“‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom'" (2 Samuel 7:11-12).
God gave David, and He wants to give you, the bigger picture of His will and purpose through His word to David. What implications does this expanded view have for your life and purpose? I'm glad you asked. For the answer, you will have to continue reading.
God is all about building His kingdom on earth. The Kingdom was on Jesus' mind from the start of His ministry. He taught His disciples to pray, "your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Jesus' first words of public ministry were, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near" (Matthew 4:17). In essence, Jesus was saying that God was fulfilling what He had promised David by establishing an everlasting Kingdom through Jesus, a descendant of David's family.
Your life purpose is a matter of Kingdom business. What do I mean by that? First of all, the king assigns your purpose; you don't choose it. Then you function in life to fulfill your purpose with God's help through the Church but not exclusively in or to the Church. In other words, your objective is to extend God's kingdom rule wherever He places you: family, business, school, ministry, neighborhood, or government. What does that mean exactly?
It means you behave according to God's righteous standards of the Kingdom with love as your main motive: love for God expressed in service to others. You express your purpose through the gifts God has given you and you apply your creativity to do things in fresh new ways that will solve old or new problems. Your purpose is not a church matter. You may express it in a church setting—in fact, you should do something with your time and gifts to help build the church—but you do what you do there because the King directs you to do so. Thus, your church role is an expression of God's Kingdom rule in your life and not the totality of your service to God. It's not a matter of what church you belong to but what Kingdom you serve.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
David wanted to build God a place that would contain Him, that would house His activities and be the focus for God's people, but God intervened with a better option. His "house" would be the earth and he would rule over it as a King. In a way, David wanted to build God a church, but God preferred a Kingdom identity instead of being the God of a house or building.
I would rather be known as a Kingdom man than a church man. I have given my adult life to the Church as an expression of God's kingdom rule in my life. I did not choose nor do I prefer Church work. As I write, I am in Spain participating in a church anniversary celebration for some African churches. Why am I here? I'm here because the King sent me here; it's part of my Kingdom assignment. I sat through long services, having come here at some inconvenience and discomfort to myself at my own expense because of my commitment to the King that's expressed through His Kingdom government in my life. And for me, that means church work.
What about you? Are you a church person? Do you want only to build God's house? Or are you a Kingdom person? Do you want to see God's sovereignty extended over all His creation, regardless of the place or activity? Do you see the difference? David tried to localize God, but God refused to be contained. Your job is not to small God up to a size you can manage, but to enlarge your own perspective and capability to match His vision of a kingdom on earth that reflects the one in heaven.
I urge you to allow God to give you the bigger picture of what He's doing and how you and your purpose fit into it, and then get busy representing God's kingdom in both the church and the sphere He has called you to. Have a blessed week!