I had to laugh when reading about the Israelites’ passionate over-acheivement when building the tabernacle (Exodus 36). Doesn’t this sound like our tendency to outdo ourselves today?
Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done.”
Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.
Many times I have abandoned God’s desires in order to be bigger! better! more, more, more! Oh, the tragedy when a human mutates God’s will into a display of glut and extravagance. Do I think I’ll really impress Him by going overboard? Do I think my plans are more effective than His? When He says “don’t eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” and I up the ante by not even touching it, do I impress Him with my self-discipline and grit? (remember this?) When He just wants me to make a simple phone call, but I instead stage a Fantastic Carnival of Restoration for the entire county, do I really believe that He’ll be blown away by my human effort and ingenuity (the sleepless nights, OH the sacrifices, the popcorn machine)? Perhaps simply obeying and making the humble phone call would have been better. Yes, perhaps.
May I see that my only task is simply to obey Him. The outcome is not mine.
I bring the obedience; God brings the increase.
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but GOd that giveth the increase… for we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s field, ye are God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3: 6, 7