But God #4
But God said to me, "You may not build a house for My name, for you are a man of war and have shed blood." -- 1 Chronicles 28:3; English Standard Version (emphasis mine)
Have you ever seen (or been) a kid that tried to play one parent against another? I tried it a couple of times growing up, but never got far, so I quit. I remember asking my mom if I could go swimming once and she immediately asked, "What did your daddy say?" MAN!
Now my kids try to do it. My wife and I don't fall for it. We immediately will ask our children what the other said. Sometimes our kids will rebelliously try to press on with their plans. My wife will ask, "What did you daddy say?" I can hear Katie say, "I just wanna..." My wife will sternly break in, asking, "But what did your daddy say?"
That's what kind of "But God" this is. This can be a humbling kind of thing. This "But God" is the type where we want to do something, but God says something else.
We can take any example...imagine yourself getting out of a tight spot with your boss or parent by telling a "little white lie"...BUT GOD said, "you shall not lie" (Leviticus 19:11; ESV). Think about the far ranging effects of this type of "But God". Here's another...think of a person who believes they can live a "good" life and go to heaven, BUT GOD says, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6; my paraphrase).
This is deep and far reaching...man makes plans, has ideas, proffers solutions, etc...BUT GOD has something to say about all of this.
Today's Scripture is a prime example. King David had built himself a wonderful palace and he realized that the Ark of the Covenant still abode in a temporary dwelling. David thought it only fitting that God's presence have a proper place, so he decided to build the Temple for the presence of God among the people. Good plan; nothing inherently evil about that, "But God said..."
This brought David's plans to a screeching halt! David's reaction to his very own "But God" is exactly how we should react. David stopped his plans and followed God's.
There are a lot of subtleties in this kind of "But God". There is a need to recognize God's authority and wisdom over our desires and limited views. There is a constant questioning of whether our desires match God's or do we need to repent and obey. There is a continual seeking to know if we should follow ours or the world's advice or consider the "But God" factor of determining what to do or think. And, of course, there is the great question of attitude upon realizing that a "But God" moment ruins our personal course.
It boils down to the same decision every little kid faces at some point: will we follow the "I just wanna..." or submit to the "What did your Daddy say?" There are always our plans, desires, and will to consider...