2 Samuel 7:18-22
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed, “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And now, Sovereign Lord, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! Do you deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign Lord? 20 “What more can I say to you? You know what your servant is really like, Sovereign Lord. 21 Because of your promise and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known to your servant. 22 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you.
There’s something about our culture that makes it very hard for us to be still for any length of time. We have lost the art of solitude and there is very little time for contemplation, we have become too busy. I’m sure King David was a busy man, he had a whole kingdom to run, and yet he took time to regularly sit and be still in God’s presence. When you read the scores of Psalms that David wrote, Psalms of worship and prayer, you gain a glimpse into his relationship with God. Out of these still moments come Psalms that are rich and weighty, flavored with a touch of eternal reality.
In 2 Samuel 7 David receives the most amazing revelation of God’s Word through the prophet Nathan. David had wanted to build a temple, a house for God, but instead God said, “No, David, I’m going to build YOU a house”. When David hears from Nathan that God wanted to establish his throne forever his immediate reaction is to go and sit before the Lord. It’s not about where and when we come and sit before the Lord, we can kneel at church, in our homes, during times of difficulty and troubled. David sat before the Lord under the stars while shepherding sheep, in rocks and caves while fleeing for his life, and in the courts of the Tabernacle. The times and places changed but not the One whom he came before. God never changes, His presence remains the same, He’s waiting for us to just sit before Him.
It’s not where and when we come to the Lord but how, David sat before the Lord with:
- A HUMBLE HEART
The very first words David utters as he sits before the Lord (v18) “WHO AM I” Many people, hearing of God’s promises of greatness for them, would become proud and loud. David knew who he was and he also knew that God knew who he was (v20) “You know what your servant is really like” Could it be that we are just too proud to sit still before God because we have an over inflated view of our own importance? It’s not enough just to know yourself and to know that God knows who you are, you have to know who He is. David was the king yet he knew who his king was. Have we become arrogant in our bloated view of ourselves, have we forgotten who we are sitting before?
- WORSHIPFUL HEART
One of the things I notice about David’s prayer is that his prayer is all about God; God is the center, the target of his prayer. For David it was God and His GLORY that mattered, God was not a means to an end, rather God is the glorious end of everything. How many times do we unwittingly reduce God to be merely our means to an end? This has been man’s tendency right through history, He is the One we turn to in trouble and His sovereignty becomes the convenient excuse for every shortcoming.
David has just received God’s gracious word of promise, that God is going to lavish His blessing on David making David’s name glorious. Where is David, what is he doing? Sitting humbly in God’s presence GIVING ALL THE GLORY BACK, giving the glory to the One who is the only rightful recipient of it. Where are the worshippers, those who GIVE ALL THE GLORY BACK? Those who will pour themselves out in adoration of God? Where are you, what are you doing?
- SUBMISSIVE HEART
Whatever GOD wills to do, David submits to it. (v25) “And now, O Lord God, I am your servant” here is the moment of laying down his own plans. David had a great vision of building a glorious temple for the Lord, what a vision, what a noble endeavor, a king whose heart is devoted to the Lord. Even Nathan had agreed and said (v 3) “Go ahead and do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.” Who could argue with such a plan? BUT it wasn’t God’s purpose, it wasn’t His time. The desire is good, but that in itself is not enough because God desires OBEDIENCE not just great ideas.
The subject of much of his short prayer is the sovereignty of God, and he uses the word sovereign 7 times. Why use that word so much and what is the “sovereignty of God”? To call God “sovereign” means that God has the right to do as He wishes; it means that God does in fact know what is best for us. When David hears the Word of the Lord, as SOON as he hears it, there is not argument, no attempt to somehow reason with or persuade God (like we so often do). He simply goes in and sits before the Lord and says in essence, “Not my will be done but YOURS”
Is there anything stopping you from being completely submissive? Could it be that the one thing stopping you from being completely submissive to God is the laying down of your own agenda, your plan, your vision, your dream so you can find His PURPOSE. Maybe the great plans you have seem so right, so noble. I’m sure they are good, but GOOD plans are not the point, they must be GOD’S plans.
Prayer is about sitting with God and dealing with our pride, repenting of it and developing a HUMBLE heart. It’s about putting Him first, coming to adore Him with a WORSHIPFUL heart and putting ourselves in the right perspective. It’s about lay down your agenda, your plan and coming with a SUBMISSIVE heart to wait on God and let Him show you HIS better purpose. Prayer changes us, remember, He is the one that is unchanging!