The Good and the Best
“Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.”
1 Ch 17:2
This time Nathan was wrong. Since David was a man after God’s own heart, what he desired to do, the prophet thought, must have come from the Lord. David had been collecting timber and other building materials for a long while now, and, since it was a good and commendable project, there was really no reason for him to tell him otherwise, so he responded positively to David, giving the king a go-ahead concerning what he intended to do.
What we consider good may not always turn out to be so after all. Who is going to voice any objection when a congregation decides to launch a building project or start any sort of great spiritual enterprise? Persons who do so may be labeled as unspiritual and lacking in faith. When suggestions for doing some good things are made within the church, voices of opposition are often discouraged or silenced.
Our church’s building committee met monthly for a year or so, yet there was often a slight feeling of uneasiness in my heart when I attended, though I dared not share my apprehension with anyone. I might have sensed it wasn’t such a great idea to launch a building project at the time, since our funds for it were quite insufficient. Surely, being a pastor, I was afraid to be perceived as a man of little faith.
If something is supposedly good, done in the name of the Lord, no one dares to question the validity of it. Thus we see church building projects spring up everywhere and, to no one’s surprise, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer within God’s kingdom in so many ways. Some congregations meet to worship in palaces, and many do it in huts.
Had the Lord Jesus so desired, he could have gathered the ones who flooded to him at the peak of his popularity and built a great empire on earth, yet he instead continued to work with twelve people who didn’t seem to be amounting to anything from a human point of view. Even his brothers were hinting around that becoming great and famous on earth was something he should have done, but he did just the opposite. What the majority deemed great and good wasn’t good at all in his sight.
Instead of impacting the world, we Christians have been greatly influenced by worldly thinking and secular ideas, and pretty much have accepted the concept of bigger is better and endless expansion is the name of the game. We as a church have adapted the operational principle of the world, and the line between the sacred and the secular has become increasingly vague.
The prophet Nathan would have been fooled had the Lord not revealed to him his will. No, David wasn’t going to be the one to build God’s house, for he had shed too much human blood to build the holy temple.
Shouldn’t we come to the Lord in prayer before we launch any sort of project, either physically or spiritually, within our churches? Perhaps what the Lord desired from David at the time was for the king to devote more time and energy governing the newly formed kingdom or taking care of other more important matters. The good is always the worst enemy of the best, yet we often succumb to the seduction of the good, believing that all will be well as long as we do what appears to be good, yet neglecting to seek diligently for the best.
What Martha was so busy doing was indeed a good thing, yet her sister Mary had chosen to do the best. I believe this simple statement made by Christ unveiled the one single principle that should govern all spiritual services we render to the Lord.