At the very beginning of King Solomon’s reign, he decided to build a temple where people could offer sacrifices to the Lord, to worship and be reconciled to Him. He asked a nearby nation for supplies, writing in his letter, “Behold, I am building a temple for the name of the Lord my God….But who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? Who am I then, that I should build Him a temple, except to burn sacrifice before Him?” (II Chronicles 2:4-6) Building God’s dwelling is a pretty big deal, and when Solomon said that he—a mere human—was unworthy to take on such a feat, he made a pretty good point.
A lot of times, I can relate to that feeling of insufficiency. I look at all the darkness and despair the world is in, and I see the people’s need for Jesus—but then I freeze. I don’t act as a light because, when I take a good look at myself, I see I’m not perfect, either. When I notice specks in other people’s eyes, I’m scared to address them because I assume I have a plank in my own. I worry I’m a hypocrite, or that I won’t have all the answers, or that—God forbid!—I’ll actually lead someone astray. I feel unworthy to be an ambassador for Christ. God is so big, His wisdom so profound. Who am I to step out, fill emptinesses, and shake things up? Who am I to build God’s kingdom, where people can worship and be reconciled?
However, Paul offers an entirely different perspective: “Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph….Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant….Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness” (II Corinthians 2:14; 3:5-6, 12).
That perspective encourages me to build God’s kingdom “heartily, as to the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). Immediately after Solomon received the throne and a blessing of abundant wealth, he set to building the temple, putting all he had into the project—precious metals, beautiful wood, and the labor of his best craftsmen. Solomon’s first act as king was to honor God’s authority, and his first use of his gifts brought God glory. He could have started by changing laws he didn’t like, or he could have built his own palace first. Instead, Solomon wasn’t stingy with his time or gifts. He wasn’t selfish with his power, but rather used his position as a platform to point others to God.
Most importantly, I remember to follow the Holy Spirit’s gently whispered blueprints, asking what He wants me to say or do. As mere human, I know that "unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1).