God has plans for you. In his Orange Conference 2023 talk, Dharius Daniels said he knows that phrase often sounds cliche, but he know it is true. He also says this through Jeremiah in chapter 29, verse 11, when Israel is in an incredibly tough season of exile. And in the middle of this, God uses Jeremiah to tell them He has plans that is nothing like their present.
Dharius believes this also includes us in our exile. We are in a metaphorical season of exile, as we are taken from the familiar to a point of unfamiliarity. But God doesn’t leave us without instruction. God tells, in Jeremiah 29:4-5, to build and settle. It’s as if God is saying this is your new normal, and I need you to embrace it.
This reminded Dharius of a conversation Samuel has with God, where God asked Samuel how long is he going to mourn over a time that God is done with. God knows it’s hard to embrace what can be when you’re still grieving what was. God knows it’s hard, but He still asks us to build.
We are co-laborers and builders in Christ following a call to construction.
Dharius believes that we are hear in this season, in this era for His purpose. We were born for it. If it would have been better for us to serve in another era, He would have arranged for it. We were born to build now, to serve this present age.
“God is the architect,” explained Dharius, “and we are the general contractors, called to build.”
We need a lot of things to build: the right timing, the right teams, tenacity, etc. But Dharius spent the rest of the time focusing on the right tools we need to build. He said, “The tools we need are based on the season we’re in.”
1. Saw – At some point, construction requires cutting. We will be unwilling to build if we are unwilling to cut — or how God says it, pruning.
2. Hammer – Sometimes we have to exert effort and apply pressure where it’s risky. Hammers help things come together that normally wouldn’t without added pressure.
3. Level – To help us make sure we are balanced while we are building, because building can sometimes be distracting. Leveling helps us to have a Mary-mentality in a Martha-ministry.
4. Paintbrush – Aesthetics are important, but painting also protects. Proper stewardship is not just building but also protecting what was built.
Dharius closed with this statement: “May we have the courage to build. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to build in spite of it.”