What is “the sort of thing” you and I are freely willing to do to minister effectively in the military society? In 1 Chronicles 29, when David is gathering materials to build the temple, he provides us with an extraordinary example of biblical leadership and stewardship.
1. He provided first from the treasury. “…The work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the Lord God. So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able…” (1 Chronicles 291-2, ESV). We can imagine that he gave first from any excess, a reminder to all of us to create margin in our personal and corporate budgeting so that we can respond to opportunities that the Lord puts in our path, see where God is working and wholeheartedly join him at it. David obviously dug deep and made hard decisions and difficult tradeoffs—as far as I was able—to align the national treasury with the desires of God.
2. He provided from his personal fortune. “Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it…” (v. 3). He gave as an act of worship, giving God his very best, and he gave out of the recognition that God owns it all and apportions it out to each of us as his stewards. “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all…In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things…(vv. 11-12, 17). He also provided a witness to the people, demonstrating that their leader was personally “all in.”
3. He invited the people to participate. “Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the Lord?…Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord” (vv. 5, 9). Clearly the people of Israel gave more than their possessions; they gave their very selves to the Lord’s service.
May we each follow David’s example as we live out the difficult and sacrificial “sort of things” God seeks to carry out in our military society through the ministry of Officers’ Christian Fellowship.
Article adapted from December 2013 Command magazine.