“My son,” David said to Solomon, “It was in my heart to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, but the word of the LORD came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and waged great wars. You are not to build a house for My name because you have shed so much blood on the ground before Me.'”– 1 Chronicles 22:7-8
From these verses we learn the reason why God would not allow King David to build a temple in His honor. In essence, God told David that he simply had too much blood on his hands. David’s life and reign had been filled with one battle after another as he led Israel to conquer all of her enemies. He had been engaged in war and knew very little about building. The task of erecting a temple would thus fall to his son.
Some leaders are builders and some are battlers. A good leader can be both, but rarely is one able to be both at the same time. If you are wrapped up in “battling,” then you can rarely find the time to build anything of lasting value. Nehemiah was able to oversee the restoration of Jerusalem’s wall while also defending the construction, but certainly it was a consistent distraction. In order to build, though not ignorant of the enemy, you must focus on growth. Typically, “wars” must be fought before someone can build. Someone must do battle … and defeat the enemies of progress or progress will eventually be stalled.
God’s work requires battlers and builders … and the church must battle AND build or the growth we desire will not occur.
Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership. – Colin Powell
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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