In I Chronicles chapter 17, we see David desiring to build a temple for the Lord. He has a great burden on his heart that God needs to be honored. He wants a permanent building in which to place the ark and a place to make sacrifices. If he was going to build a great house for himself, God also needed a great house in which to reside.
But Nathan the prophet hears from God and relays the message to David. David cannot build the house because of the blood he has shed. The building of the house will fall upon the next generation and God will greatly bless his son to do this wonderful thing for God.
David did not become disheartened or angry. Instead we can read that he poured into the preparations for his son to be able to accomplish his dream of building the temple. In I Chronicles chapter 22 we read about all the preparations and supplies he gathered. He made arrangements for more supplies and workers. The greatest preparation, however, was sitting down with Solomon, his son, and passing on to him the vision and dream of building the great temple of God.
He explained to Solomon what he had been preparing and why it was important. He explained what all the supplies were for and what needed to be done. He explained that while he desired to do this thing, God had told him he could not and that his son would receive the great blessing of building the house of God. God would bless Solomon for this endeavor. David ignited the passion and vision in Solomon and Solomon went even further than David even dreamed.
Now, Solomon could have just nodded and smiled. He could have decided not to follow through. He could have done the job half-heartedly, but David passed on his vision and dream to Solomon.
Solomon not only used the supplies his father, David, had accumulated, he added more. He hired skilled artisans and laborers to build the best. He caught the fire of the vision his father had.
David was able to teach and explain his dream and vision is such a way that Solomon not only understood it, he also had that same vision and dream. Solomon's temple was amazing.
Sometimes, we, as parents, have great vision and dreams for our children. Sometimes, we want to see great things from our lives and eventually for our children.
For me, I realize that my parents instilled in me values and dreams. Some they may have wanted, but only realized in me and my siblings. My parents both came from hard working families. Families that did not have a lot but they loved God and and loved each other. Their parents did not go to college, but wanted more for their kids. Both of my parents eventually went to college well after becoming adults and having kids. But they made a way for me and my siblings to further our education. They taught us from a young age that education was important. We went a little further than our parents. We may still struggle and we may still have financial concerns. But, we are hopefully going a little further than they did.
They set up for something better. My parents ignited a passion and a desire for more than they had even dreamed. They always told me I could go to college. I went not only for my bachelor's but for my master's as well. My siblings also went to college. My parents were proud of us and are proud that we have become successful in our chosen fields.
David did not get mad at God. He prepared for his son to be successful. He set up what he could to make things better for his son and for the next generation.
Shouldn't we do the same? My husband and I try to instill in my children that they can grow up, go to college and follow the dreams God has placed in their hearts and minds. We talk to them often about preparing for the future. We try to save up some so we can help them achieve those dreams. I want them to be even more successful than me. I hope they listen and learn from my mistakes and achieve the dreams they have. I don't want them to be afraid of the dreams they have from God.
More importantly, we try to instill in them a love for God and the need and importance of a relationship with Him. Most importantly, we tell them that we want them to know God for themselves. We want them to follow after Him and know Him. We try to show them that prayer works, that the Word of God is precious and important, and that the Body of Christ is alive and active. We want them to seek Him first and be a part of His Body.
I recently read some studies that talk about how a parents priority of church attendance or lack thereof will affect the children's priority of church attendance. If a parent is not faithful or skips church because something else came up, then the kids will not see church attendance, or God, as a priority. It is a matter of actions speaking louder than words.
What we speak through our actions will speak louder than anything else.
David showed Solomon his vision, not just by telling him, but by the preparations and dedication he had to the vision. What we show our children and the preparations we make for their spiritual well-being will speak louder than anything else we say. Are we showing them that spiritual matters are most important by participating in and maintaining a spiritual walk that displays God is number one in our lives? Do we set them up for a future full of answered prayers and testimonies they can recall that tell of the goodness of God when they need to remember? Have we shared our dreams and visions of the path God has set us on so they will continue to walk on that same path into eternity with Christ? Lord, I pray we have.
I guess I can also apply this to the church body. Sometimes, a pastor or a church leader may see a great vision for a local assembly. That leader or leadership needs to understand that they need to nurture and share that vision and dream with those that will follow them. God may intend for them to ignite the fire of passion and vision in the next generation. They may not get to see that vision come to full fruit under their watch, but the next generation will be the ones to move forward into the great plans that God has set forth. The leader may ignite the fire, but the next generation may be the ones to set it ablaze into something even bigger. God can use the next generation to start the revival, but they need to be ignited. What we do now, as church leaders, prepares the next generation of church leaders. Those that will follow today's leaders, need to be ignited by the dream and vision that God has placed on us. They need to take that dream and vision and make it their own. Then, move that dream and vision beyond what we see into what God placed in their hearts as well. The church leaders of today need to teach the next generation, not just by word but by deed, that God has a great plan and a great vision for His Body. Let's ignite the next generation to move forward from the past into the great plans of God and prepare them to work in the realms of we see can come, we may be laying the ground work by praying and instilling the dream in the next generation. We may dream the dreams, but the young will see the vision.