In 2 Samuel 7, David told God he wanted to build a house for Him. God’s answer, through Nathan the prophet, was in effect this: “I never asked you to build me a house, but I did things for you–I took you from being a shepherd to being a prince over My people. The best is yet to come. I will build an everlasting house through you where you will be made sure forever.”
In other words, don’t ask what we can do for God but ask God what He can do through us. Sorry JFK.
In Acts 17:25 God tells us that He isn’t served by human hands as if He needed anything. That’s like the opposite of what we can think serving Him is about–us helping God out, or coming up with ways to do things for Him.
While we’re supposed to be about our Father’s business, the best way to go about it is to listen to Him so He can tell us what it is He really wants. And then we should do it. Psalm 37:4 echoes this thought: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
That doesn’t mean I’ll get what I want, it means that if I lean up against His heart, like John the disciple did, then I’ll hear God’s heartbeat. I’ll start to see people like He does, and start to see things from a different perspective. He’ll tell me what it is He really wants to do for me, in me, and through me.
Somehow Nehemiah must have had this relationship. In Neh. 2:12 he states “I told no one what God had put on my heart to do.” He prayed, God put the plan on his heart and Nehemiah went out and did it.
When we do it this way, we’re so much more effective not just busy. Let God build the house.