Read 2 Samuel 7:1-5
Authority from the Lord
Israel was at peace. David wanted to build a house for God. The prophet Nathan, knowing that the king had found favor in God’s sight, said, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you” (2 Samuel 7:3). Nathan’s mistake is that he did not ask God if that is what He wanted David to do.
Many times, we have the best of intentions, but we do not seek God’s will before setting out to accomplish our plans. We may think that God would certainly approve – but without first consulting His Word, how can we know?
Jesus warned that there would be some on the Day of Judgment that had good intentions but lacked the authority for their actions. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
Were they intentionally sinning against God? No! They thought they were doing good things! But Jesus calls their practices lawless. Why? Because they had no authority to do the things they claimed to do “in Your name.”
We see throughout the Scriptures examples of people who attempted to serve God in ways that He did not command or authorize. Nadab and Abihu are a prime example of this. They used “profane fire…which He had not commanded them” (Leviticus 10:1). The New International Version translates this, “unauthorized fire…contrary to his command.”
Are you practicing anything that is unauthorized? Profane? Contrary to God’s commands? Consider the actions you participate in during worship. Are there elements of that worship for which authority cannot be found in the New Testament?
Do not presume to know what is acceptable to God. Look for answers in His revelation – His communication with man. Don’t make the same mistake Nathan made.