David brought the ark of God up to Jerusalem and back to the people of Israel. It had begun to bother him that the ark of God was in a tent while he lived in a beautiful house. So he got the idea in his mind to build a permanent residence for God in which to house all the sacred furniture. David said, “It isn’t fitting that the king should live in this lovely cedar dwelling and the ark, the very presence of Jehovah himself, should be in a little tent out there. I will build a house for God. I want to build a temple in His honor.” God had never dwelt in a permanent house, but David resolved to do something about that.
Now I want to emphasize, from everything we know about him, David had no ulterior motive here. He had no selfish ambition. He had no desire to make a name for himself or his family. As a matter of fact, he wanted to exalt no other name but God in building this house.
It is during the interludes of life that we have time to seize a dream or an ideal objective. Some of you, in a quiet moment of your life, realized the vocation into which God was calling you. Maybe it happened at a camp or a retreat, where you threw a branch of promise on the fire, having determined an objective to follow. Maybe it happened in the quietness of your own room after a church service one evening. Or maybe it was while you were a student in a dormitory. You couldn’t go to sleep, so you turned through the Scriptures and landed on some thoughts that began to make sense. Before long, they stretched into a direct arrow toward some new and exciting objective. And you said, “That’s it! That’s my commitment; that’s where God is leading.” It’s in the interludes of life that those things happen. You have to slow down and become quiet in those special times to hear His voice, to sense His leading.
But let me add this: sometimes the dream is from God; sometimes it’s not. Both are noble. Both are great resolves. Both are ideals. But when it’s not of God, it won’t come to fulfillment—nor should it.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.