Wherever I go I see opportunities for improvement. One day, pre-pandemic, my friend and I were sitting in a Starbucks and identified ways that the coffee chain could improve their processes to create a better customer experience. Even when I’m trying to relax and have fun, improving upon or enhancing ideas, processes, or structures is always in the back of my mind.
Currently, I’m in a moment of transition, which means that I’m being more intentional to sit and listen to the Lord. I am more aware of his presence and voice in this season. I’m also hyper-aware of my desire to enhance an idea or help people out. I’m also aware of my tendency to want to improve upon what God has said.
The other day, as I was praying, I told God that I want to do exactly what he calls me to do—no more and no less. But then I stopped. That prayer goes against my nature so I immediately began questioning what I had just uttered. I wondered if I should want to do more for God. I’ve been taught to go above and beyond, shouldn’t I want to go above and beyond for God too?
Then the Lord, in his kindness, reminded me of a Bible story about King David who I think was a bit of a reformer or improver too.
2 Samuel 6 is the story of the people moving the Ark of the Covenant (the holy place in the Old Testament) to Jerusalem. It was quite a party! The people were overwhelmed with joy and worshipped God extravagantly. David was truly living his best life and the people of Israel were immensely blessed. After the festivities are over and everything dies down, David is back in his glorious palace and begins to wonder if he can help God out.
“After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.” 2 Samuel 7:1-2 (NIV)
I love David’s heart in this story. He sees the incredible blessings of God in his life and wants to do something about it. He wants to use his power and wealth to give God the respect and honor he is due. He longs to give God a home that is worthy (or as close as David can get) of his everlasting splendor. Even though David loved God, a house wasn’t what God asked for, which he lets David know through the prophet Nathan in the rest of 2 Samuel 7, which I highly recommend reading when you have a moment.
David wasn’t arrogant like the people who tried to build the Tower of Babel, I believe his motivations were out of his deep love for God. I still think there was a kernel of pride lurking beneath David’s gratitude. He wanted to build something for God, he wanted to take care of God, but God didn’t need David’s house. God doesn’t need my help, but I often find myself in a similar position as David. I want to show my love for God by going above and beyond, doing things for him. But that’s not what he’s asked for. Instead, God wants our hearts. He wants to spend time with us. He wants our attention.
I wonder what our lives might look like if we shifted away from wanting to do things for God and simply settled in with God. What if we took on the position like Mary to spend time at the feet of Jesus instead of trying to do, do, do like Martha? What if we stopped performing and simply began being?
What if the room for improvement isn’t in God’s plan, but in my ability to rest in him? In a world filled with critiques and ways we can improve, being intentional with God sure seems like a better way to go.
Do you ever try to improve upon God’s plans?
How do you practically find time to be still with God?
Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.