As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart (*perfect heart, KJV) and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.” 1 Chronicles 28:9-10
Nike, the winged goddess of victory, is of course a myth, which is quite fitting since the philosophy behind the slogan “Just Do it,” (that we currently attribute to the modern day name), is also a fairy tale. Taken out of its biblical context, “Just Do it” minimally serves to set one up for ruin. However, in its proper framework, the phrase is the perfect tag for a most wonderful counsel.
As we read King David’s encouragement to Solomon, the numbers begin to add up. Inspired by God, David lays down a pattern for the boy king to follow, first acknowledging that the tried and true God of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is also his God. “If the God I follow were not genuine,” David might have said to his son, “I would have told you so!” Therefore David does proclaim, ‘Know God.’ The Apostle Paul would add…
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:8-11
It might seem obvious, but it’s of vital consequence to recognize that we cannot serve God until we know something about God. It is for this reason David prescribed the order to be followed. Once we know, and as we are committed to knowing Him more, the church, both individually and corporately can more effectively serve Him. Performance flounders for those whose biblical and relational knowledge of Jesus is shallow.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
A Perfect Heart
In the New King James version, the passage is rendered as serving God with a loyal heart, while the King James translation cites a perfect heart. The message being conveyed by both is that Christian service is not to be done half heartedly. Since the Father searches our hearts entirely and wholly comprehends our intensions, to bring Him less than all is pointless.
I will praise You with my whole heart… Psalm 138:1a
.Less of Me
David continues that we should seek Him…
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8a
And that we have been chosen by Him…
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you John 15:16
And that we have a house to build too!
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
How Do We Pull it Off?
When we talk about things like perfection, aren’t we over extending ourselves? You bet we are. As we read further along in 1 Chronicles 28 we discover that David gave Solomon the plans for the Temple that was to be built. Similarly, our Father has given us the pattern in His written word to pursue.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
David told Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God–my God–will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord,” and God tells us the same thing; we have the identical assurance.
He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6; 4:19
God does not take away our ability to choose, so we can, if we desire, worry. But in light of God’s established promises (for those who believe on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior), why would we elect to waste precious time focusing on our anxieties–Jehovah Jireh is our provider and His grace is our sufficiency. We can know Him, whole heartedly serve Him, and seek Him resting in the reality that we have been chosen and thoroughly equipped by Him. Praise be to God!