Saturday, May 15, 2010

good idea . . . God idea . . . is there a difference?

At Bible study this past week we were discussing what the difference is between a good idea and a God idea. The discussion arose from our study of David desiring to build a place for the Ark of the Covenant to be in Jerusalem. He came to a realization that while he was living in a palace of cedar, the Ark was in a tent, and he decided that he wanted to build a place for the Ark - the physical place of God's presence with Israel. You can read the account in 2 Samuel 7.

Building a house for the Ark and for God's presence among Israel to dwell was not a bad idea. It was a good idea. But, ultimately, it wasn't a God idea. God did not have in mind for David to be the one to build that place. That job would fall to David's son Solomon, who succeeded David as King of Israel.

David could have gone ahead and built the Temple - built a more permanent place for God to dwell. It was a good idea. But, I don't think that the outcome would have been quite as David expected or desired. God had a different idea and it was much better than David's idea.

So, now that the stage has been set, back to the discussion from Bible study: what is the difference between a God idea and a good idea? How do we know if our idea is a good idea or a God idea? Not the easiest of questions, especially because there may not actually be anything wrong with our good ideas. Like David's they are good things. But, our good ideas don't stand compared to our God ideas - those times when God is definitely the One who has in mind for that to happen through us.

We tossed around a few ideas of what a God idea might be as opposed to just a good idea: something we know if we tried to do on our own we would end up making a fool of ourselves attempting it, something that benefits other people in far greater ways that it would ever benefit us, something that is humanly impossible. Ultimately, the question I left still thinking about from the discussion was asked by one of the other ladies: What if the difference between a good idea and a God idea is who we trust?

I've been thinking about this all week. It's an interesting topic to try to wrap your head around. Is my idea a good idea or a God idea? Is there a difference? What is it? How do I know if my idea is a good idea or a God idea? What if the difference between a good idea and a God idea is who I trust? I think these are questions that I will be wrestling with for a while yet. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, if you feel so inclined to share them.

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