“The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and the men of Gebal cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple.” – 1 Kings 5:18
Did you ever own a car that refused to be driven until its engine was warm? My dad did.
He was the proud owner of a Volvo diesel station wagon. I remember it well. It was a real speedster: 0 to 60 mph in around 45 seconds — assuming there was a tailwind. And it had another marvelous feature: Simply press the accelerator to the floor and a thick plume of black smoke would fend off any would-be tailgaters.
With so many wonderful features, it’s a wonder that my dad allowed me to drive it. But he did, provided I follow this one simple rule: “Make sure you let the car warm up.”
Like most of us, my dad’s Volvo wasn’t fast, flashy or ready to run a marathon five seconds after being awakened from a dead sleep. It needed time to warm up. It had to get its juices flowing and slurp down a cup or two of “joe” before it was ready to roll. In other words, in order to get us to our desired destination, that old Volvo required preparation.
You see, good preparation is vital for old diesels, and it’s just as vital for Christians who aim to glorify God.
In 1 Kings 5, King Solomon set out to do exactly what God had promised King David he would do: build the temple in Jerusalem. The construction of the temple was destined to be the most important building project in Israel’s history. The temple would centralize worship in Jerusalem, and the Ark of the Covenant upon which God’s Spirit remained would be back in the Holy of Holies where God intended it to be. And contrary to popular belief, this massive, strategic building project didn’t rest on a foundation of stone. It actually rested squarely on the foundation of God’s faithful promise.
Several years earlier in 2 Samuel 7:12-13a, the LORD promised David, “When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for My Name.” God promised David that his son would build the temple, so God saw to it that Solomon did just that. Why? He did it because God always keeps His word.
Without God’s promise, the temple never would have been built.
With that in mind, here is a little morsel of Scripture-based wisdom to chew on: God’s promises inspire God’s work.
Think about it. Why do you spend your time and energy doing the Christian stuff that you do?
What inspires you to read your Bible? What inspires you to pray? What inspires you to come to church? What inspires you to tithe? What inspires you to share your faith with others and lead them to Christ?
Is it not, in large part, God’s powerful and trustworthy promises that inspire you to do the dozens of things that you do as part of your Christian walk? We faithfully read the Bible because God promises that it will be a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. We faithfully pray because God promises to hear and answer prayer. We faithfully attend church each week not only because God says so, but because God promises to meet with us as we gather in His name. We faithfully tithe because as we give God our first 10%, He promises to open the floodgates of heaven and bless us more than we can imagine. We faithfully share our faith with others because Jesus promises that those who accept him as Lord and Savior will receive the gift of eternal life. We do what we do in response to God’s good and faithful promises. God’s promises are the very foundation of our good works, are they not?
So, consider Philippians 1:6: “I am confident of this, that he who began a work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” The fact is, God’s wisdom and power have prepared the way for His will to be carried out in your life. Throughout your lifetime, the Lord has been preparing you to do something significant and impactful that would bring Him much glory.
Every family member in your life, along with every friend, neighbor, teacher, coworker, boss and even your enemies, have been used by God to shape you into the person that you are today. Why has He done this? He has done it so that you can faithfully carry out the marching orders that He has tailor made for you, so that you can bring Him the honor and glory that only you can bring Him.
Isn’t this a remarkable reality to consider? As your life brings the Lord much glory, the very preparation that brought you to this place of bringing Him glory has also brought Him glory. Like me, as you look back over the years of your lifetime, you have a wealth of memories. Some are good. Others are bad. Still others are really ugly. Yet God has used all of these moments and encounters in your life—good, bad and ugly—strategically to bring you to this place in your life. Did God know what He was doing? You better believe He did!
So, don’t miss this golden opportunity to bring a double helping of glory to the Lord. Bring Him glory by lovingly and faithfully carrying out his marching orders today. And as you do, the sum total of all your past relationships and experiences that have shaped you for this moment will also bring Him glory.
You see, years ago the Lord began a good work in you, a work of preparing you. And good preparation glorifies God.