Activity for God Versus Intimacy with God – 1 Kings 9

Activity for God versus Intimacy with God

The Creation of Adam  c1510 (detail)

“1When Solomon had finished building the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had achieved all he had desired to do, 2 the LORD appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 The LORD said to him: ‘I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

4“As for you, if you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, 5 I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’”1 Kings 9:1-4 NIV (emphasis mine)

After Solomon had completed the work that the Lord had given him, of building the “temple of the Lord” and the “royal palace”, God appears to Solomon a second time and speaks to him.

God tells Solomon, “‘I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

4″As for you, if you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, 5I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’”

In other words, it is recognized that the building and construction of the temple was Solomon’s work, but consecrating and making it holy, is God’s work.

Despite Solomon’s business over the years in doing all of the work to build the temple, its consecration came if Solomon would, “walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness… and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws.”

That shows me that the temple was not blessed, consecrated, and made holy because God’s people stayed BUSY doing the work, but because God’s people were walking in integrity of heart and being obedient to His commands, decrees, and laws.

Sometimes I think that just because I am busy with church work, I must be right with God. Solomon teaches me that having activity for God is not the same as having intimacy with God. Being busy for God does not necessarily mean that I have intimacy with Jesus. God wants me to be in an intimate relationship with Jesus. After all, Jesus didn’t come to die on a cross so I could be busy doing stuff. He came so that I could be in a life-altering, mind-transforming, eternity-changing, relationship with Him!

Someone once said it this way, “Too many Christians have confused activity with intimacy! Just because we’re busy doesn’t mean we’re walking with Jesus. I agree. I have a tendency to get “busy” with ministry and must not forget that God wants me to be more than active. He wants me to draw into and have a close relationship with Him. Of course I understand the importance of relationships when it come my kids, but I sometimes forget that with my God. I don’t just want my kids so busy doing what I told them to do, that they have no time to spend with me! By the way, just because they are busy doing things I have told them to do, does not mean their relationship with me is on track. In the same way, Just because we have hands raised doesn’t always mean that we have hearts surrendered.”

That same preacher said, “…too many Christians believe that Jesus actually said, “take up your mattress and follow me” rather than taking up our cross!”

Lord Jesus forgive the many times that I confuse activity with intimacy. Lord let me not forget the heart behind why I serve You in the ministry. Serving You is not to stay busy or to do the right thing. I serve You because You have called me to use all of my resources to advance Your kingdom. Amen.

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