structure was to be the Temple of God.
Which also signifies God telling the people that the building of the Temple that “this is your permanent home. This is the Promised Land that I told you about. This is it.”
No more wandering like nomads, you are home!
So, this would be a time of celebration and great joy for the people, but they had a problem.
The King couldn’t build the Temple for them.
In the beginning of the chapter David explains to the people . . .
1 Chronicles 28:
2 King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. 3 But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’ 4 “Yet the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel for ever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the house of Judah he chose my family, and from my father’s sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel.
So, even though David was chosen by God to be the King of Israel, he was not qualified to build the Temple there.
And to be honest, he was not qualified because that was not his role.
God chose David for a specific reason and for a specific season.
The reason David was chosen was because David was a great warrior, even though when God chose him, no one else knew it.
David’s role was to secure the Kingdom in this time of great turmoil, and the only way that was going to be possible was through force.
And even though David didn’t always do things right and had to repent of things from time to time, ultimately David stayed true to God and did what God called him to do.
The Kingdom was now secure and they were now coming to a point when it was time to take the next step, but they had the wrong leader in order to take that step.
That step was building God’s Temple for the Ark to rest in.
After all the years of war, it was now time for peace.
Peace that the Temple would be a symbol of.
But something that David couldn’t give them.
A man of war could not build them the symbol of peace.
But God was going to provide them a way though . . .
5 Of all my sons—and the Lord has given me many—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6 He said to me, ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. 7 I will establish his kingdom for ever if he is unswerving in carrying out my commands and laws, as is being done at this time.’
And the reason God chose Solomon was because Solomon would grow to be a man of wisdom and a man of peace.
Solomon would not only preside over the building of the Temple, but under Solomon’s rule, Israel would prosper and do well.
Because Solomon would step into the role that God had given him as well.
But before Solomon could even step into that role, God had to first lay some groundwork in Solomon’s life as well.
Which is what we read about next . . .
1 Chronicles 28:8-
8 “So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants for ever. 9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you for ever. 10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”
So, David pretty well lays it out for Solomon.
If you want a visual picture of what is going on here, imagine this great assembly of people and David brings Solomon up in front of them all and tells him . . .
Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever . . .
Now, I also want to be clear about something else here.
Even though David is delivering this charge to Solomon, he is also charging all the people with the same thing.
Solomon was to be their leader and their example, but God’s expectations was for them to live the same way.
And even though the times have changed, God’s expectations for his people have not.
God still expects his people to follow all the commands of the Lord your God!
And even though the inheritance is not the nation of Israel, there is an inheritance for all those who are faithful to God.
And that inheritance is eternal life.
But it is only available to those who are true to God and faithful to God.
So, we really need to ask ourselves this morning, are we following the commands of the Lord our God?
Are we being true to God?
Are we be faithful to God?
Or, are we playing into this mindset of manipulating God?
So, that was the first thing that David tells Solomon, then he takes it a step further . . .
1 Chronicles 28:9
9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you for ever.
Now, there are several things packed into this one verse of Scripture here, so let’s break them down a bit.
Acknowledge the God your Father
Serve Him with wholehearted devotion
Serve Him with a willing mind
If you seek Him, He will be found by you.
And these four things are not intended just for Solomon, they are not intended just for Israel.
These four things are intended for ALL who call themselves Christians as well.
If we are going to say that Jesus is our Savior, that God is our Father, that the Holy Spirit our Counselor, then these four things are essential.
We have to . . .
Acknowledge God as our Father
Serve Him with wholehearted devotion
Serve Him with a willing mind
And seek Him out.
Are we doing that this morning?
Can we say that we are acknowledging God as our Father? -Most of us would probably say yes.
However, can we say that we serve Him with wholehearted devotion? -Getting a little tougher here.
How about serving Him with a willing mind? This means we are willing to learn and most importantly, willing to submit. How are we doing in that area?
And the last one is seeking Him out. Do we seek opportunities to serve God? Do we seek out God’s will and God’s plan? Or, do we wait around expecting God to come looking for us and dropping everything in our laps?
See, we may say that we do those things I talked about, but are we sure?
Are we sure we are seeking, or are we trying to manipulate to get our own way?
Remember, in the very beginning we talked about how David had a specific time and purpose in the advancement of Israel.
So did Solomon, and so do each of us.
Not necessarily in the advancement of Israel, but the advancement of God’s Kingdom within our sphere of influence.
There is a very specific time, place, and purpose each and every one of us have in the life of the Church.
But many times we will try to extend that time, place, an purpose beyond what God has intended, mainly for the sake of comfort.
We won’t step outside the role we currently have in the church and take on new challenges because we are comfortable where we are at.
Change and doing something new is frightening too.
The unknown is scary, so we stay right where we are, refusing to budge.
We tell ourselves, “God put me right here on this pew. If he wants me to get up He’ll tell me.”
But when God is telling us to get up and do something, we are not listening.
We dismiss God’s voice as our own imagination.
We say things like, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.”
Or our prayer to God is, “God, I really want to do _____(you fill in the blank), make a way for me to do it.”
Folks, that is manipulating (or trying to manipulate) God.
Our prayer really should be, “God, you know your plans for me, reveal it to me, and give me the courage, faith, and strength to step into it, and trust you for all things.”
That is being open to God, that is serving God with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind.
That is what it means to seek God.
Can we say that we are doing that this morning?
The fact is this, in the second part of verse nine it says . . .
For the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.
Do we realize that this morning?
God already knows our motivation for every single prayer we pray and every single action we take.
God already knows, because God searches our hearts.
That is why it also says there in verse nine . . .If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever!
And finally . . .
10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”
Do you realize this morning that there are needs in this church and in this community?
Do you realize that God has called and equipped YOU to meet those needs?
However, you cannot do, or even realize any of this until you first have a relationship with God.
And that relationship is found only through Jesus Christ.
Only through Jesus can you enter into a relationship with God and begin to understand the plans that God has for you.
Have you done that today?
Have you accepted Jesus Christ?
That is the first step and if you would like to do that today, I would invite you to come to the altar.
Don’t be intimidated or afraid.
If the Holy Spirit is calling to, then come. We can work the rest out when you get here.
However, this message is not just for those who have never accepted Christ.
This message is for all of us.
Are all of us being true to the calling that God has given us?
Doing the things that God has called us to do?
Consider what David told Solomon, Be strong and do the work.
Are we doing that this morning?
If not, you can change that as well.
Whatever the need is, God can meet that need, but only IF you are obedient to the Holy Spirit.
This morning, what will your choice be?
And while you are deciding, I am going to read you two more passages, the first one comes from . . .
5 The Lord will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
And the second from . . .
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Will YOU step into the plans that God has for you this morning?