Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” 3 Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”
4 But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: 5 Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. 7 Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” 8 Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; 9 and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. – 2 Samuel 7:1-14
In just a few days, I leave for my first retreat with the Transforming Center just outside Chicago. I am part of Community #15. Alex just completed his two-year journey with Community #12. I cannot express how excited I am to begin this transforming process! Learning and realizing how to be with God is why I am motivated to do this. So much of what we are taught is knowing who God is and everything that goes along with that – quoting passages from the Bible and recalling principles for us to live by. While these are extremely important, too little attention is given to listening to and recognizing God’s direction for each us… simply being with him.
In preparation for this retreat, we are required to read two books, Thirsty for God by Bradley Holt and Invitation to a Journey: A Road May for Spiritual Formation by M. Robert Mulholland Jr. I am SO VERY thirsty for God. My hope is, as Nathan says in verse 4 of this passage, “the word of the Lord comes to me,” I, too, can recognize God’s words when they come to me.