S181P5 – The king’s exiting prayer: the chain of influence

1 Chr. 29:16-17

Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.  I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.  All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent.  And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.

It is a dream for mom and dad.  They raise their children by showing them how to be polite, generous, and loving.  Early lessons might be the importance of sharing a toy or waiting patiently for one’s turn in line.  The beginnings of this process can be frustrating, and it might seem like the kids will never get it.  Mom and dad watch and wait, and they look for a sign that their work is paying off.  Then, one day, the fruit emerges, and the dream comes true.  Their kids are following the behavior they were taught, and they are doing it on their own.  Not only that, but their behavior has influenced other children to act the same way.  No one can know how far that chain of influence will extend.

David realized that God’s behavior toward him was part of a lesson.  The Lord is generous because it is his nature, but He also wants to teach us his generosity.  David was given a lot, and he could have thought to keep it for himself.  Instead, he desired to give back to the Lord by building this great house of worship.  He checked himself in the process, and he knew that his motivation behind this project was pure; it was not for him but for God.  Then, he noticed something about the people he was responsible for leading.  They were moved in the same way by the same pure motive.  As David learned from God to give generously, they learned from David the same thing, and he was blessed to see it.

Many people will reach what they consider to be an apex in their industry, their community, or even in the world.  When one reaches what is thought to be the top, that person can be deceived into thinking that he or she is the point of all of this.  The reality, however, is that nothing begins or ends with any of us.  We are part of a chain of influence, and God wants to lead us in his ways so that we can lead others just the same.  We are to take what He has taught us, put it into practice, and help others learn the same ways.  Father, thank You for trusting us to be stewards and teachers of your character, bringing your kingdom to light for those in darkness.