by Steve McMichael
A recent devotional reading allowed me to revisit the dedication of Solomon’s temple. Those chapters in 1 Kings (as well as 2 Chronicles) recount a monumental event in the history of the Old Testament, but this time my heart took me in a different direction.
The temple’s dedication represented a convergence of significance and success for Solomon. As David’s son, Solomon completed his father’s charge. This day marked the completion of the project that required 183,600 workers and over 50 billion dollars. The nation had united, worked, and succeeded in constructing the most magnificent edifice in Israel’s history. And above all, God honored the effort with His visible presence and confirmed His covenant.
Each of these factors is exhilarating for a leader. In moments like this, one’s heart is revealed through words. Solomon’s words offer a challenge to leaders today. With all of Israel watching, with his father’s charge and dream fulfilled, with herds of animals sacrificed and the labors of so many shining as the backdrop, Solomon prayed:
“But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built.” (1 Kings 8:27)
For all that had been accomplished and all the success this day represented, in his heart, Solomon’s God was still bigger than Solomon’s temple.
While this perspective is theologically sound, it is difficult to remember in times of pressure and even more difficult to hold on to in times of success. Whether we are teaching a class, building a church, launching a ministry, or simply carrying out today’s duties, God must remain far bigger than our tasks. Here is a wonderful tool for balance.
Sacred and motivational speakers alike challenge us as leaders to dream big. I believe God leads us to bold initiatives. Big dreams stir congregations, create momentum, and honor God. But big dreams require a bigger God. As long as our perspective sees our projects and service as smaller than the God we serve, we are in a great position to succeed and see His glory.
As I have advanced in ministry, my dreams have grown. This visit to Solomon’s temple reminded me to guard my thinking and keep God, His desires, and His power bigger than the dreams I have in ministry.
I pray that you are encouraged this week. Partake of motivational quotes, books and sermons. But in all the vision casting and dream building, keep the God of your temple bigger than the temple itself.
Rev. Steve McMichael is a Global University Alumnus from the Berean School of the Bible and the Undergraduate School of Bible and Theology. McMichael currently serves as an International Pastor.