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Maintaining Focus

by Nancy Taylor Tate

“Who hath…called us with an holy calling… according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” 2 Timothy 1:9.

Because of God’s promise to him, King David prayed that his son, Solomon, would have a perfect heart, that he might build a house for the Lord. David imparted vision to his son, speaking prophetically as he spoke into Solomon’s life, causing him to understand what the Lord desired and the call that rested upon his life, to have a role in that which the Lord desired to do.

As a result, when Solomon became king, he responded in three outstanding ways to the instruction he had received regarding building a house for the Lord: (1) he made a decision; (2) he started; and (3) he finished!

“And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD” 2 Chronicles 2:1a.

“Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father” 2 Chronicles 3:1a.

“Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished2 Chronicles 5:1a.

When Solomon first became king, he prayed, “Now, O LORD God, let thy promise to David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude” (2 Chronicles 1:9).

After Solomon had finished building the house for the Lord, he then prayed again, dedicating to the Lord all that had been done. He sought the Lord for His blessing and manifest presence to be in the place he had built for Him. The Lord was pleased and answered the desire of Solomon’s heart.

“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house” 2 Chronicles 7:1.

In the busyness of each day, it is so important that we maintain a clear vision of that which our Lord has called us to and that we stay faithful to that vision. Solomon could have done many other things, but he sought the Lord’s enablement, asked for wisdom, and gave himself to the call of God on his life, not only beginning to build a house for the Lord, but finishing that which he set out to do.

How does this relate to our lives? Paul encourages us to offer our lives to the Lord as a sacrifice, pure and holy. Keep in mind that in the Old Testament, when a sacrifice was accepted by the Lord, it was consumed with fire.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God…” Romans 12:1.

Jesus is coming to be glorified in His saints and to be seen and admired through the lives of those who believe (2 Thessalonians 1:10). As we let our own lives be consumed, allowing the fire of His presence to burn within us, then it is Jesus who is seen, His purpose fulfilled, and His heart satisfied in and through our lives.

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fireMatthew 3:11.

We are called to “be” or “become” a “place” built for the Lord, dedicated to the Lord, and marked by His presence. Our testimony to others occurs simply when it is Jesus (rather than our adamic nature) who is seen and admired through our lives.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” Galatians 2:20a.

 “He must increase, but I must decrease” John 3:30.

 Our calling? One of my favorite songs: “For I was born to be thy dwelling place, a home for the presence of the Lord. So let my life now be separated, Lord, to thee, that I might be what I was born to be.”

Our goal is to be able to say, not only at the end of each assignment God gives us, but at the end of our lives here on earth, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Focus and priority! Human tendency is to make grand New Year’s resolutions and begin new projects with great zeal.

Yet, how determined are we to stay true to those things we know the Lord has called us to? Are we taking decisive steps toward that which God has called us as we look to Him for His divine enablement? Do we not only begin, but finish with determination and steadfastness?

“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” John 4:34.

From scripture, we know that Solomon’s life did not end as well as it began. He personally could have attained to more if he had allowed God to deal with particular areas in his own life. Even so, he fulfilled the call imparted to him to build a place for the presence of the Lord, and in that, the Lord was pleased.

May our life commitment be not only to begin each task well, but also to finish our lives well, that we might be able to say as Paul said concerning his call, “I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19).