Speaker: Ps. Darin Browne
2 Samuel 7:1-5 (ESV)
Now when the king lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.”
But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in?
2 Samuel 7:12-13 (ESV)
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
If I am honest, sometimes God lets me down…or rather, I feel let down. I recognise that this is a common emotion that we feel because we have our ideas, our agendas, our desires. God’s will is not always in line with our will. I think the greater question is not has God let you down, but are you willing to trust Him, even if you don’t get your way? It takes faith to see an answer to prayer, but it takes greater faith to keep believing if you don’t see the answer you want. Sometimes the longer you pray for something, the wearier and down you get.
THE BEST OF INTENTIONS
Sometimes we decide what we want to do for the Lord. It’s good, and our intention is holy and honourable, but then we get let down because things don’t work out for us. Sometimes life disappoints us.
Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
I felt this way in my holiday. I was so intent on visiting Israel, and Hamas invaded Israel two days before our arrival. Yes, God protected us from missiles raining down on us, but I was let down. Our intent was for good, but I had a tremendous sense of being let down. We wanted to go for You, Lord, to honour You Lord, just as David wanted to build the temple for You, Lord. You say I should trust You; I did everything I could, but you’ve let me down God!
David wanted to build a temple for the Lord, but the Lord said no. As Solomon, the son who ultimately did build the temple, observed…
2 Chronicles 6:7-9 (ESV)
Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, it is not you who shall build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.’
What was wrong? Why didn’t God let David do this great and noble deed? How would you respond if God said no to one of your greatest ambitions, something that you were sure would please Him? David’s motives were right and true. God even commended his desire, but with regard to him building God a temple, God’s response was essentially, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
FAITH VS PRESUMPTION
I believe in God. I believe He is real, and He promises,
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
But this does not mean that God must do what I demand of Him, the way I demand He does it. Last I saw, He is God, He is Lord, and I must conform to His will, not He to my will!
I heard about a man stranded in his house during a flood. An SES rescue truck came by to pick him up, but he said, “No, I trust the God to save me.” The water rose higher, and a boat came by. “No, I trust the God to save me.” He finished up in the roof, and a helicopter flew over, but he said, “No, I trust the God to save me.” The waters rose and he drowned. When he got to heaven he complained to God, “What happened, I trusted You Lord, but you didn’t save me.” God said, “Well, I send a truck and a boat and a helicopter…”
WHAT WE NEED TO HEAR
Every faith believing Pentecostal needs to hear this message…faith must never degrade into presumption. The Word of God must not be used as an offensive weapon to force God to do what you want! God gives us promises, He gives us guidance, but He also has ways that are higher than ours, and plans beyond our point of view.
I must be a person who asks God and allows Him to speak to me, not just assume that, because I’ve found a verse or had a prophetic word or a great idea, God’s going to give me what I want. Let me ask you again, if you have faith to believe God for something, do you have faith if He doesn’t give you what you want?
Psalms 42:11 (ESV)
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation, and my God.
Does your hope rest in God or in the answer He gives you? Let me share with you what God has shown me from this passage.
1. OTHER PEOPLE AGREEING IS NOT A GREEN LIGHT
2 Samuel 7:2-5 (ESV)
the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.”
But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in?
Nathan, a great and powerful prophet, used of God to convict the king of sin before, fired off early here and jumped to the wrong conclusion. People agreeing with you, even godly people, even prophetic words, do not guarantee that what you are asking for is God’s will.
Nathan heard David’s heartfelt desire, thought “That’s a great idea, it glorifies God, it just has to be God’s will.” But the Lord rebuked him. It, in fact, wasn’t God’s will.
So, if you have a desire for something in God, how can you be sure of God’s will?
Ask Him. Ask God, and seek God, and I always ask the Lord to show me from a variety of sources. Conviction from the Holy Spirit within, circumstances, godly advice, but at the top of the pile, the Word of God. If you have a desire, don’t be afraid to ask God to confirm it by His Word.
And the closer you are to God, the more your will conforms to His will, not the other way around. I read this this week…
1 John 3:21-22 (ESV)
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
But just because we want something, just because it seems to glorify God, just because we found a Scripture or two to support it, doesn’t necessarily guarantee that what we want is absolutely God’s will. So, ask Him, listen, and trust Him! And do what pleases Him!
David had an honest, godly desire to do something for God, but God said no. Why? He had other plans, better plans.
2. GOD DOESN’T NEED TO EXPLAIN HIMSELF TO YOU
If you pray and ask for something, and God says no, He doesn’t owe you and explanation. Sometimes He will give you one, sometimes not, but true faith trusts God, whether He answers your request or not, or explains Himself or not.
1 Chronicles 22:7-8 (ESV)
David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the LORD my God. But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me on the earth.
David wanted to do this for the Lord, and God’s refusal must have been a letdown for Him, but he had to decide whether he trusted the Lord of not!
Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
David had to accept God’s decision, and trust God, even though he felt let down.
If things seem out of control to you right now, it’s simply out of your control, not His! God seeks obedience and doesn’t need to explain Himself to you.
3. GOD’S NO CAN BE REDIRECTION
When God says no, it is not necessarily discipline or rejection; sometimes it is redirection. When a dream you have is not fulfilled, or dies, sometimes it’s not God letting you down, it’s God redirecting you, moving you to a new situation.
Perhaps, wanting to do God’s will, you once said with good intentions, “I am going to pursue this path for my life.” But now five, fifteen, or thirty years have passed, and what you pursued hasn’t worked out. What you promised to pursue has shrivelled on the vine. Maybe you had a dream, and your pastor didn’t support it. Maybe you promised God to do something, but the opportunity never happened. You feel guilty that you never honoured your word to God. I wanted to go to Israel, it didn’t work out, but perhaps God was protecting us, redirecting us out of danger into safety.
I don’t know how many people I have talked with who had their life’s plan mapped out when they were young, but things haven’t work out like they planned. As hard as they’ve tried, they haven’t been able to make life go in the direction they intended. What’s more, they’re now living in the swamp of guilt, assuming that they have missed the will of God. But who says that they are out of His will?
OUR WALK WITH GOD
In our walk with God, we have to listen to Him carefully from day to day, asking, “Lord, is this Your plan? If it is not, make me sensitive to it. Maybe You’re not rebuking but redirecting my life.”
Sometimes what God reveals is simply a stepping stone to the next season rather than the final destination. If you are sitting here and you have regrets about your life, let me prophesy to you that God’s not done with you yet. Maybe you feel like God has let you down, but I urge you to press into Him and let Him guide your future.
When God says no, He always has a better plan. He doesn’t ask you to agree with it. He just asks you to trust Him, even if you feel let down or don’t understand!
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
4. EVERYONE’S CALLING IN GOD IS UNIQUE
God does not call everybody to build temples. The Lord calls some people to be soldiers. He calls others to do the work in the trenches. Still others God sends to represent Him on foreign soil. He doesn’t call everyone to do the same thing.
1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace
When you think you know what you’re supposed to do with your life, listen carefully to God’s voice – He might have something else in mind for you altogether. You might see something and think, oh that appeals to me, I will do that for you, Lord.
Again, the idea here is not that God conforms to your will, but that you conform to His will, and let Him lead and guide you. If your agenda is to serve Him, no matter what, rather than your own agenda, then you will never feel let down!
5. GOD MAY CALL US TO A SUPPORTING ROLE
Just because God places a desire within you, it doesn’t mean that you have to be the star of the show. God’s plan might be to use you to support someone else who is doing the job you dreamed of. God might want to use you in a whole new creative way to get the job done, through someone else. Maybe that’s His plan.
Do you hear what David had to hear? “It’s not going to be you, David. Your son, Solomon, will build what you’ve dreamed.”
When David heard that, he certainly felt let down, and he could have got mad at God. But David was a man after God’s heart. He was genuinely, deeply, and totally devoted to serving God, so he saw God’s refusal not as a slight against him, but as an opportunity to serve.
David began to draw up the plans and gather the materials for Solomon to use in building the Temple. What an unselfish response.
1 Chronicles 22:5 (ESV)
For David said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands. I will therefore make preparation for it.” So David provided materials in great quantity before his death.
WHEN GOD SAYS NO
You may be living with broken dreams. Maybe in the past you have had high hopes for a certain path in life, a certain ministry. It was probably even a good path that you desired. But the Lord has said no for some mysterious reason that only He in His wisdom understands.
Sometimes God calls us to turn these things over to the Solomons in our lives. It takes a real act of humility to say to someone else, “You go. I’ll do everything I can to support you in seeing that this gets accomplished.”
When God says no, we must believe that He always has a better plan. We need to trust Him and support it with our decision making. The very best reaction to disappointment is cooperation, serving and humility.
STEPS TO HANDLING LIFE’S DISAPPOINTMENTS
How would you respond if God said “no” to one of your greatest ambitions, something that you were sure would please Him? David wanted to build a house for the Lord, and he had even gone on record as wanting to do it…
Psalms 132:1-5 (ESV)
Remember, O LORD, in David’s favor, all the hardships he endured, how he swore to the LORD and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
“I will not enter my house or get into my bed, I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
He had decided, he had vowed to do this for God, but God would not permit him to do it. David was disappointed, his will was thwarted, but his responses show us how to handle the disappointments of life.
1. SUBMIT TO GOD’S WILL
He submitted to God’s will. David humbly accepted God’s plan and did not try to change God’s mind. He realised that God knows best. He rested in God, He trusted God and said, as Jesus later said, not my will but yours be done (Matthew 26:39)
John 6:38 (ESV)
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
David had a godly desire, but God chose to bring it about in another way. When God refuses a request, it is not always a question of being right or wrong but of accepting and choosing to live with the mystery of His will.
When you truly submit to God’s will first, then you are never really let down, whatever happens, because it’s not your will but His be done.
2. LISTEN TO GOD
John 10:27 (ESV)
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
David listened to God’s voice and obeyed the word of God. David offered to build house for God, but God turned it around and promised to build a house for David. The immediate reference is to Solomon, but ultimately the promise refers to Jesus Christ, the Son of David.
When God says no to something, it is so that He may say yes to something better. If you can hear His voice, then you can obey. If you have trouble knowing God’s will or hearing His voice, turn to people in this church and they can help you. For me the Word of God is the most reliable voice of God in my life.
Be careful about claiming verses and promises out of context. I hear this all the time.
1 John 5:14-15 (ESV)
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
God often heals, so that must be His will, therefore I can claim this for healing every problem I have. God often prospers Christians, so that must be His will, so I can ask whatever I want and get it. But the context of that verse is about salvation, so be careful applying verses and claiming them for everything else. Listen, and allow God to speak to you.
3. WORSHIP GOD
David, faced with intense disappointment, didn’t give himself to complaining or trying to force things to happen, he gave himself to worship. David’s words in 2 Samuel 7:18–29 emphasise the greatness and the grace of God. Instead of bellyaching about what he couldn’t have, he rejoiced in what he did have. He had a gratitude attitude.
2 Samuel 7:18 (ESV)
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?
After hearing the Lord’s promise to him, David prays and asks God, “Who am I?” He feels an overwhelming thankfulness for the Lord’s blessings, and he knows that he deserves none of them.
It’s important to take a long look at our short lives and count our many blessings. Who are we to have been protected from the storms that made others homeless? Who are we that God has blessed our families and kept us safe? Who are we that He should give us health and strength to be able to hold a job or pursue a career or get a degree? Who am I, Lord, that You would send Your Son to die for my sins?
It has well been said, “Disappointments are His appointments.” David believed that. Do you? Have you learned that there can be blessing in unanswered prayer? If God lets You down, can you raise Him up and worship Him.
4. KEEP SERVING
David decided that, if he wasn’t the one to build the temple, he would do everything he could to prepare and support the one who was called to do it. If you are disappointed in God, if you feel let down by God today, keep serving, keep seeking Him. Come to church, get involved, bless others around you and soon the disappointment dissipates!
THERE’S HEALING FOR BROKEN HEARTS
Today some of us here love God, long to serve Him, but we feel in some way let down. Some of us feel guilty because we promised God and somehow things never happened. Ask yourself, do you feel let down by God in any way?
Psalms 34:18 (ESV)
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
I believe there is healing today, right here, right now for anyone who looks at their life with regret. Anyone who feels let down by God. Remember, change one letter and you see the truth…Disappointment becomes His appointment.
If you want to move into your God given destiny, it’s time to be healed. Healed of the hurt, the letdown, the disappointment. If that’s you, there is a life changing anointing right here for you.