Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Walk with God - Do what you want! (2 Samuel 7:3)

"Nathan replied to the king (David), 'Go ahead and do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you.'" 2 Samuel 7:3 NLT

King David (c. 1000 B.C.) had been talking with Nathan the Prophet about building a temple for the LORD. This was after David had finally risen to be king of a united Israel, established his capital in Jerusalem and enjoy God's favor as His chosen people. They were truly a free and secure nation under God. This verse tells us a lot about the freedom we have in Christ.

Nathan responds, in the above verse, to David's heart-felt and passionate desire to build an awesome temple for the Ark of the Covenant (which represents God's presence). Up to this point, the Ark has always 'lived' in a tent. (God initiated this, by the way) Now that David lives in a palace, he apparently is uncomfortable looking out his window at God's tent. And who wouldn't.

I imagine David realized that God really lives in the heavens: But the Ark is a significant manifestation of God's presence with his people. So he feels moved to build a temple. This from David, "A man after God's own heart."

Nathan makes a huge statement here: "The LORD is with you." Nathan points out the obvious to David. God clearly loves and favors you, David. You are, like, his favorite! He listens to you and you two seem inseparable and undefeatable. As a result of this, Nathan reasons that David is so aligned with God that he should go with whatever he wants to do. Go ahead and do whatever you have in mind.

So what?

This is huge for us and our application should seem clear--but controversial. Surely we can't say this (much less do this).

Walk with God; Do what you want.

It almost feels like we're cheating or that it's too good to be true. 

But think about it...when we walk with God as David did, we will live with a freedom to do what we desire. Why? Because when we walk with God, we desire what He desires. We want what He wants. We're on the same page about what is wise and what is good. The key, of course, is keeping in step with God so that our desires will continue to flow from His.

The branches and the Vine come to mind here. (John 15) When we "remain" or "abide" in Christ, we will bear "much fruit". His desires become our desires. And like a child who wants to please her daddy, we will freely do all we desire with a heart bent towards pleasing Him.

So to say, "Walk with God and then do whatever you desire" seems to tempt one to irresponsible and self-absorbed living--and it can. But to succumb to that temptation is to settle for much less than God intends for us. 

As we walk with God daily, trusting and obeying Him along the way, our desires come in line with His and we just naturally do what Jesus would do if He were in our shoes. So please--walk with God! (Galatians 5:16) But then do what you want to do. As long as you are in step with God, you will do His will and He'll be pleased.