2 Chronicles 6:1-11 (Part 2) – The Long & Winding Road: Promise Made, Promise Kept

Posted: July 16, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 6:1-11 (Part 2 of 2)

Solomon Praises the Lord

Opening Illustration/Comments

It was about January of 2017 after graduating from seminary 3 years earlier and being called by God to go into full time ministry 6 years before that, I came close to getting my first job in full-time ministry. It was a church in the north central Ohio town of Wooster. I came oh so close. I had two phone interviews. I had an onsite visit over a weekend. I think the job was mine to have all the way to the final interview. In the final interview, it included the founding pastor who was now the pastor emeritus of the church. There was one question he asked me about my desires for the future through this position that they had to offer. It was the question that changed the whole view of the interview council (which consisted of the pastor emeritus, the senior pastor, and the appointed elders of the church). Although I did not think much about it as the interview concluded that Sunday afternoon (after we had been there the whole weekend). We flew home to Greenville-Spartanburg thinking we had the job in the bag. However, days passed with no word. Finally, I was able to get the senior pastor on the phone and he said it was my answer to the final question that disqualified me from the final two candidates for the position. He said that after the answer that I gave that they did not think that this job would be what he called “a destination job” for me.

I was crushed. I had been preparing through leadership training at my home church, LifeSong Church in Lyman, SC, to be a pastoral leader since 2011. I had been to seminary and graduated in 2014. Three years after that, I had been still preparing by working part-time off and on at LifeSong. But nothing was happening as to a permanent full-time ministry position. Three long years. Then, there was this job in Wooster, OH that had my hopes so high. Only then to have them crushed by one answer to one question. Why would a church not want a person that wanted to excel and advance? That just baffled me. It then would be another full year before I finally got my break into full-time ministry in the position offered me at Calvary Church in Moline, IL. Even that job turned out to be less than what I had felt God called me to be. Although I learned a lot there about working full-time on a church staff and learned about different styles of administration than what I had built at LifeSong and learned about styles of staff management that was totally different from what I was used to, it still was not what God had called me toward which was full time ministry. Finally, in June 2019, the long and winding road to being a preaching/teaching pastor on a full-time basis came to fruition. For the last 13 months, I have been the solo pastor of Lamar United Methodist Church. It was an eight year road from the call from God to ministry to where I arrived last summer. The road was about being faithful to the road that the Lord has you on right now and staying the course as God tests your commitment to the call.

It is that idea of staying the course to reach God’s promises that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 6:1-11. Let’s read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

Chapter 6

1 Then Solomon prayed, “O Lord, you have said that you would live in a thick cloud of darkness. 2 Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever!”

3 Then the king turned around to the entire community of Israel standing before him and gave this blessing: 4 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept the promise he made to my father, David. For he told my father, 5 ‘From the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have never chosen a city among any of the tribes of Israel as the place where a Temple should be built to honor my name. Nor have I chosen a king to lead my people Israel. 6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem as the place for my name to be honored, and I have chosen David to be king over my people Israel.’”

7 Then Solomon said, “My father, David, wanted to build this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 8 But the Lord told him, ‘You wanted to build the Temple to honor my name. Your intention is good, 9 but you are not the one to do it. One of your own sons will build the Temple to honor me.’

10 “And now the Lord has fulfilled the promise he made, for I have become king in my father’s place, and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised. I have built this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11 There I have placed the Ark, which contains the covenant that the Lord made with the people of Israel.”.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see the completion and dedication of the Temple. The construction of the Temple took many years to accumulate the materials necessary to build it and then it took 7 years to construct. Sometimes, the Lord’s promises take a while to come to fruition. However, that does not mean that He has forgotten the promise made. His promises made are always His promises kept. We often must be patient because He is working out a plan so that when the promise is fulfilled we are ready to walk in it with full understanding of what God has done to prepare us for it and for what the promise kept really means.

Life Application

The takeaway that I think we have for today is that we have to be faithful in the field that the Lord has you plowing right now. We have to trust Him with when you move onto the next field to plow. We have to remember that the road may be long by our own standards and desires. There may be days that you feel like questioning the call altogether. But that’s where the trust comes in. Even when times are hard if the call is real, the call will stay with you. Even when times are hard, you can have trust that God will lead you to where He wants you to go. Even when you feel like giving up and feel foolish for having followed the call, keep trusting and keep plowing. I am in my call now. However, even when come into your calling, it’s not going to all be wine and roses from that point. Even when you are operating in your calling, there will be challenges and times when you will question the call even when you are in the call.

The key is staying the course. If God has called you to ministry, stay the course. Endure the long and winding road. There is a purpose in the long and winding road. I would not be where I am at right now if it were not for the time of learning at LifeSong, if it were not for my time in seminary, if it were not for the additional waiting after graduation, if it were not for the near miss in Ohio, if it were not for the year and half in Illinois. Now, the training from the Lord continues. Whatever may come next, Lamar is part of the process. Trust in the Lord. Trust His process. The process may be a long one, but the journey is part of the process. Each step in the process has meaning. Each step in the process has purpose. Each step has a reason. Each step has its own accomplishments for you and for others with whom you come in contact that accomplish something for the kingdom. Everything has meaning. God makes promises and God keeps them. I promise!

Amen and Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s