In the Old Testament, God traveled with the Israelites in different forms to protect them. The Israelites knew that their God was fighting for them because they could physically see God going before them and behind them.
Have you ever had plans that have fallen apart? Have you ever had an idea in your head that didn’t turn out at all like you pictured?
When this happens, we are often disappointed and confused. What is our next step? What do we do when our idea of perfection proves not to be… perfect? In times like these, choosing humility can be difficult. But (spoiler alert!), it’s always worth it.
For a moment, imagine that you’re next in line for tryouts for the school play. You’ve studied the lines and know the script, but you still don’t get the part you wanted. Or, maybe you’re daydreaming about the game-winning 3-pointer you’ll make as a starter on the basketball team. But, the next day at practice, you’re told that you actually didn’t get placed as starting point guard. How do you choose to respond?
When things don’t go according to our plans, we are faced with a choice. The easy choice is to let doubt and fear dictate our behaviors. Instead of taking a new part, we quit the play completely. Instead of trying harder at practice, we give up on basketball.
The harder, but more rewarding choice is to humble ourselves and trust. When we make this choice, we begin to see the larger picture. Is it possible that the play director had a role better suited for your talents and abilities? Could it be that the coach knew you’d be more effective and comfortable on the court with a little more practice?
Our next character of humility, King David, found himself in a similar situation. He had ambitious plans to build the largest, most beautiful temple in all of Israel—all to honor the Lord. His intentions were pure, and he was even encouraged by others to follow through with his grand plans.
That is, until God spoke to him one night, telling David not to start any construction on the temple he had planned. In fact, God told David that he wouldn’t even be the one to build the house of the Lord at all.
“Go and tell David My servant, ‘Thus says the Lord, “You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in; for I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from one dwelling place to another.”
1 Chronicles 17:4-5
It would have been easy for David to become defensive or to disregard what God had told him. After all, he was the king of Israel. It would have been easy for him to command the construction of the biggest temple Israel had ever seen.
He could have become angry that God had called off his plan. The temple was intended to be for the Lord! Why would he call it off? David could have questioned, “Am I not good enough? Am I not worthy? This would have been the biggest temple of all time and everyone would have seen it. Does God not think I can do it?”
Instead, David made an admirable decision—to stay humble and to honor God’s ultimate plan, rather than just hearing His one “no.” Instead of questioning his own ability, he trusted God’s voice and heard something better than he originally had planned.
David’s plans had been put on hold, but God was making an even bigger promise—the Lord was promising to build David a house, one that would last beyond his generation. God was going to raise David’s heir and bless him forever. A promise that would last even beyond David’s own life!
For You, O my God, have revealed to Your servant that You will build for him a house; therefore Your servant has found courage to pray before You. Now, O Lord, You are God, and have promised this good thing to Your servant. And now it has pleased You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You; for You, O Lord, have blessed, and it is blessed forever.”
1 Chronicles 17:25-27
Humility isn’t easy. It’s especially difficult when we think we know exactly how things should happen, but God’s plans are always better than ours. He wants better for us than we could ever even imagine for ourselves! When life’s situations go off the course we’ve planned, we have the choice to stay humble and trust God, and that trust is always worth it. Today, we encourage you to rest easy in the fact that the Creator of the universe is in control of your life!